Five years ago, it was a little unlikely to see high caliber events in Truro.
It’s a little sad, but it’s true. In the years since, however, incredible work has been done within the town and county to see more and more high-profile events in the area.
We’ve seen Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, which did so well it’s set to return again this October. We’ve had three years of Nova Scotia Music Week, featuring some of the best musical talent the province has to offer, with the commitment to return this year and next. We’ve also seen Truro host the Coors Banquet One Horse Town, Rogers Hometown Hockey, and the World Jr Hockey Challenge, just to name a few.
Amazing collaboration and support from the businesses and community in general have helped bring Truro and Colchester County into the spotlight over the years.
This summer, it will be Rock the Hub. Three days of rock music in the downtown Civic Square, the same place Dean Brody, Chad Brownlee, and the River Town Saints wowed a crowd of close to 2,000 people in September 2016.
But when Rock the Hub organizers announced the line-up for the three-day festival, some in the province were up in arms. The line-up featured Big Wreck, Sloan, The Motorleague, Finger Eleven, I Mother Earth, Matt Mays, Adam Baldwin, Wintersleep, and In Flight Safety.
At first glance, many people’s thoughts turned to the huge names included on that bill. Some thoughts, however, pointed out what was missing from the line-up most: women.
Over the decades, the rock industry has been dominated by men. That’s not to say there aren’t some highly talented and successful female rockers out there. But in all honesty, it’s been a male-dominated industry, and frankly still is.
It wasn’t long after the announcement was made that Nova Scotia-based In Flight Safety pulled out of the festival because of that lack of diversity, with many in the local industry lauding their move and thanking them for their support.
Festival organizers issued a statement saying they respect the decision the band’s frontman, John Mullane, made, and are open to discussion for the future.
When anybody, no matter where they are, look at organizing a festival, they try to book those that are going to draw the biggest crowds. Do they have a following that will come to the area? Are those booked going to sell more tickets than someone else? Those questions all go into bookings, along with the availability of artists and the budget at hand. Not everything, or everyone, will be within reach due to a variety of reasons. This particular event isn’t funded by public money; it’s local business owners fronting the bill. It’s safe to say they have a limited budget, but they’re not letting that stop them from hosting this event and supporting the community. They’re taking a chance, because they believe in growing the community.
With this festival being scheduled for the downtown core, take a look at the businesses surrounding the Civic Square and how many of them are owned and operated by women. Females are becoming more and more successful as entrepreneurs in our town, that’s a fact.
Success in rural communities, including Truro, is done in collaboration – people supporting people, businesses supporting businesses, and the community supporting the community. If people aren’t willing to take a chance on their community, which direction will it end up going?