Monday, June 28, 2010

G8 Come and Gone

After much planning and anticipation - and trepidation - the G8 leaders have come and gone to Muskoka without incident. The heavy security presence in my hometown of Huntsville, created a ghost town-like atmosphere for the most part. With no transportation operating for schools during the week leading up to the G8 Summit, many families took the opportunity to send their children for an out-of-town visit to Grandma and Granddad or simply end the school year early.

Eerie was the best way to describe the vibe in Huntsville the week leading to the meeting of world leaders. Fear of the unknown, and of unpredictable events that go along with hosting such high profile global meetings, seemed to have residents a bit on edge.

On the eve of the Summit talks, the Girl 8 event in Rivermill Park changed all of that for me. The concert in support of advocating water as a human right - cut through the sounds of military fly-by's and helicopters delivering internationally protected persons to the summit - with beautiful harmonies, gentle songs of freedom and protest, beautiful vocals from the Huntsville youth choir, and spoken words celebrating the strength of women.

I'd like to shout out a big THANK YOU to the talented organizers of the Huntsville Water Festival and Girl 8 for providing a venue for Muskoka residents to raise their messages loud and clear to the G8 leaders through , song, film and art - passionately and peacefully. You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me sing, but most importantly you made me proud to be a part of this wonderful community full of creative, artistic, passionate souls.