One American and a bunch of crazy English people. That’s how it began. The American who bought a boat to employ actors in memory of his theatre royalty relations, and the English friends he made along the way. United by their shared (borderline obsessive) love for London’s centuries old canals.
The English people helped the American guy as best they could. As a businessman he was a basket case. In the end they could only offer condolences as his life savings disappeared.
But while the American was bad at making money, he was good at spotting overlooked cultural heritage resources. His English friends agreed with him, London’s canals didńt get their due.
Nor were they properly utilised. A fundamental disconnect between Borough government (which controls adjacent land), and the Canal and River Trust (which owns the towpath and waterway) requires duplicate applications. add in the requirement for £10mm of liability insurance, and it’s a wonder anyone does anything on the canal.
That’s unfortunate. Because Londoners’ need for the canal, and its utility will only increase as climate change kicks in. As a refuge from the heat, and as laboratory, training center and showcase for solar power, battery storage and lower carbon footprint, healthier lifestyles critical for our species’ survival.
So the friends got together and created a CIC, a grant eligible entity that apply for grants and pursue the vision. Their most recent U.S. State Department “Diplomacy Grant” convened some of London’s best spoken word poets with world leading climate change researchers to create what should become an annual climate slam.
Videos here, here and here, show how we transform individual sites along the canal with music and art. Here’s a video snippet shows how a basic knot-tying class strengthens family bonds. And here is Sir Tony Robinson, inviting you to get involved with our plans for 2024, A floating market that circumnavigates London, with music, art, athletics and crafts… all the aspects of a proper festival, re-appearing every two weeks at another location on the canal.
Each market concludes with a Town Hall, a stakeholders’ meeting for residents to get together and discuss if this is something they’d like to see again next year. And to ask themselves, what would they like to do about it?
That’s where the fun starts.