Editorial: All empires fall sooner or later

The Nanaimo Empire Day Celebration Society’s membership officially voted to cancel all May long weekend events this year.

It seems to be inevitable of empires that they eventually fall and are relegated to the history books as a chapter in human civilization. We stopped celebrating the Romans, the Ottomans and now the British.

The Nanaimo Empire Day Celebration Society’s membership officially voted to cancel all May long weekend events this year after the City of Nanaimo significantly cut back the level of civic funding. For years, groups like the multicultural society and Snuneymuxw First Nation highlighted the oppressive nature of the term ‘empire’ and asked that the nearly 150-year-old festival be renamed to a more inclusive moniker.

‘Empire’ is a holdover from colonial times when it was acceptable to impose one nation’s way of life on another. The term was dropped by British Parliament in 1958; it’s moved on and it’s time we did, too.

But moving on doesn’t mean erasing our history. Prior to the society’s vote, Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay, city staff and members of Snuneymuxw met with the group to discuss tweaking the event to celebrate all contributions to Nanaimo’s heritage. Without the Empire Day Society, though, no one is spearheading that proposal.

McKay has put the word out that he’s looking for community groups to take up the challenge to organize a community heritage festival on the May long weekend.

We hope it happens. It would be a way for our community to march forward, literally. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see a parade with entries by Snuneymuxw, Chinese and Sikh communities to expand the cultural diversity of Nanaimo’s celebrations?

If that doesn’t sound like Empire Days anymore, well, that’s sort of the point. If that isn’t the way things used to be in the old days, that’s because the old days are history.

Just Posted

Neighbours petitioning against supportive housing on Terminal Avenue

B.C. Housing advises residents it’s considering site as a long-term location in Nanaimo

Coast Salish art unveiled at Regional District of Nanaimo headquarters

Following 2017 RFP process, RDN purchases First Nations art for board chambers and lobby

Nanaimo pot shops taking different approaches to legalization day

Day 1 of marijuana legalization sees unlicensed pot shops close, stay open

Motorcyclist collides with bear in Coombs

The man was transported to hospital

Nanaimo high school students cast their votes in mock municipal election

Dover Bay Secondary School students’ mock election ballot results posted

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Candidate lists finalized for Nanaimo, Lantzville, RDN, school district

Nomination deadline passes in advance of Oct. 20 local government elections

Election 2018: candidate questionnaires

News Bulletin’s questionnaire responses for Nanaimo, Lantzville, school board, regional district

Candidates make their case to be part of Nanaimo’s next council

Select candidates’ debates held Monday at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Nanaimo gets ready to rumble with Great B.C. Shake Out

Prepare for disaster drill by checking survival supplies and planning for real seismic event

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Most Read