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Public water was a hot item at Justice Rocks open-air music festival held in Vancouver on August 15. The event in Strathcona Park brought together six leading social and environmental change organizations and on one of the hottest days of summer, CUPE’s booth was one of the most popular.

CUPE 1004 members and the City of Vancouver provided portable fountain and water. Festival-goers appreciated receiving stainless steel water bottles and being able to fill them, on the spot, with delicious municipal water

Members from each of the sponsoring locals staffed CUPE’s booth. The booth was popular with the crowd and appreciated the organic B.C. grown plums, public services colouring books, Frisbees, shopping bags and information handouts. Some of the positive feedback CUPE received included comments such as “CUPE is my hero” and “CUPE rocks”.

Sara Kendall, festival emcee, spoke about CUPE campaigns like Water Watch and the work CUPE members do to raise awareness about the risk of privatizing water. She also talked about the challenges and effects of cutbacks and lack of funding for education and public services, as seen by frontline workers.

Pivot Legal Society hosted the third annual festival with CUPE as the major sponsor. The event featured youth hip hop, break-dancers, and local musical acts including the Carnegie Community Centre Jazz Band, Maria in the Shower and En Karma.

Locals 15, 389, 391, 1004 and 1936, as well as CUPE Metro, CUPE BC and CUPE National provided prizes. The Justice Rocks festival was a fun day and a great opportunity to build relationships and connections with people from other communities.