Co-founder of Social Root Consulting Genevieve Huneault paints a rain barrel for the Five Acre Shaker. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Rain barrel project supports Alberni Valley artists, promotes sustainability

The Five Acre Shaker has teamed up with Social Root Consulting for this project

Port Alberni’s annual Five Acre Shaker music festival will host a rain barrel water collection project that will support local artists in the Alberni Valley while increasing awareness around water usage.

For the second year in a row, Five Acre Productions is teaming up with Social Root Consulting to “go green.”

Together, Shaker organizer Lance Goddard and co-founder of Social Root Consulting Genevieve Huneault have set a goal of creating a more sustainable music festival. They started out slowly last year, decreasing single-use plastics on site and decreasing the amount of vehicle traffic to McLean Mill for the festival.

These initiatives were so successful that they will be continuing this year and building on those first steps.

“It is important to us that we create an event that respects the natural resources that surround us in the Alberni Valley,” said Goddard. “It is important that people come and have a great time, but we also want them to act responsibly while they are here. If we can create a fun music festival that is sustainable then we will consider it a huge success.”

READ: Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker goes green

This year Huneault came up with the idea of a rain barrel water collection project as a way to team up with the Shaker and promote sustainability in the community beyond the three-day music festival.

“We have to do what we can to protect our environment on a daily basis,” she said. “The rain barrels will give people a way to support local artists and collect rain water for a number of different uses, which is becoming increasingly important as our environment continues to change.”

The 55-gallon barrels can be purchased by local organizations, businesses, or individuals. After that, it is up to the owner where the barrel goes. Some may decide to keep the barrel, while others may donate it to a deserving group. The rain barrels will come retrofitted and ready for use.

The project is multi-faceted, as it will highlight the arts community, give back to organizations that advocate for water sustainability and continue to promote green initiatives. The cost of the barrels will go toward paying local artists to paint masterpieces on the barrels, a donation will go to a local organization and the remaining funds will support future green initiatives at the Shaker.

“At the Shaker, we will host a workshop to offer more education on rain water collection and best practices,” Huneault said. “Before going to their final destination, the beautiful barrels will also be on display at the festival as an art installation.”

The workshop will be held by Louis Swann, who earned a certificate from the Rainwater Catchment Systems Association.

The barrels are available for purchase or sponsorship for $300. If you are interested in taking part in this project, contact hello@socialrootconsulting.com. You can also find out more on the Shaker website at www.fiveacre.ca.

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