Message from Doris Middleton

I would like to thank the OPSEU Executive Board for their support of the Mariposa Folk Festival 2012.. Mariposa Folk Festival this year was a resounding success. Attendance this year was close to 20,000, over a 2 1/2 day period. Many OPSEU members,retirees and potential OPSEU members were in attendance.

As many of you know OPSEU has been a sponsor of this festival for a number of years.  The exposure that OPSEU receives because of this sponsorship is immense.  In the weeks leading up to the festival OPSEU was mentioned in all the Mariposa ads on the local radio stations and maybe beyond.

The OPSEU logo appeared 8 times in this year’s festival printed program book, including one full page ad. OPSEU banners were hugely apparent at the main entrance to the festival, at the beer tent, at two large stages and throughout the festival there was repeated announced promotion of OPSEU at each workshop/concert that was at an OPSEU sponsored stage.

Billy Bragg and Johnny Clepp were the headliners on Sunday night on the main stage and OPSEU was the co-sponsor that evening. Bragg is a British musician whose career for over 30 years has been centred on left wing activism.   Bragg made positive mention of OPSEU during his performance.  It was absolutely riveting to hear this wonderful singer and activist.

Exposure of this kind cannot be underestimated. During these difficult times for unions by way of continual right wing and media attacks and diminishing
union density, events such as this put unions in a positive light, in this case, particularly OPSEU.

I urge OPSEU to continue on with its support for this festival that so clearly represents what labour’s ideology is all about.

In solidarity and friendship.

Doris Middleton
President, North Simcoe Muskoka and District Labour Council
Former OPSEU Region 3 Vice President and Executive Board member
OPSEU Retiree

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