A remarkable floating fundraiser for remarkable times

A group of islanders have found a unique way to host a covid-safe, socially distanced fundraiser. Thursday, September 3’s “Throw a Boat Down” event will be a paddle-powered, floating concert in support of RAVEN. The show will be livestreamed to audiences everywhere from a floating stage anchored just off the coast of Salt Spring Island. The audience is encouraged to attend by paddleboard, kayak, canoe, rowboat or unicorn floaties – if it floats, then come on down!

The concert features songs from rising star Luke Wallace, whose environmental and coastal themed music is a perfect fit for the marine location. With a full paddle’s distance between watercraft, Thursday’s concert is a covid-safe but splashy way to celebrate the start of the Labour Day long weekend. 

Wallace launched his new album, What on Earth, in early March and was set to tour behind the suite of songs at community halls and theatres up and down the B.C. coast. But covid-19 put the breaks on those plans, and he was forced to shelve his 1000 freshly pressed CDs and wait out the pandemic. 

Now, inspired by a summer of paddling around the Gulf Islands, Wallace is ready to call fans to a socially distanced ‘flotilla’ show. The live performance begins at 6:30 pm – high tide – and will also be broadcast via Zoom, with donations collected supporting RAVEN: Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs. 

Says Luke Wallace. “Though I’m grateful for everyone’s cooperation regarding our collective health, there are deep social and ecological issues that cannot be put on the shelf. This floating fundraiser concert is part of a new wave of creative solutions that folks are inventing to support critical movements in uncertain times.” 

“It’s sweet that we are able to gather in this way, on the water, to experience not only beautiful music together but also the community that has been formed around supporting Indigenous environmental rights,” says RAVEN Communications Director Andrea Palframan. 

“People across the Pacific Northwest have been backing legal challenges by Nations like the Tsleil Waututh, Squamish, Wet’suwet’en and Heiltsuk for many years. Through RAVEN, an incredible movement of artists, organizers, and activists have joined forces, holding fundraisers and organizing events to raise millions of dollars for First Nations as they assert their rights in court. The work that Thursday’s show is supporting makes it possible for everyone to enjoy a marine ecosystem that is rich in biodiversity and can sustain healthy communities.” 

Tomorrow’s floating fundraiser is also an opportunity to make an impact: thanks to a generous matching funds donor, every dollar raised at the event will be doubled. Donations can be made at https://fundraise.raventrust.com/float

For those lucky enough to be on Salt Spring Island September 3rd, this will be a high-tide to remember. Boats should be launched by 6:00 pm – high tide – to converge at the floating stage to catch this unique summer sunset show. 

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