By Donny White
In light of a proposed anti-mask event in the community, the Board of Directors of the Jasper Centre has passed a motion stating their stand in support of public health measures to protect the community during this pandemic.
As an educational institution, the Jasper Centre has striven to promote higher learning and discussion not only as it relates to arts and heritage, but also the larger issues facing our society. Through our exhibitions and programmes, we have discussed issues relating to racism, women’s history, LGBTQ2 issues, immigration, environment, labour, Indigenous Peoples etc. Therefore, as a lead player in social justice, we strongly support the public health measures that have been put into effect to protect the citizens and we strongly discourage any attempt to undermine these measures.
The Jasper Centre has been directly affected as a result of individuals/groups defying the Public Health orders and the subsequent rise in covid numbers. We have lost many thousands of dollars worth of revenue through admissions and programming, fundraising and special event initiatives, as well as the virtual closure of the exhibition schedule and public programmes. We are at times simply operating an empty building between public health orders based on covid numbers. We know what it takes to defeat this virus, so let’s all start to adhere to public health guidelines and work our way out of this disaster.
As a Centre of learning, we do not tolerate the spread of misinformation that is destructive to our community and the institutions that operate within and trust the authorities will act accordingly when faced with defiance. We cannot afford another super spreader event as we have just witnessed.
Donny White is Chair of the Board for the Jasper Cultural & Historical Centre in Maple Creek. He can be reached at Jasper.firstname.lastname@example.org or 306-662-2434 (afternoons).