On Friday night, I pulled myself away from the warmth of my little cob house, through the dark and rainy night, and into the Mayne Island Ag Hall for a few hours of volunteering at the First Annual Unfringed Festival. The Unfringed Festival (from what I can tell) is an effort on the part of the Southern Gulf Islands (of which Mayne is one) to become more engaged with each other and to work together to develop a greater sense of inter-island community (like there was back in the good ol’ days). So, they decided to give energy to the movement through an “All Island Theatrical Tour,” which would contain four plays written by islanders, played by island actors. Galiano, Salt Spring, and Mayne Islands each selected plays to contribute. The result was a night filled with four delightful and entertaining short plays, each wonderfully depicting various aspects of island life (admittedly, MUCH MUCH higher quality theater than I was expecting – what a joy!) and (for me) some quality time getting to know some very lovely people.
I worked side by side with Carol, Mary, and Susan as we prepped goodies for the audience members. Carol and I delighted each other with our ridiculously entertaining fixations on processes and procedures (Carol thrilled me with her articulately communicated step-by-step plan for the coffee and tea, and she was just as excited as I was that I had a pen and post-its on hand to create labels for it all!). Mary stood by and laughed along with us, and Susan was cool and collected as she laid out her decadent and delicious baked goods and managed to keep us away from eating them all. And Deb (who organized the whole event) put on a fantastic show and pulled the night off without a hitch (at least as far as I could tell) – what fun! 🙂
So, apparently there are about 1100 people who live here on Mayne Island (though it can get up to about 2500 in the summer). During my time here so far, I’m sure that I’ve seen more deer and frogs than people…in fact, on most of the days that I venture out, I go for miles without seeing an entire soul. But at least on Friday, I got a chance to meet and chat with some of the locals, and I look forward to it again, before the month is long gone!