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Two Acre Shaker to be relocated

Mount Currie Band refuses to allow music event on reserve



The Two Acre Shaker is being relocated after the Mount Currie Band of the Lil'wat Nation refused to allow the music event on the reserve.

The annual event, which brings a cavalcade of DJs and electronic music acts to the Pemberton Valley, was initially planned for August 13 on a property belonging to the Mount Currie Band. But chief and council opted not to allow it there.

A July 29 letter from the Mount Currie Band informed Two Acre Shaker organizers that Lil'wat government has not authorized them to host the event on its reserve lands.

"Our community has had issues with music festivals in the past and we are very concerned about your ability to ensure the safety of our own residents and visitors," read a letter from interim administrator Sheldon Tetreault. "You have not provided us sufficient information in a timely fashion to determine if you are capable of hosting an event like this.

"We have the legal right to evict any non-ban member from any reserve land at any time. Be advised that we will use this legal right to shut down your event should you proceed."

The letter has left organizers scrambling to keep the event going.

Kirk Becker, Patrick MacKinnon and Lon Plath announced in a news release on Tuesday evening that the event will be going ahead on August 13 at a "great backup location" and ticket holders are asked to stay tuned to or the event's Facebook site for the new location. All ticket sales have been halted.

"There was a gross misunderstanding as to the ownership rights of the property owner with whom we had entered into an agreement to hold the Two Acre Shaker," the organizers said in their statement.

"We attempted to exercise due diligence by consulting several knowledgeable sources prior to committing four months of time and energy, and considerable resources, to creating a new home for the Shaker. We blame no one but ourselves for the way this has unfolded."

Lil'wat Chief Lucinda Phillips said in an interview that the band was notified about the event through Facebook last Tuesday or Wednesday and met with the organizers for the first time last Friday. The event was to take place on a property that serves as a residence for band member Frankie Jim, who is currently out of town.

"We were not aware of the plans, we were not informed of the plans, and you know, chief and council have the legal liability for any activities that go on reserves," she said. "So not knowing any information about it was really hard for us to deal with.

"I think Frankie Jim himself had confirmed it probably months ago but they never ever consulted with Lil'wat government."

Information that the band hoped to get from organizers before permitting the event to take place concerned matters such as insurance, whether there was enough security for an estimated 1,000 attendants, whether there was a liquor license for the event and what would be done to ensure that the community would not be harmed in any way.

"They had provided us information by Wednesday or Thursday, but you know, for events with this magnitude, we would like to do at least four or five months of community consultation," Phillips said.

Phillips added the band had issues with music events such as the Pemberton Festival in the past, including security, use of drugs and alcohol, and youth partaking in the event - although the band does support the festival now.

She added that she's never had issues with Two Acre Shaker beforeĀ  - in fact, she hadn't heard of the event until last week.



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