Voices of community members on Dodge Cove are featured in a live ablum by folk musician Luke Wallace.
Over the weekend, Wallace, returned to Digby Island to deliver the finished product, titled Us, to residents, and to sing at the annual art show.
“You’ve got to bring your deliverables home and so I came back with a stack of CDs and the timing worked back perfectly that it was the annual art show here on Digby Island,” Wallace said from inside a home while rain poured outside. “We’ve got a tarp set up and I’m going to go sing some songs in the rain and hand out some CDs and just really nice to spend a couple days after the gas storm has passed that we can spend a bit of time hanging out and not talk about Nexen.”
Wallace hails from Vancouver, but now resides in a 140-square-foot cabin on Salt Spring Island. He describes himself as an advocate for the protection of the planet earth and communities. A few years ago he was drawn to Dodge Cove while working on a documentary in Kitimat surrounding the Northern Gateway pipeline. A friend there told him about residents of a small, North Coast community who were living next to where Nexen proposed to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the Aurora LNG project.
After connecting with residents he performed in a couple of benefit concerts in Prince Rupert for the Friends of Digby Island. Then at the end of last August, before the Aurora LNG project folded in September, Wallace travelled to Dodge Cove to record and sing “I am not lost” anyone from the community who wanted to join in.
“I wrote that song when I was doing a record called the Kitimat LP, when I was working on the Northern Gateway project four years ago now. Then, I came up with this idea of a live project after touring the province for a few years realizing how connected all of these movements were and how seeing such overlap in the communities fighting to protect their rights to clean air and clean water I wanted to create an art project that kind of unified all those voices while still highlighting their unique stories,” Wallace said.
He recorded Us in eight different locations across B.C., and with each song community members were invited to sing.
“When you’re listening you’re hearing the actual voices of the people standing up for their community and for the planet,” he said. “One of those stops was to highlight the amazing story that was Dodge Cove and Digby Island and this community coming together to protect this beautiful little cove and the way of life that they’ve created for themselves here.”