Banjo player Edward Pearson will be among the entertainers at Peace In! Peace Out! at the USCC Community Centre on Friday. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Marathon variety show for peace starts Friday in Grand Forks

Peace In! Peace Out! brings together entertainers from B.C. and beyond for a 24-hour fundraiser

To mark the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21, the Boundary Peace Initiative will be hosting Peace In! Peace Out!, a 24-hour celebration featuring music and talent from B.C. and neighbouring states.

“This is a peace-in,” explained talent organizer Dave Soroka. “Like the old love-ins and sit-ins,” he explained. The event commemorates a 1981 United Nations unanimous resolution to mark a day “for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.”

The event, which begins at 4 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the USCC Community Centre in Grand Forks, is a fundraiser for the Boundary Peace Initiative so that the group can bring speakers to the area to present on world peace initiatives.

“We are raising funds and awareness while focusing on non-violent solutions to the ills that plague our world,” said organizer Laura Savinkoff.

On the day (and night) of the celebration, punk, folk and country acts will share the stage with local fire and light dancers Luminosity, as well as other Boundary groups like the R’Amens, the Alley Cats, the Cuthberts and Anna Ham.

“It’s gonna have the look and feel of a bunch of small-town folks trying to put on a big show,” Soroka said.

The Grand Forks musician has invited fellow performers he’s met through years of touring to join him on Friday – among them is Prince George singer-songwriter Raghu Lokanathan, an entertainer who has bent the ears of many keen listeners.

“He writes about stuff that not everyone writes about, and his songs say something,” the late CBC storyteller Stuart McLean once said. “He tells stories with music, and, often, those stories are surprising.”

Soroka said he’s looking forward to some cross-over time in the middle of the night on Friday. “After all the punk music and the burlesque and all that,” he said, “at four in the morning, I’m going to take the stage.” At that time, any willing musicians will be welcome onstage for “Dave and Friends.”

At a more reasonable hour, 11 a.m. on Saturday, the children’s talent show kicks off. Any child who is interested or anyone who knows someone 12 or under who would like to showcase their talent can show up on the day – the schedule is first-come, first-served.

Peace In! Peace Out! runs from 4 p.m. on Sept. 20 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the USCC Community Centre in Grand Forks. Admission is by donation.

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