Sections excerpted from the Vancouver Women’s Caucus – A Women’s Liberation History Project website. For the full story, written by Pat Davitt, go to Euphonius Feminist & Non-Performing Quintet.
“And as we (members of the singing group) marched as participants through the streets of downtown Vancouver with our picket signs held high for a variety of political events, such as the annual International Women’s Day March and rally, anti-war demonstrations, and pro-union and political fund-raisers (a variety of causes that we all supported), it began to occur to us that we could garner more attention from the broad masses if there was more going on than just people ankling up the street, chanting and sporadically calling out the slogans of the day. We needed something that would capture onlookers’ interest in a positive way, in a way that would capture their attention without putting them off the message. Hmmm. What about a song or two? Yup. That would work.
Turned out, that if you’re singing at/with people, they are far more likely to listen. They are intrigued by how you could possibly be walking up the middle of Granville Street in Vancouver and be singing! Really? Yes, really. And it gave courage and enthusiasm to the people we were walking with, who started to sing along – why not? It was more fun to sing than not to sing.”
“And when (and how) did we become the Euphoniously Feminist and Non-Performing Quintet, you ask? We didn’t start out our singing activities with a group name at all; we just marched and sang, and made it possible for others to sing with us. But after a couple of years and some consistency in membership, we came to realize that we would have to address the subject of Naming the Group … A little bit of free-association around the table produced The Euphoniously Feminist and Non-Performing Quintet: more or less in tune, definitely feminist, non-performing because we invited people to sing with us and didn’t expect that we would have to do all the work ourselves, and numerically – anywhere from two to six or seven women at any particular gig, depending on who was available. It was perfect!”