MOOP volunteer Riane DaSilva from Denman Island (left) and co-coordinator Rhia Ironside were kept busy during Atmosphere Gathering.

Atmosphere Gathering cleans up nicely

Collected recyclables help feed the hungry in Cumberland

  • Aug. 25, 2016 6:00 p.m.

Jamie Bowman

Special to The Record

The party is over; now the hungry are getting fed.

After three days of intense music, dance, art and workshops at Atmosphere Gathering festival, a team of dedicated volunteers has brought Cumberland’s Village Park back to what it was. They’ve dismantled the stages, Big Top tent and myriad infrastructure, while the MOOP (Matter Out Of Place) team has the park super clean again.

It was the third year for the festival, organized by Cumberland Village Works, which again featured hundreds of volunteers and a stellar line-up of international and local music stars, plus art, culture and workshops.

While attendees were generally good at using recycling and trash receptacles, the MOOP volunteer crew of 18, led by Erin Matz & Rhia Ironside, walked the event site and campground all weekend, gathering compostables, recyclables and garbage.

The results: over $1,000 in deposit-return refundables. But this year, Matz, Ironside and the CVW producers decided that that money should go directly into the community. They chose the Comox Valley Better Life Centre, a local organization that engages youth and adults to provide food for the hungry.

The Atmosphere MOOP volunteers worked in shifts from 8 a.m. until 3 a.m., keeping up with the roughly 1500 festival-goers each day.

“We’ve been to festivals that claim to be about love and awareness, but leave enormous amounts of trash,” said Ironside. “We believe that celebrations can be clean and not produce so much waste.”

“We are so happy to have Village Park, right in the centre of Cumberland,” said Atmosphere co-producer Melissa Roeske.  “We live here, we love it and we want to keep it as the beautiful place it is. And, we felt it was important to give back to the Valley community.”

Meanwhile, presenters at Atmosphere repeatedly encouraged festival-goers to check out the village and many did.

“It’s looking amazing here,” said Matz on Wednesday, as she and volunteers put the finishing touches on the cleanup. “We have an intimate relationship with Mother Nature; we have a responsibility and we need to set examples of how she should be treated.”

The Better Life Centre has been operating six years, helping people in need and those who serve the community, buying food, preparing and delivering meals.

The group has evolved into a bottle-return service to fund its projects. “We have kids going door-to-door all over the Valley, leaving cards offering to pick up bottles,” said spokesman Carey Porcher.  “The kids are really behind this and we’re behind the kids.”

Both Better Life Centre and MOOP can be found on Facebook. Contact BLC at 250-218-9420 to arrange bottle pickups.

 

Just Posted

Comox Archives and Museum makes presentation to d’Esterre Seniors’ Centre

At its June board meeting, Comox Archives and Museum board presented an… Continue reading

Annual Denman Island pancake breakfast coming up

Local fundraiser supports many initiatives

VIDEO: Miners Memorial graveside ceremony

For 34 years, the Cumberland Museum and Archives has presented Miners Memorial,… Continue reading

Having a day in the park

A temporary transmitting station is set up in Filberg Park in Comox… Continue reading

Filling the gap rescuing relocated cats

Grassroots organization CATS seeking volunteers to assist

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

Most Read