It is said that you can’t judge a book by its cover but, in my opinion, you can judge a place by its people.
In the past few months, Cape Breton lost two wonderful artists. Carol Kennedy was a gifted photographer but also a wife, mother, actor, force of nature and friend to all. Like most artists, Carol had very little in the way of health or insurance coverage.
Dave McKeough was an extraordinary musical talent who played guitar with a who’s who of Canadian artists. He and his lovely wife Donna were killed in a car accident leaving three children behind.
In both cases, the Cape Breton arts community came together as one to support them and their families. They created a beautiful evening to celebrate Carol’s life and raise a good deal of much needed support, both spiritual & financial. They even managed to Skype Carol into the event.
Within days of the McKeough accident, the music community planned and hosted an event that raised $94,000 for the benefit of the children.
In both cases, the community acted with focus, dedication and selflessness. This wasn’t something they had to do. It was something they needed to do.
Visitors to Cape Breton will always talk about the beautiful scenery and how great the music is. They will also often talk about the friendliness of the people they met.
It was a personal privilege to have known and worked with both these wonderful artists. It is also a privilege to live on an Island where people care so deeply and look out for one and other so readily.