Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be
By Charelle Evelyn on March 12 2014
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet are of
imagination all compact.” – William Shakespeare,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
PHOTO CREDITS: Christos Sargiogos
In speaking to Dave Mothus, Chad Bohanan and Karm Manhas, it’s not entirely certain who fills which role. But it takes the imagination of all three plus a cavalcade of committee members and other volunteers to puttogether one of Prince George’s most transcendent events. Midsummer’s Dream returns this July 18-19, offering up what’s known as an outdoor transformational music festival, featuring artists ranging from international DJs to local vocal talents and dancers.
The 19+ event expands to an extra afternoon this year, beginning on the Friday and going all night through the end of Saturday. For that time, the festival’s space located next to the Prince George Airport, is transformed into a space haven of music, dance, art and positive vibes.
“Culture is what it’s about,”
who’s proud of the fact that the festival can draw crowds of up to 500 people and they’ve never had any fights or police intervention (other than a couple of RCMP officers dropping by last year to watch in amazement at how the event was handled). “Everybody who comes, they get along, they harmonize. And that, in Prince George, is probably one of the most exceptional things anybody can hope for.”
~ “I have had a dream, past
the wit of man to say what
dream it was.” ~
The Prince George festival was sparked by a memorable experience Mothus had at Shambhala nearly a decade ago and he wanted to recreate that same feeling of togetherness and inclusivity back home in northern B.C.
Now in its eighth go-round, this is only the third year the local event has used the transformational festival model – and it’s one that organizers seem to be the most content with. The model is one that includes educational elements such as workshops and artisans.
“Ultimately, the event itself is a cultural medium for us to pass a message of personal, social transformation,” said Manhas. “By us living it, we are being more in tune with nature… and how can we change ourselves by living our social relationships and living that as an example.”
This isn’t something to just go and watch, agreed Bohanan, with the element of participation rising from the ground floor. The collaboration to make Midsummer what it is requires buyin from organizers, volunteers, attendees, performers, artists, vendors, etc.
“The whole system… it’s all co-created,” he said. The sense of community extends to after the festival wraps up for the summer, with a portion of the proceeds going to a selected charity. In years past, money has been donated to causes ranging from the local SPCA to helping fund a young Cystic Fibrosis patient’s travel to medical attention in the Lower Mainland. For ticket information, find Midsummer’s Dream on Facebook. And pick up the next issue of The Scene PG for more on this year’s festival.
REPORTER FOR THE PRINCE GEORGE CITIZEN
Journalist, west coast native, music lover. Made in Canada.