Voting always felt like a chore to Mike “Funergy.” So he was happy to connect with a group of Grandview-Woodland residents Saturday afternoon to dress in funky costumes, wave signs, blow bubbles and dance on election day.
The festive mood at Grandview Park was in sharp contrast to the seriousness of a campaign with fierce debates and duelling candidates. A group of roughly 30 people rallied at Grandview Park Saturday afternoon at an event created two weeks ago by the local resident who self-identifies as “Funergy.”
He said the lack of excitement on election day was a trend he wanted to change. “I know all the reasons why I should go vote. So I go to the station, but I kind of have to drag myself to go,” he said Saturday.
“I go and I stand in single file line and wait and sort of go through this process but there’s nothing exciting. I don’t come out saying ‘yay! I just voted.’ And so my idea was to turn it into a little bit more fun event, a community event and get a whole bunch of people together and go as a group.”
The East Van Voting Party! encouraged anyone interested in participating to “Play, dance, hug friends, meet new people, and vote!” on Facebook. Funergy and his friends also used social media to share articles, videos of debates, and voting information to boost Vancouver’s low voter turnouts from previous elections. He added that when a city councillor heard about his idea, the councillor introduced Funergy to a videographer so he could broadcast his message online.
Erik Paulsson, co-organizer of the party, said he’s noticed “a lot of apathy” among Vancouverites on political matters. It was important for him to inform Vancouverites on how decisions made by city hall affect the city.
After an hour of rallying voters, the group headed to a local polling station. As they paraded down Commercial Drive customers in cafes and shops looked up from their seats smiling and waving at the dancing bunch.
“I had a feeling it would get a really good response because people are always looking for ways to connect and ways to turn things into something more fun,” said Funergy.