Beverly Simms for many years, has had a vision that art could change the world. Going further, she believes that the change in each person can change the devastation of the environment in the world and in particular, water.
The conviction to focus on water came at the IofC Conference Centre at Caux, Switzerland where she attended an Arts Conference and learned through personal stories of the shortages of water in parts of the world. An Aboriginal Elder said to her ‘all the sources of life, come from the water’.
Through artists’ workshops at Caux and in Banff, under the theme ‘Bridge to Peace’, Beverly has given to many, meaning and purpose to the role of the arts.
Amidst reports that February 2016 was the world's hottest month on record, I was privileged to attend a presentation, the culmination of Beverly’s year long Residence at the Centre, on Tuesday, March 15th at the Banff Centre of the Arts in Banff, Alberta. In the words of Beverly, she, husband Ken, and musicians, interpreted ‘the sounds and sights of glaciers cracking, icebergs calving and polar bears splashing in the water.
Glass, porcelain, wood and other natural items became musical instruments giving a message out loud. A glass salmon represented the main food source affected by the pollution of the waters.
In her introduction Beverly said, ‘The Columbia icefields are sacred because they feed the whole continent. We are so blessed to be here and to experience its clean water.’ In a world where profit, greed and selfishness become the norm, Beverly says, ‘we can all do our part. We are the keepers of the water.’
Beverly’s husband Ken, has a love for creating poems and in this poem he describes his own realizations about climate change:
Sacred Chiniki Lake
I could see the bubbles in ice
showing me the depth
when it was clear I doubted
forgetting Nature does not cheat
the cracks and pressure splits
making the ice into galaxies
black holes captured by moon
of human dreams
In her introduction Beverly said, ‘The Columbia Icefields are sacred because they feed the whole continent. We are so blessed to be here and to experience its clean water.’ In a world where profit, greed and selfishness become the norm, Beverly says, ‘we can all do our part. We are the keepers of the water.’
So, let’s do it! Let’s renew our commitment to keep the waters clean for the sake of generations to come.
Joy Newman, Calgary