Last week, I attended an official #imagineOct20th event in Toronto cohosted by Torquil Campbell of Stars and Dave Bidini. The goal around the project/hashtag is to encourage young people to vote so that they can wake up to a new world on October 20th. The aim here is to encourage art lovers who probably won’t vote conservative anyway to get up and vote for literally anyone else.
The night contained poetry, speeches and political comments on everything from Aboriginal rights to anti-war sentiments. Artists performed songs that very much set the mood. Whitehorse did “Devil’s Got A Gun” and “Sweet Disaster” while subtly dressed in orange. The youngest performer of the night was 12 year old Brighid Fry who received a standing ovation for her song “Cartwheels”.
Charles Spearin from Broken Social Scene conducted a metaphorical play that illustrated what it sounded like when the parties don’t work together, and also if they did. While there wasn’t perfect harmony, it was listenable, and perhaps we’d have more liveable times if it would work out this way politically.
The star-studded gala went by super fast and included performances by Land of Talk (who I thought just disappeared), Donvan Woods, Jason Collett, Lowell (playing a new song), Sarah Slean, Emm Gryner and more. It ended with a finale of everyone singing along with Feist and closing rock from The Sadies.
“I don’t want to life in a world where I am afraid to talk to my hometown newspaper,” said singer-songwriter Donovan Woods. This echoes how artists are usually afraid to speak up politically in fear of backlash by people with opposing views.
This was a show full of optimism of a better future. All we need is for the folks in the room to go vote. For anyone. But Harper.
For #ImagineOct20th events in your area check out http://imagineoct20th.com/.