VANCOUVER—Lower Mainland CUPE Locals helped make 2010’s ‘Word on the Street’ a successful and fun event on Sunday, September 26. The event celebrating literacy and the written word was held in Library Square at the end of September. CUPE BC, CUPE Metro, CUPE National and Locals 15, 389, 391 and 1004 pitched in with monetary support and staffing of the CUPE tent.
Members from CUPE Locals 15, 389, and 391 contributed a lot to the occasion by volunteering at CUPE’s big tent on Hamilton Street. Members set up and staffed the tent, played music and sang, told stories, talked with the public, and even created street theatre about the UN Rights of the Child.
CUPE 15 member Randi Gurholt-Seary and friend Diana Jeffries put together a funny and entertaining street theatre installation using the concept of building blocks to talk about the United Nations Rights of the Child.
The two mimes wore bright pink wigs and arranged boxes that pointed to four UN articles: “Every child has the right to health and well-being, safe water, food and health care”; “Every child has the right to education”; “Children have the right to play and rest” and “Government has a responsibility to safeguard those rights.”
The rights featured were chosen because they reflect CUPE campaigns and the work that CUPE members do. Passers-by were delighted by the ingenious and novel performance.
CUPE sponsored readings by teen and adult author Maggie De Vries (“Hunger Journey” and “Missing Sarah”) and Aboriginal children’s and teen author Carol Ann Shaw (“Hannah and the Spindle Whorl”).
“Word on the Street is a great opportunity for the public to see what they own in public service,” says CUPE 391 president Alex Youngberg. “More than 40,000 members of the public come to this event each year.”
Word on the Street is a one-day national festival that brings communities together to support literacy and the written word. The festival is a showcase of local publishers, booksellers and authors and features book sales, readings and performance art.