Awakening Festival June 18
Celebrating ‘the little town with the big heart’
The $55 pass gives participants access to some of North America’s most innovative thinkers in the realms of family, wellness, community, nature, spirit and culture.
by JULIE CADIEUX
HUDSON — Awakening Festival co-ordinator Lianne Bridges’ concerns about her home town’s future prompted her to take positive action.
“The talk around town is that our community is losing restaurants and stores and that people are worried about the possibility of the fabric of Hudson coming apart,” says Bridges, the mother of two and widow of Hudson councillor Robert Parkinson. “What we’re feeling on a local basis is what is happening globally.”
She wants to fill the vacuum with a positive message, centred on the Saturday, June 18th event, which she describes as another first for the “little town with the big heart.”
As Lianne explains it, the idea for the festival grew out of the spreading reputation of Hudson as the first town in North America to ban the non-agricultural use of pesticides. Hudson’s role, and the North American anti-pesticide movement that it sparked, led to the Emmy-nominated documentary A Chemical Reaction.
The June 18 Awakening Festival will draw resource people and participants from across North America to explore healthy, sustainable, socially conscious and creative living, with the purpose of improving lives and strengthening communities.
“The world is going through unprecedented change – natural and environmental disasters, economic and political instability,” says Bridges. “People are feeling disconnected, even in small communities like ours. The Awakening Festival is about bringing people together to connect, share and expand. By bringing together the elements that we cherish most in our lives – family, wellness, community, nature, spirit and culture – we can help each other awaken to our deeper purpose and learn to thrive in these very challenging times.”
For Hudsonites, Bridges hopes the event will provide the opportunity to celebrate their community by seeing it through the eyes of visitors here to “experience the uniqueness of Hudson.”
“We are gathering speakers and participants from across the U.S. and Canada, because we know what an amazing place this is and we want to share it with others and inspire other communities.”
Some 20 community organizations are participating, from the Hudson Artists Association to le Nichoir and Pure Art, with net proceeds going to support the Westwood Bridge to Burundi project. Everything takes place either outside or within the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre.
“We also have dozens of local vendors of healthy, green, fair trade products and services participating in our free outdoor marketplace,” said Bridges. “We have a Kids’ Program which is truly unique. Many community organizations have combined to offer an outstanding day for the kids including yoga, empowerment program, community leadership, native wisdom, communing with nature, drumming and a huge art project with the Hudson Artist Association.”
The kids’ program is sold out, but Lianne is already planning on expanding it next year.
The lineup of speakers for the paid-admission events includes Paul Tukey, producer of A Chemical Reaction; Ted Carter and Ellen Gunter, co-authors of REUNION: How to Heal Our Connection to the Earth; Stéphane Bensoussan, holistic health and education psychologist and author of Mieux vivre avec le cancer: Les solutions naturelles pour atténuer les symptoms; Martine Irman, senior corporate executive and member of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™; and Stephen Schettini, mindfulness expert and author of The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit and What I Learned.
Also, there will be expert-led workshops on Creative and Spiritual Expression, Healthy and Sustainable Living, Community Engagement and Purpose-Centred Work.
Tickets are $55 for adults and $15 for children seven and up for the full day. For more info: http://www.AwakeningFestival.org and http://www.DesigningTransformation.com
The Hudson St-Lazare Gazette – June 8th 2011