NORTHWESTERN B.C. may be out of the way geographically but the two separate worlds of popular music and politics have come knocking.
First up, English singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel has endorsed Nathan Cullen who is running for a fifth term as the New Democrat Member of Parliament for Skeena – Bulkley Valley.
In a post on his Facebook page, Peter Gabriel said he met Cullen at a leadership training session run by an international social activist group called Avaaz.
“I was lucky to be invited to a leadership training organized by Avaaz and met a diverse and wonderful group of people from all over the place, engaged in changing the world,” wrote Gabriel.
“One of those is a remarkable Canadian politician by the name of Nathan Cullen – a man who is now working hard on the NDP campaign to change the government in Canada.”
He then invites people, especially Canadian voters, to check out Cullen’s campaign website.
Speaking today, Cullen said the leadership course involved younger political activists from around the world and it took place near Washington, DC several years ago.
“I never met a more humble and reserved person such as Peter,” said Cullen. “There was no pretense to the man at all.”
Gabriel built a musical reputation first with the group Genesis and then on his own while also becoming well-known as a social activist concerned with human rights.
Avaaz has developed a reputation of its own in pursuing human rights, climate change and other causes through the extensive use of social media.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the political spectrum, Canadian conservative commentator Ezra Levant is speaking at a Smithers event organized by a Houston businessman.
Kyle Thomson is calling the Oct. 9 event “Building Northern B.C.”, saying industrial development built the region.
“I just felt we needed somebody here willing to speak their mind,” said Thomson of Levant’s appearance.
“We’re hearing too much negativity about development through the media and it was just starting to irk me.”
Levant, known for promoting conservative views and values, has had several publishing and electronic media jobs over the years and is now the main contributor to the website Rebel Media which he founded this year.
While Thomson and others are financing Levant’s appearance by themselves, they are selling tickets to cover other costs and to help finance scholarships and bursaries for Northwest Community College.
That latter fit the theme of the event, which is developing the region, he said.
Skeena – Bulkley Valley Conservative candidate Tyler Nesbitt will also be speaking but Thomson says that shouldn’t be regarded as the event being political in nature.
“I support him and his party. I think they are the only party that has a grasp on the opportunities for northwestern B.C.,” said Thomson.
“I think he will make a great MP,” Thomson added of Nesbitt.