By Jonas Gagnon
It’s been a bit of a busy weekend, with overlapping events, so I’m going to take this time to plug the new calendar we have up at the caledoniacourier.com. It’s easy to use, open to everyone, and essentially everything you could ever want from an online calendar.
The event overlap came from two separate ends of the spectrum. On one side of town is one of the biggest events of the year, the Caledonia Classic, and on the other side of town you have perhaps the saddest event the community will see this year, the Fribjon Bjornson walk to protest violence.
It’s like a spotlight and the shadow thrown by it.
During the most fun part of the classic, the politician’s race and the kid’n mutt race, hundreds of people gathered in Kwah Hall to remember a community member, and then walked with his mother and father to the place where his body was found.
How can a community harbour such opposing sides?
It’s a question we’ve been asking of our communities, and of ourselves, for as long as we’ve been able to phrase the question; the answer of which has evaded us for just as long.
The politicians were put in between a rock and a fun place with the overlap too. It was either support the communities protest against violence in a heart wrenching event, or support the community in a race that promised fun for everyone. A lot of councillors chose the former, which is understandable. The race still went off without a hitch with a stand-in for the mayor.
Both events meant a lot to the community-at-large, and the juxtaposition between the two created a harsh edge to the weekend.
Not to be melodramatic but it seems to represent a macrocosm of the individual, or a microcosm of world events. And I think more than a few people felt caught in the middle.
And though people rag on about events coming in packs in this community, this, perhaps, is one example of an overlap that couldn’t have been changed with a little foresight.
The dogs were set to race that weekend since last year, and the walk was governed by events beyond the control of the community.
More than any other overlap though, it’s created an awkward choice: do you support joy and fun in your community, or support those who are hurting?
Both joy and supporting those who are hurting are important for the growth of a community.
That’s why the programs the community leaders put together are so important.
The more we can support joy and happiness in our communities the more we can avoid scenes like the one on the lower road. It’s why leaders are so set in giving our youth something fun to do, and supporting those who have taken roads that lead the wrong way.
One of those programs, though coming from students and not community leaders, has made a big impact, not just here in the Fort, but nationally.
The ‘be seen be safe’ campaign has caught the eye of some national players, and is now gracing the web page of safe kids Canada.
It’s good to see the kids of the community growing up learning how to support their community.
It’s not just the elementary kids either. FSJSS has the STAAR days they’re in the middle of planning that promises to be an event not to be missed. Their fight against racism offers not only education on the problem, but a chance for kids from all over the north-west to gather together and do things they love.
Nationally the country finished another pink shirt day, supporting schools against bullying.
Even events without ulterior motives, like the Nak’azdli open gym and volleyball nights, can work wonders in a community.
It’s events like these, and the massive turnout for the Fribjon Bjornson walk, that shows a community has what it takes to fight against the influences that tear people away from their friends and family.