A grassroots charity held a dance party in Spirit Square on Saturday evening, and organizer Tod Dugas says it’s all about reconciliation and healing.
“Reconciliation can be involving everybody,” said Dugas, also known as DJ Saskatoon Tod, while spinning vinyl records during the free all-ages event. “Anyone that feels like they’ve had a wronged past… can come together in a healing environment where everybody is looking after healing.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s sexual orientation, race, religion… it’s just fostering a healing environment where people are all-inclusive,” he said, as funky beats blasted from the loudspeakers.
With his partner Mandy Dugas, he runs a charity that provides nutritious organic smoothies to homeless people on the streets of Campbell River.
“It’s not just your average smoothie, it’s got everything in there that they need for an entire day of nutrition,” he said.
Ingredients include berries, hemp seeds and a blend of so-called superfoods called the “green powder blend” – spirulina, wheatgrass, alfalfa, moringa powder and chlorella – which are “anti-inflammatory and help with the reduction of pain and swelling,” according to a post on the group’s Facebook page.
“We believe that a lot of the problems for people on the street could just be as easily solved with nutrition as with medication,” he said. “People who are on the street, they don’t have proper nutrition, so how can you have a balanced brain without proper nutrition?”
Mandy and Tod Dugas’s daughters were helping out with DJ duties at the event, which brought out an intergenerational crowd, including young children running around the dance floor with streamers trailing behind them.
The “smoothie campaign” has been running for two years now, and Saturday’s community dance was the second-year anniversary for Health With a Heart.
For Dugas, who is originally from Saskatchewan, reconciliation needs to happen between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and throughout the larger community. That was the spirit he hoped would prevail at the event.
“Everyone’s welcome,” he said. “Be prepared that that’s what it’s going to be like here, and don’t come if you don’t want to foster that kind of caring… I think there’s a lot of people that feel marginalized and there’s a big group of people that want to commence that healing process.
“We don’t want to wait for the government to throw money at it or whatever,” said Dugas. “We’re ready to foster that healing now.”
He said that anyone who wants to donate or support the group should check out the group’s Facebook page and send them a message.