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April 15, 2021

Uplift festival blasts off this week

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Crew embrace for Uplift coming this week. Photo Manny Dickson
Crew embrace for Uplift coming this week. Photo Manny Dickson

Mandy Nolan

Uplift Festival is just a few days away, and for those of you with a soft spot for visionary, socially conscious and even esoteric speakers, plus conscious music programming, then this is the event for you.

The Echo spoke with festival director Chris Deckker about what to expect.

Chris, what is the vision for programing in this year’s Uplift Festival?

We are really excited by this year’s lineup, which includes many new presenters, including some of our favourites.

Our new programming idea for this year is to create a general theme for each day, which will guide many of the presentations. For example, Saturday is titled Love In Action and will include a moving presentation by Scarlett Lewis, the mother who lost her son in the Sandy Hook school massacre.

How are you incorporating youth projects into this year’s event?

The past years of Uplift have inspired a group of local youth to create their own year-round programs and events. This year we have enlisted their support for our expanded Youth in Action tent, which will include presentations, workshops and panels from dynamic local and international youth leaders. Some of the highlights will include a workshop series called artisvism, exploring how the arts can be used to inspire social change.

What are the programs that you are most excited about?

I am pretty excited by the whole program, but some of the presentations I am really looking forward to include Charles Eisenstein, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Scarlett Lewis, Lissa Rankin and the indigenous elders from many nations.

Of course I always love our regular presenters Bruce Lipton and Patch Adams.

I am also excited by this year’s music program, which includes sacred musician Mark Eliyahu and conscious artist Trevor Hall and the new outdoor stage which will feature kirtan and singer/ songwriters.

What is the long-term vision for Uplift?

Uplift is expanding from an annual festival into a year-round platform of events and inspiring initiatives to support positive planetary change and personal wellbeing. Our vision is to take the amazing energy and collaborations of Uplift and ground them into real-world action. Some of the projects we are working on include clean-water initiatives, rehabilitation of land, youth projects and more.

We are also launching our new Uplift web portal which will be a year-round global platform for positive news, discussion forums, workshops and more.

Uplift is on Thursday to Sunday at the Byron Sports and Recreation Centre. For program visit www.upliftfestival.com

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