Aug 23, 2010

CUPE and public water rock the day

VANCOUVER—Public water was a hot item at Justice Rocks open air music festival on Sunday. On one of the hottest days of summer, CUPE’s booth at Justice Rocks Music Festival was one of the most popular. Festival-goers appreciated getting stainless steel water bottles and especially being able to fill them on the spot with delicious municipal water from the portable water fountain.

The portable fountain and water were provided by the City of Vancouver and CUPE 1004 members. Vancouver tap water comes from the Seymour Filtration Plant – publicly built and operated in North Vancouver – and has been rated as the best in the world.

Pivot Legal Society hosted the third annual open air festival with CUPE as the major sponsor. Justice Rocks featured youth hip hop, break-dancers, and local musical acts including the Carnegie Community Centre Jazz Band, Maria in the Shower, and En Karma.

The event in Strathcona Park brought together six leading social and environmental change organizations. CUPE, along with other non-profit organizations, brought fun and creative public engagement tools to get the crowd excited about participating in social/environmental change.

CUPE’s booth was staffed by members from each of the sponsoring locals, along with local presidents. The booth was popular with the crowd who also appreciated the organic B.C.-grown plums, public services colouring books, frisbees, shopping bags and information. “CUPE is my hero” and “CUPE rocks” are just a couple of examples of the positive feedback.

Sara Kendall, the emcee, spoke about CUPE campaigns like Water Watch and the work CUPE members do to raise awareness about the risk of privatizing water. She talked about our challenges and the effects we see as frontline workers on cuts and lack of funding for education and public services.

Sponsoring CUPE Locals 15, 389, 391, 1004, 1936, CUPE Metro, along with CUPE BC and CUPE National provided prizes for a draw. Winners of the family passes to Maplewood Farm were Jo Phillips, Sherry Mossey, Mickey Holloway, and Farah Shroff. The $50 gift certificates to any activity or program offered by Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation were won by Debbie Oostindie, Anastasia Koutalianos, Jessica Wittman, Sweetha Mahendran, Korey Cotnam, and Michael McGahey. Entrance and ride passes to the PNE were won by Kate Andrews and Kimberly H.

It was a fun day and a great opportunity to build relationships and connections to people from other communities.

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