On Christmas Day, I posted a blog with bad news from Vancouver…
This blog’s occasional Canadian correspondent Anna Smith’s 33-foot boat had sunk. It had been her home for 20 years. She is now homeless.
I heard back from her today:
I need to go to sleep soon as was down at the boat watching the never-ending shitshow till 0400am as they alternately try to tow, float or ransack the contents of my boat, which are less and less as they float one-at-a-time out of holes torn in the hull.
The first book to emerge from the wreckage, not surprisingly, was Madame Sarah, the biography of Sarah Bernhardt. She was adventurous, driven, ahead of her times and maybe one of the original ‘goths’, with a habit of sleeping in her coffin. I’m surprised that Sir Gideon Vein, or at least a photo of him, did not accompany her on her voyage towards the sea.
Then a plastic red-pronged Hallowe’en pitchfork emerged gingerly from a hole in the boat’s backside (well, transom), prongs first, and floated away in the direction of the book.
I knew I was something of a performance artist, but hadn’t realised that boat is too.
Anna’s friend and colleague Geetha Subramaniam has started a fundraiser for her at GoFundMe.
Geetha gives more details:
Anna has lost almost everything, leaving her in an extremely vulnerable position. As a high-risk senior with a serious heart condition (aortic dissection) she has nowhere to safely go in the midst of this COVID pandemic.
The sinking occurred in the early hours. Extremely dangerous conditions forced her to evacuate, leaving almost everything – even her shoes – behind.
She lost most of her personal and sentimental belongings, household effects, supplies and boating tools on board – everything from her kitchen to her bedroom and underwater.
Devastatingly, almost all the professional and artistic equipment that she acquired over the decades – computers, musical and photographic equipment, hand-made costumes, sewing and art supplies, artwork and even her favorite hats – are gone.
She needs to find safe housing immediately while she deals with the aftermath, salvaging and proper disposal of the wreck. Due to the extremely hazardous conditions of the site, this could require towing, cranes, heavy machinery and labor.
She has three disabled family members who depend on her for support., which she has since been unable to give.
You might be also able to help Annie in other ways, such as temporary housing (even aboard a boat!),
Annie is a valued front-line peer-support worker at WISH Drop In Centre , and has been actively involved in community-building and advocacy for numerous organizations and causes including LGBTQ+, feminist and human rights, environmental issues, AIDS awareness and public health education initiatives since her teenaged years in the 1970s.
She is a first director of XXX Workers Solidarity Association, which organizes Vancouver’s annual Red Umbrella March in support of sex-workers’ rights.
She has been involved in theatre, comedy, and performance art all her life.
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