Welcome to MayWorks 2018!

Posted April 15th, 2018

The theme for MayWorks 2018 is “Human Needs – Neither Optional nor Negotiable”. We have chosen this theme because the reality is that human needs are being reconsidered. They are falling victim to the drive for fiscal austerity and, in place of the common good, there is corporate control of food, water, shelter and energy.

Hard won rights are becoming “negotiable” reversing generations of struggle to secure these as “essential” social rights. The social good has been replaced by the corporate good–pensions are unsupportable, health care has to be “cost justified”, homelessness is an economic calculation, and so on. The determinant of human need has become the bottom line of the balance sheet. But there is resistance to this path and always has been.

In this year’s Festival the concert tribute to Pete Seeger, his life and work, is an affirmation of the struggle for social justice and the dedication to social activism. In the essays you will find in this programme the issues of defining social commitments are examined not from the principle of fiscal balance but social balance and necessity. Those are but two examples from this year’s Festival.

It was the events to mark the 75th Anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike that prompted workers and union activists to form MayWorks. The aim was to celebrate the struggles of working people through the art created in those struggles.

Whatever your interest, we invite you to come and participate in the events that are part of this year’s MayWorks Festival of Labour and the Arts.

Glenn Michalchuk,
MayWorks Festival of Labour and the Arts