Creative World is Canada's first annual arts and justice festival. The vision for this grassroots gathering was birthed out of an intentional Christian community living on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver's inner city, Servants Vancouver.
At a weekly meeting around the Biblical themes of creativity and justice, we began to dream of bringing together a diverse collection of folks passionate about God, the poor, and the arts in one place for a weekend of inspiration, learning and challenge. As we shared that vision with other communities, churches, and organisations it began to snowball. Others joined us to plan and dream, initially thinking to gather just a couple of hundred activists, practitioners, pastors and friends in recovery from addiction.
In August 2011, we launched the festival with Shane Claiborne and others bringing challenge and inspiration through workshops, music and art. We ended up with more than 500 people celebrating peace, life and freedom in a field that first summer. We dreamed of justice rolling down like a river.
There are a few key principles that have guided us along the way...
- Justice: We want to pursue justice in every aspect of the festival, from accessible ticket pricing to a grassroots, environmentally friendly venue and food practices, etc.
- Creativity: We want to engage the arts and the senses as a foundation for addressing issues of justice, providing space for musicians, art and artists to experiment and communicate.
- Global/Local Commitment: We seek to maintain a balance between local and international justice issues – linking local with international whenever possible, using any profits from the festival to support work amongst the poor in other parts of the world.
- Diverse: We will seek to engage a wide representation of the Christian church, pursuing ethnic and socio-economic diversity. We will be creative in finding ways for people with fewer resources such as people in recovery from addiction to participate as volunteers or with sponsorships.
- Subversive: We will not shy away from controversial conversations, speakers or musicians. Our stance will be unashamedly Christ-centered, but open to input from other traditions and viewpoints. You don't have to agree with everything you hear at Creative World (we don't!) but we hope it will be a safe space for conversation and debate.
August 10-12, 2012 we plan to do it again...with a few improvements. As the months unfold towards August, we'll be filling in more of the details, working with volunteers, and confirming speakers, artists and musicians. We hope to see you there.