Family Affair

It’s a fun and popular means of showing off your undoubtedly superior taste in music: sporting a T-shirt of your favourite band or maybe one from their most recent tour. Essentially, we pick our T-shirts to show our personal interests.

And so it was that Lynn Horvat of Vancouver went looking for a No Tankers T-shirt. When she couldn’t find any for sale online, she thought to herself, “If I want one so badly, I’m sure there are others.”

That began her No Tankers journey. After a bit of web hunting, Lynn connected with Dogwood and got on track to making No Tankers T-shirts of her own after submitting a special project form via our website. (Dogwood does have No Tankers t-shirts for sale at its office in Victoria but doesn’t currently have the capacity to sell them online.)

Lynn, her husband Philippe, and their three children Emma, Jas and Mia had T-shirts printed and sold them at cost for $20 each, and made it a family mission to get people involved and raise awareness for the No Tankers campaign with the new threads.

When Lynn and her family were vacationing on Galiano Island this summer, they took part in a community forum where residents discussed tanker traffic at the local community hall.

“The first sale of the night went to someone from Alberta,” Lynn says. “We’ve mostly distributed the T-shirts through word of mouth and people stopping us with them on to get one of their own. We’re still making sales every week. We’re about two thirds of the way through all 75 T-shirts.”

On September 1, Lynn and her daughter Mia, 13, set up a table at the UBC Farm in Vancouver. There they sold their shirts, handed out brochures and had people sign the No Tankers petition. “We got a fair number of signatures. At least a couple pages,” Lynn says.

“It was inspiring to see how much interest people had in the issue,” Lynn explains. She says people quickly recognized the No Tankers design and expressed support for the campaign.

“A colleague I sold a T-shirt to wore it to a fitness class. Someone in the class insisted on getting one for herself because she’s registered to speak at the public hearing in February.”

Overall, Lynn says it was a fun family activity. “It has made us feel less like our hands are tied and that we can do something to get the word out, be a part of this movement and be heard,” she says.

Lynn and her family also penned Letters of Comment to the National Energy Board against the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

“The whole experience encouraged us to participate as a family,” she says. “I think the trick is to commit to what you know you can do, and then just do it.”

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