We can make it happen with the Wakefield Ensemble


by admin on April 28, 2011

The Editor,

If you have been following the Wakefield News, you would have seen the announcements for launching a newly re-vitalized Wakefield Ensemble. Formed 10 years ago by several village luminaries, including Phil Cohen, Neil Faulkner and Stan Carlson, among others, it has recently been quiet, but there are now rumblings of a reawakening, led by current president Andrew Salkeld.

With all the amazing activism in the village, in the municipality and the MRC des Collines, the question has been asked: “Do we need another group when we have so many active people fighting for issues the village holds dear?”

Wakefield Ensemble has a solid foundation in its constitution which expresses well the values we are currently fighting for: to protect the heritage nature of the village; promote improvements in the physical environment; encourage socio-cultural activities; raise funds for village activities; maintain a dialogue with all levels of government.

It is a legal entity which can provide legitimacy and accountability for village activities, the best example being the insurance and legal coverage provided for the Trails under Ken Bouchard, enabling us to participate in provincial and national programs, such as the Trans Canada Trail.

In the past, Wakefield Ensemble, WE to its friends, sponsored new parks along Riverside Drive, spring clean-ups and general “beautification” schemes — and the PPU. It was the cradle from which Wakefield Theatre was launched.

But now it must become something broader and more comprehensive. Wakefield has been pushed aside in the fight on industrial development, the highway and spring and septic waste management. Thanks to an incredible upsurge of concerned citizens, Wakefield is fighting back.  This is where a re-vitalized WE can come into its own.

As well as recent activism, Wakefielders have created an incredible breeding ground for artistic, environmental, social and appropriate commercial action – whether Scouts and hospital committees, festivals, Arts Tour, Fair Trade, films and rock shows, Commerce Wakefield, our very own Grannies and the new Community Centre. Can WE support these independent activities by providing an organization based on individual memberships, offering regular town hall meetings as a focus for village discussion and representation and providing opportunities to exchange information, volunteers and tactics?

At the launch May 4, WE will offer itself as just such an umbrella group, allowing space for all, whether artists or activists, helping us to understand each other and work together and enabling us to manage our place in the larger political and regional community.

WE invites all individuals and groups to join in strengthening this platform to protect all we hold dear, in the arts, in the environment, in sustainable development that protects our heritage, that takes advantage of our unique population, French, English and immigrant, settler and autochtone, young and old, working and retired. See you there.


Carolyn McAskie

Wakefield, Quebec