The past week of the Fishbowl Festival has seen two capacity crowds in the laundromat, hundreds of dollars in wearable art sales, a fateful snowstorm, some borscht, and a deepening sense of community and support between us at the café and the various artists, bands, organizations and community supporters.
What does it mean to support the Fishbowl Festival? Who is the community that gathers at the Gore Street Café?
There's Melisse, who ran the door for us on Saturday in exchange for one of Wildling Tramp's wildly popular bone and leather necklaces;
Peggy Lauzon and Teddy Syrette, local writers whose open mic last week was a wonderful storytelling session;
Vivian Scramstadt, whose first short film was shown last week at the 48 hour filmmaking challenge; Glo Burns, who put that event together; Chris Shoust and Mike Gingras, who also screened quickly-produced shorts full of scruffy humour, and feature lengths made with care, preparation, and deep thought;
Erin Heineman, who comes to the Tuesday night jam some weeks with a song in her head that she's just GOT to share.
Mike Haggith, who loaned us his bass to record some overdubs, Mingus-style, over the beatbox and guitar tracks we laid down at my weekend performance.
There's Darcy Lavallee, who recorded Saturday night for us in exchange for a large serving of Shepard's pie (vegetarian, with lentils and cheese:-);
and Isabelle Michaud, whose first solo art exhibition will be on the café walls for the next month, and who hosted a lovely open mic last night with her storytelling and a gang of ukelele players.
It takes all kinds, it takes the cooperation and interaction of many different types, ages, races, classes and orientations of people to make up a healthy, thriving, strong, sustainable community. Money must be made, I suppose. But business is best when what's offered is something that people need to be healthy and happy, right?
Even Shannon Moan insisted on performing her set wearing a new Wildling Tramp necklace.
I'd like to thank everyone again and again for coming out and taking part in the festival, both in putting on events and attending them. It couldn't exist without all of our friends and supporters.
The Crackling put on a spellbinding show for some of us last night, and we wish them well on their eastern travels.
Here's what the Festival this week will bring:
Wednesday we will learn about worms, as Don McGorman leads a composting workshop.
Thursday night we're hosting a Fish-themed Supper Club at the laundromat table.
Friday is Soup Ste Marie at 180 Projects, your ticket gets you a vote on whose business proposal will best benefit the community.
Saturday is the Really Really Free Market
At the Neighborhood Resource Centre
(138 Gore Street).
Bring stuff, take stuff. It's free!
And a triple feature laundromat concert by Mark Dunn, Trevor Tchir, and Jesse Merineau.
Sunday will be Teddy's talk 'Openly Gay and Visibly Native' at café Natura,
another safe space downtown for good eats and healthy living.
Next Monday marks the beginning of March break, and we'll be putting on many all-ages daytime workshops.
Crafting, zines, rap music and hip hop poetry, check out the book of faces for more information: