Raven Trust and Sustainable Events

LÜMI donates 1% of all proceed to Raven Trust, our charity partner.  Brianna LePiane, Product Lead for LÜMI sits down with Caitlyn Kerr, Event and Business Outreach Coordinator at Raven to learn more about their mission and sustainable events.  

B: We believe your mission is so important and aligned with our mission to pursue a healing journey for ourselves and the planet. Tell us a about your mission at Raven Trust and your role as Event and Business Outreach Coordinator. 

Raven Trust

C:  RAVEN is a registered charity with a mission to raise funds for Indigenous People's access to justice. My role as the Event and Business Outreach Coordinator is to assist in the organizing of events and support organizers around the country who are wanting to host a fundraising event for RAVEN. I also support and communicate with businesses who donate about different ways they can support and fundraise while ensuring we highlight them for the awesome work they do!   I’m about to complete my sustainable event management program from BCIT which informs my approach to event organizing at Raven. 

B: What can event planners do to make their events more sustainable?  

C: It’s best to measure your current events carbon footprint to understand where you can adjust first. It’s important to know where you can start making changes.  If it’s a first event, try starting with the little things like your coffee or food selection and making sure that it comes from an ethical supply chain and investigate what sustainability practice the supplier has in place. Each event is different and its important to look at what type of event you are planning to better understand where you can have more sustainable practices. 

Look at all your sustainability efforts as opportunities to have a conversation with your stakeholders. Create marketing content highly visible and physically at the point where guests are enjoying that product or service that is part of the event experience. The more stakeholders know about sustainable practices at events the more they will ask what other events are doing. 

B: What can folks do to support reconciliation work at events?

C: The first step in the journey to reconciliation is understanding the territory the event is taking place. Invite the Nations of who’s traditional unceded territory your event will be held on to be part of the planning process from the beginning. 

B: The Festival Afloat series was incredible!  Tell us more about the events and the funds raised?  How will those funds be used?

C: It was magical. This year we had a total of 6 shows - 2 on Salt Spring Island, 2 in Victoria, one in Vancouver and one in Montreal! We had high interest but due to COVID restrictions many organizers in Ontario were unable to plan. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor we had matching donations at each concert and have raised over $70,000!!

Sustainable Event

The Salt Spring and Vancouver show funds are going towards the Heiltsuk campaign. The Heiltsuk Nation is in the process of a groundbreaking Indigenous Environmental Assessment project. It pairs western science with traditional knowledge to uncover the full impacts of the Nathan E Stewart disaster, while drafting a way forward to restore ecosystem health. Those donations and contributions support the Heiltsuks legal challenge launched towards BC, Canada, and The Kirby Corporation to enact Heiltsuk stewardship values into law. 

The funds from the shows in Victoria are going towards the West Moberly First Nations campaign. The West Moberly First Nations are pursuing a legal challenge against British Columbia, BC Hydro and Canada for infringement of constitutionally protected rights under Treaty No. 8. West Moberly is asking the court to stop construction of Site C dam and order BC Hydro to restore the Peace River to its natural state.
Lastly the funds from the Montreal show are going towards the Wet’suwet’en campaign. The Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs have launched two separate legal actions to defend their rights and title from unwanted industrial activity, and to hold the governments of Canada and BC accountable to climate commitments for future generations.

B: We were happy to donate some LUMIs as another fundraising tool.  What can we do to improve for next year?

C:  We are thinking about adding LUMIs as an option to purchase ahead of the event.  Some folks want to donate but can’t physically attend.  Could you send those people LUMIs to their homes?

B: Absolutely! We have a fulfillment center in the Comox Valley and we can easily send LUMIs to your supporters individually.

B: What events do you have in the works now? And what are you planning for next year?

C: Truth & reconciliation date Sept 29th , Raven is supporting some work EA is doing on this to mark the occasion. Additionally, we are supporting the Heiltsuk Nation with an amazing unique event – can’t share too many details but it is called ‘Canned Salmon’ keep your eyes out for promo as it will be streamed sometime late October. 

For next year Festival Afloat will be happening again! We plan for more shows nationally which is really exciting and I’m dreaming about 7 shows on different waterfronts throughout the Lower Mainland. If you are interested in organizing a show or want some more information, check out RAVENs website here!  

B: what other ways can folks get involved and support you?

C: follow us on Instagram, sign up for our newsletter and you can always visit our website to donate to our work. Becoming a monthly donor is so easy, I tell my friends that donating what you would pay for one coffee or drink of your choice each month helps make a big difference.