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posted November 11, 2006


Canadians, including newcomers, can handle the weather. There seemed to be rain almost everyday this past October. But here’s what still went on:

October 1: the Farmers’ Market Tasting Fair: a cloudy day but only one shower. There were as many recreational eaters as last year, and the money raised went toward buying some excellent market tents. Liz Martin donated $70 to the park from sales of her Street Food book. Everyone cooked enough delicious food , but not a scrap was left over. The gifted conductor of this “orchestra” was market manager Anne Freeman.

October 28: Night of Dread. The seventh annual community parade and celebration seemed doomed by rain and high winds. The rain stopped an hour before the parade and almost 300 people came out, many in wonderful costumes. A police car lost a muffler coming into the park, but otherwise the parade went off perfectly. Afterwards the fire twirlers and the musicans performed in the park, the fears were burned without torching any people, the soup and bread were served from the park oven, and then everyone went home. The rain began again fifteen minutes later.

Organized by Clay and Paper Theatre, with David Anderson as the parade master. David was optimistic all day long, never discouraged, but afterwards he admitted he was as shocked as everyone else, that the event worked out so well again.

October 29: Purewawa festival: This was a first-time festival organized by musician Chie Yamano and many friends, for a Japanese charity called Japan-Heart. From Chie: "Japan-Heart is an organization, led by one doctor, Hideto Yoshioka, who is dedicated to providing life-saving medical care to under-privileged children living in remote villages in Myanmar. We have chosen Japan-Heart for this year’s charity, as it is a small organization that is actively saving lives one child at a time. Money donated goes directly to the source, as little is needed for administration." Despite bitter winds that knocked out power elsewhere, the friends put on their festival, with a story tent, food, and beautiful music. If the wind had knocked out the park power too, it would not have been a problem, since the music sound system was run off a solar panel mounted on top of a shiny green bus parked on the basketball court.

Nasty weather often makes events friendlier. People gathered around the campfire, or danced to the music on the basketball court. The old man who often plays his mouth organ in the park, for the park staff and the squirrels, spent most of the day at the festival. He walks with two canes, but on that day he used the canes to steady himself as he swayed to the music. Music crosses the Japanese / Portuguese divide, and the age/youth divide, just as easily as it crosses other barriers.

At the end of the festival Chie found that despite the bitter weather, she had collected over $500 in donations for the Japanese doctor who works with kids in Myanmar.

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