National Aboriginal Day gathering to counter "disrespectful" Burrard Bridge yoga closure

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      By now, you've heard about Vancouver's Burrard Bridge being closed on June 21 to celebrate the International Day of Yoga.

      Announced by Premier Christy Clark and sponsored by lululemon athletica, YYoga, and Altagas, the Om The Bridge event will see the bridge closed to car traffic between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m.

      Kids' entertainer Raffi Cavoukian, who I blame for my having to sing "Down By the Bay" to my young one more times than I can count, has criticized the event for taking place on National Aboriginal Day.

      Raffi has even promoted the hashtag #shunthebridge on Twitter.

      On Facebook, hundreds of people have indicated they will show up for a counter-event on the same day to mark National Aboriginal Day.

      Instead of see-through yoga pants and mats, attendees are being asked to don "traditional wear and bring your drums".

      The event page calls the yoga celebration "disrespectful" and states:

      THIS IS NOT A PROTEST!!! This will be a peaceful event to bring awareness about Aboriginal Day and invite guests to our events. Please bring pamphlets of events happening in and around town to distribute.

      The Burrard Bridge lies in the unceded traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, and runs through a Squamish Nation reserve.

      Update (June 12): #OmTheBridge has been cancelled.




      Jun 10, 2015 at 12:15pm

      I wonder if Christy really doesn't get that Indians come from India, and National Aboriginal Day represents a completely different group of people. Wouldn't be the first time she's proven herself to
      be painfully clueless.

      ursa minor

      Jun 10, 2015 at 2:31pm

      Bring your drums...and airhorns, firecrackers, boom boxes, cowbells, vuvuzelas and any other noisemakers you can think of to disrupt the idiocy that AltaGas, Princess Photo-op, and Randian Luloserman want to impose on our city. No Justice No Peace.


      Jun 10, 2015 at 7:44pm

      Looks like the First Nations didn't already have anything planned for National Aboriginal Day? This is how they want to spend the day...? Protesting a yoga gathering?

      Vancouver closes more roads for more special events than I can list here. Some people go through life looking to be offended, it seems.


      Jun 10, 2015 at 8:05pm

      Why are they trying to do another event .. yoga can be any day ... the real celebration is aboriginal day to recognize the cultural heritage it's a day for nativeAmericans. ..


      Jun 10, 2015 at 10:38pm

      A) bridge is closed until 11am on a Sunday....sounds just like marathons, bike races and parades. Should we stop having those too? Or is everyone just mad this is for yoga?
      B)I think aboriginal day is great. But perhaps they should have thought of an event by now..or u know protest someone else's. That works too. Lol
      It all sounds like community coming together to share something active which is never a bad thing.

      PM Harper wants to call August election

      Jun 10, 2015 at 11:13pm

      Bring your yoga mat to that

      Clueless Premier from Kelowna

      Jun 11, 2015 at 12:29am

      This is how we do Reconciliation!


      Jun 11, 2015 at 1:35am

      You folks who are so obtuse as to assume that no one has "thought of an Aboriginal Day event by now" are as out of touch as Christy. The Aboriginal Day events are, as they have been yearly, at Trout Lake. The point of going to the yoga gathering is to raise awareness about that very thing and invite people to go. You prove the point that going to the Burrard Bridge event is absolutely a worthwhile thing for Aboriginal Day supporters to do.


      Jun 11, 2015 at 7:01am

      The funny part about non-native sheep who would attend this fake counter-event is that they are all living and prospering on unceded traditional territories. Besides, NAD is only an excuse to oppose Clark. If it didn't happen to fall on the same day then they would've have found another faux reason. But it is nice to see the exploitation of First Nation's is still alive and well in Vancouver.

      Personally I'm going to 'shun' this event because I hate fads and am sick of seeing women wearing yoga pants.

      to all the protesters

      Jun 11, 2015 at 9:02am

      The burrard bridge is closed many times a year, for sun runs, marathons, filming movies (just last Sunday actually), repair work, bike lane construction, etc.

      Do you take to the streets and protest every year for Roger's Santa Clause parade - because you hate Santa?

      Do you get out your placards every year for the TD Jazz Festival because your TD mortgage rates are too high, or because you think Erikah Badu is rubbish?

      Road closures happen, get over it.

      I wish people like Raffi would stick to writing cheesy songs for 5year olds and not tell us how to live our lives, and I wish that people would not treat Raffi's opinion any more than they would an opinionated coworkers.

      Btw has anyone actually read "Baby Beluga" as an adult? Its hardly a Dahl or Kipling.