By Ashley Joannu
Shane Gerard thinks he has a unique way to increase voter turnout for the provincial election.
Just throw a big party on the eve of election daywith lots of good music, and hope people will dance all the way to the polls.
Gerard, a1996 Ryerson journalism grad, is organizing the first “Get the Funk Out” event tonight at Gypsy Coop and the Hooch (817 Queen St. W.).
“We want people to get excited about going out and voting,” said Gerard.
The event is billed as a celebration of “the end of Ontario’s Progress-ive’ Conservative regime.”
A variety of music, including house, hip-hop, soul and ska will be played, featuring DJ’s Hali, Sir Jude, O.S.U.M., Gazza, unclue funke, and others.
The night also features sets by members of an electronic music group, LAL,and Masia One with D.J. Mensa
“It’s going to be very social, no pressure at all, we want to encourage people to get out and vote,” said Gerard. “This is just a group of politically-minded people getting together to have a good time.”
In case the music inspires you to cast a ballot, information will also be available on how and where to register for voting, and the kind of ID that you’ll need.
“The people who are aware [of the importance of voting] need to get out and encourage their friends to do it too,” said Rose Kazi, a member of LAL. “That’s what this event is about.”
Kazi saysa lot of young people choose not to vote.
“I think a lot of people have lost faith in the system and don’t think they can make a difference.”
Gerard thinks he has a simpler explanation.
“Young voters weren’t being addressed by the political parties in a way that was easy to understand,” he said. “Some people don’t even know how to go about [voting]. Especially university students who might have a couple of steps they need to go through.”
Admission to Get the Funk Out is free from 9 p.m.-2 a.m.