Tea Party Turmoil
24" X 48" oil on canvas
Available from the studio
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Back label writing...
The Tea Party parade is once again in full swing. The Oak Bay Tea Party is a weekend-long celebration of life in Oak Bay, a small hamlet that’s technically part of Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island in BC, but which clings to its own vibrant personal identity. Each year, half of the residents gather in Windsor Park for the sacred pilgrimage up Oak Bay Avenue and down to Willows Beach – the focal point of festivities. The other half of the community lines the route and cheers them on. Anybody can take part ... car clubs, marching bands, schools, daycares, police, fire departments, etc. Norman Rockwell would be right at home.
Community leaders can also be spotted, riding atop someone’s vintage convertible, polished to the teeth for this day. But this year, things are going to be a little different. Our beloved Ida Chong recently lost her seat in the BC provincial election, after 17 years of loyal service. Ida and I have been friends for 32 years, and I knew her well before she entered politics. I think she has done a great job for our community. But as I said ... Oak Bay whistles its own tune, even when it comes to politics. Although it’s sad to see Ida go, replacing her, I’m proud to say, will be the one and only Green Party seat in all of British Columbia.
I like to think that, in some small way, I was part of that change. I’ve been protesting the proposed Enbridge oil pipeline for the past year, with a series of paintings showing what our island beaches might look like after a spill on the scale of the Exxon Valdez disaster. With the proposed increase in tanker traffic on our coast, its a very real and scary possibility. These paintings have been on display in Oak Bay galleries for months ... sorry Ida. The Tea Party in Oak Bay is all about our community, and it’s that community and the lifestyle it creates that we need to protect. Our one Green Party representative is a start, but there’s a long way to go. Perhaps an oil spill painting of Willows Beach is next on the easel ... hmm. Mark Heine