To the Editor,
Attending a council meeting this week, I was impressed by the amount of good will expressed by both sides of the Occupy Nanaimo debate.
I understand that among the proposals discussed with the mayor earlier in the day was that of the city facilitating the use of a currently unused building, (preferably near the city centre?) – a very good idea.
Maybe someone has already suggested the idea of such a centre becoming more than a place to debate political ideas and philosophies (debates which are desperately needed among all citizens), and having enough space and rooms to have a workers co-operative, like Mondragon in the Basques Country, open at certain times to the public, to see artists at work – glass blowing, wood carving, calligraphy, macrame, stained glass. There are a multitude of other crafts as well.
Further, we could leave our artistic mark on Vancouver Island, although it already has a good reputation.
I have been privileged twice in my life, to be part of such a centre, first in the early 1970s as Director of Community Programs for St. Paul’s Anglican Church in downtown Toronto, and secondly at the City of Vancouver’s old flying boat hangers on Jericho Beach in Vancouver.
In both cases, much artwork was created, displayed and sold.
Further, we could develop musicians and youth orchestras similar to the Venezuelan ‘El Systema’. We, of course, would work with local extant groups and would put on concerts.
I’m persuaded that we can do it together, including the essential matter of learning and practising democracy.
Funding? It’s out there.
David J. Weston