A day of music, comedy and Indigenous speakers attracted a large crowd to Snaw-Naw-As Nation in Nanoose Bay on Thursday (July 1).
“We decided just a couple weeks ago to do something special,” said Peter Hudson, who organized the event along with Tyler Bob. “The Indigenous community is hurting right now and I think we really need, more than ever, unity and support in our whole country.”
Admission was by donation and all proceeds were donated to the local organization Setut Group.
Hundreds of people attended throughout the day and many lined up at the gate when the event was at capacity.
At one time, Hudson estimated 300 people were enjoying the performances from about 25 volunteer artists and speakers from across Vancouver Island.
He said the choice to host it on Canada Day was intentional, but the gathering was never meant to be anti-Canada Day, but rather about unity and support.
“People are looking for answers. We are grieving as a nation — doesn’t matter if you are Indigenous or non-Indigenous, this is horrible what has been done and I think people are wondering how they can support this,” he said.
Tyler Bob, the owner of Mary Jane’s Pure Cure cannabis store, was busy the day of the event, but stopped for a quick photo. He did not have time for an interview.