Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wonder of Fire

Will wonders never cease?

I witnessed something today that was far from expected. My friend, and former colleague, Ken Lyotier lit the Olympic Cauldron.

I have known Ken for years. He is one of my personal heroes. I first knew him as a dumpster diver, aka known as a binner, in the 1980's. He had had terrible problems with drugs and booze and other health problems. He drove everyone crazy trying to set up a recycling and refund center for bottles and cans. He was serious and accomplished his task and employed many people recycling bottles, doing alley cleaning and other ventures in Vancouver. He hired the most unemployable to do the work.He also gave emotional support to many of us feeling defeated by the anti-poverty fight in Vancouver.He could calm an agitated room and focus people. He could smile and make insults and struggles disappear for a moment.

Ken Lyotier has always been the model of humble. He has now won many awards for his community commitments. He doesn't ever seek this kind of accolade and spent time today talking about the fact that if we have energy and resources to create something as colossal as the Olympics we could redirect the same energies and people to end poverty.

Ken stood there today in front of our Mayor, Provincial Premier and our Prime Minister and the leaders from many other countries and did it! He lit a flame. Now it is up to us to figure out how to carry the torch!

I love you Ken. Thank you so very much!

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