Some West Kootenay environmentalists have found a unique way of joining the audience converging on Silverton, BC to attend the Convergence Writers’ Weekend May 13 to 14.
Members and supporters of Kootenays for a Pipeline-Free BC will leave Nelson, BC May 12 to cycle through the Slocan Valley in time to arrive in Silverton for the evening opening event of the writers’ weekend. The weekend features two well-known environmental authors participating in talks, workshops and panel discussions on the theme of “The Spirit in the Landscape.”
“It’s great we can ride to the Convergence weekend in Silverton,” said ride co-organizer Keith Wiley. “The gathering’s topic is a lot of what riding the Kootenay Loop is about: feeling the spirit of this beautiful place.”
Wiley, a co-host of Kootenay Co-op Radio’s EcoCentric program, helped organize two previous “Bikes Not Pipes” tours of the Nelson-New Denver-Kaslo-Nelson loop to protest the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines in 2014 and 2015.
“Self-powered transport is going to be a bigger part of our clean energy future, and we can enjoy it now,” Wiley said. “This year’s tour is about a wonderful ride through a beautiful landscape and about keeping in mind that we’re moving to a new future.”
Headline speakers at Silverton are Sharon Butala of Calgary, best known for her 1994 memoir of Saskatchewan ranch life, The Perfection of the Morning, and J. Edward Chamberlin of Halfmoon Bay, BC, whose If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?: Finding Common Ground (2003) explores how stories and songs locate people, including aboriginal groups worldwide, within a landscape. More information about the Convergence Writers’ Weekend, including how to register, is available at www.heartsrest.com/convergence/convergence-writers-retreat
The Bikes Not Pipes ride will leave Nelson at noon May 12 and overnight in Winlaw, arriving at Silverton the next day. Following the close of the Convergence Writers’ Weekend, the tour will leave Silverton on May 14, overnight in Kaslo, and reach Nelson on May 15. More information, including how to participate, is available from Wiley at 250-777-2020, John Alton at 250-777-1504, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wiley stresses that riders are welcome to join in at any stage of the ride. The sponsoring organization for the Bikes Not Pipes tours, Kootenays for a Pipeline-Free BC, is a Nelson advocacy group that raises awareness about the dangers of oil pipeline development and other environmental threats.
Previous Convergence Writers’ Weekends were held in New Denver in 2012 and 2013. Financial support for this year’s convergence has come from the ProVision Fund of the BC Conference of the United Church, Area H of the Regional District of Central Kootenay, and the Columbia Basin Trust.