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TAKE TWO: BC’s First Annual Clean Air Festival, (An Immunocompromised Accessible Event)!

Protect Our Province BC and other advocacy groups to sponsor BC’s First Annual Clean Air Festival

When: Saturday Sept 2, 2023. 

Time:   4:30pm - 8:30pm

  • 4:30pm - 6pm: Workshops, Mask decorating, Snacks
  • 6pm - 8:30pm: Magic show, raffle, Live Music

Where: Trout Lake pavilion, John Hendry Park, East Vancouver 

Cost: Free! Suggested donation $10

Accessibility: Trout Lake is a municipal park with some paved paths across it and fairly even grass. There are multiple accessible all gender washrooms on site. We also plan to record the concert for folks to watch later at home.

After having to cancel the first attempt at BC’s First Annual Clean Air Festival due to, ironically, the poor air quality from wildfire smoke we are now once again set to go. Please join us for this immunocompromised-accessible, anti-Covid event with workshops on making DIY Air Filters, information about CO2 monitors and respirators, mask decorating, a fun raffle with exciting prizes donated by Opera Mariposa, musical performances from Geoff Berner and guests, and magic by Travis Bernhardt. 

Protect our Province BC, Safe Schools Coalition BC, Mask4EastVan and Do No Harm BC are sponsoring this event to show people how easy and fun it is to host a gathering in a safe way that recognizes our new reality of airborne pathogens and pollutants. “The right to clean air needs to be normalised as much as the right to clean water,” says Dr. Karina Zeidler. “At this point, we know how to do it, we have the tools, but the government refuses to protect people with them, so we will.” 

Vancouver accordionist Geoff Berner will be playing songs from his new album 7 Plague Songs and will have some guest performers. 

Geoff Berner says, “The Clean Air Festival will be a great way to listen to some music and build community that’s accessible for everyone.” 

Protect our Province BC and Safe Schools Coalition BC will be hosting a workshop on how to build DIY air filters called Corsi-Rosenthal Boxes.  Do you know about CR Boxes? CR boxes are proven to filter out pathogens like Covid and, quite relevant at this time, wildfire smoke. At least 10 of the air filters will be donated to enthusiastic Lower Mainland teachers who are concerned about a repeat of the “tripledemic” illness season that Dr. Henry admits is on its way. We’ll have handouts for parents and caregivers to give to their principals, listing our demands for clean air and masking as a part of our campaign for a safe return to schools in the fall. People are also welcome to bring materials to learn how to make their own CR box.

Face masks are a critical part of clean air policies, especially when dealing with viruses that can transmit asymptomatically and have potential serious long term harms, as Covid-19 does. Masking is a simple act of love—a sign that the person wearing the mask is considering the needs of others, especially the high-risk people who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who have undergone the most isolation and trauma. To make the Clean Air Festival inclusive of all people, including those who are immunocompromised, face masks will be required of all participants unless distanced while eating and drinking.  High quality N95 masks, donated by VitaCore, will be available for free.

It is unfortunate that even with healthcare collapsing, and the whole province choking on wildfire smoke, government and public health refuse to implement clean air standards. ASHRAE’s new 241 Standard, “Control of Infectious Aerosols”, published June 24, 2023, shows that clean air is the new normal, and all governments should be legislating these standards to apply to all indoor spaces.  It is our wish, with the Clean Air Festival, that people will be empowered with the tools to keep themselves safe, while also pressuring the government to change course towards clean air.

Protect Our Province BC is a grassroots group of physicians, nurses, health scientists, health policy specialists and community advocates. We are working together to help people in BC stay safe by sharing accurate information about the COVID-19 pandemic in BC, and advocating for evidence-based policies. Our ultimate goal is to end this pandemic through a vaccines-plus strategy that includes ventilation, better masks, and improved testing and contact tracing.

Safe Schools Coalition BC is a grassroots, non-partisan, non-union, parent- and teacher-led organization striving for improved, evidence-based COVID-19 safety protocols, primarily in the Kindergarten to Grade 12 public education system.

Do No Harm BC is a Nonpartisan action group demanding evidence-based safety measures in healthcare.

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