The Lorax Festival is a mixture of education and art around sustainable forestry practices. Black Press Photo

The Lorax Festival brings sustainable forestry education and music together

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

This line comes from Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, and its the mandate of the Lorax Festival, which is being hosted by locals in different venues around town.

The one-day non-profit sustainable forestry festival is set to take place on May 25 with music in Spirit Square, events in Kinsmen Park, and a movie showing in the Lions Den, in the library basement.

Throughout the day, musicians Keelan Horne, Gerritt Shumyk, Pablo Euphoria, Alex Archibald, and more are set to perform at Spirit Square. Workshops will be hosted after an introduction at Kinsmen Park. Organizers also hope to have an “instrumental petting zoo,” with various instruments for people to pick up, play, and have fun with.

“The workshops are a big part of it,” said co-organizer Victoria Rozon.

Naming the festival after The Lorax is two-fold. The day is meant to be fun and family-friendly for anyone who wants to attend, enjoy the music, the workshops, and the film, and it is also intended to educate the community about sustainable forestry practices.

“Everyone that comes to the festival is the Lorax,” Rozon said.

The Golden Lorax Society is a community of individuals who believe that our forestry practices need to be more sustainable in British Columbia,” says the Lorax Society mission statement. “Unsustainable practices like spraying glyphosate, and clear-cutting, put our ecosystems and our communities at risk. These practices cause erosion, flooding, and contribute significantly to an increasingly devastating wildfire season. We speak for the trees because the trees cannot speak for themselves.”

The story of The Lorax retells the story of the Once-ler who built a Thneed from the Truffala tree.

After selling one Thneed, the business took off, and the Once-ler built a factory and began harvesting Truffala trees to make his Thneeds. The business drove away local wildlife, and the Lorax appeared to warn the Once-ler of the devastation it was creating.

The Once-ler did not heed the warnings of the Lorax and continued to harvest every last Truffala tree.

In the end, after all the trees were harvested and the forest had been decimated, only a plaque with the word “unless” remained.

The Once-ler did not understand at the time.

The Once-ler gave a boy the last Truffala seed and encouraged him to go and rebuild the Truffala forest.

On May 12, the Lorax Society is hosting a fundraiser for the main event at Jita’s Cafe with live music by Kate Smyles and Victoria Rozon and facepainting. The show begins at 7:30 p.m.

The following week, on Saturday, May 18, the public is invited to a reading of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at the library, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The Lorax Festival begins officially on May 25 at 1 p.m. in Kinsmen Park with an introduction and a community game before the workshops and live music.

More information can be found at www.rozonvictoria.wixsite.com/theloraxfestival.

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