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Artists form new group

Jon Spencer — October 1983

On September 12, several Canadian actors and singers announced the formation of a Canadian chapter of Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament.

PAND Canada was formed after a meeting in August with Harry Belafonte, President of PAND International, said Douglas Campbell, a spokesperson for the group. “We have come together to unite the arts communities and their audiences in a sustained and practical effort to bring about nuclear disarmament in all nations,” said Campbell, reading from PAND International’s Statement of Purpose.

“We call upon all governments to end any involvement whatsoever in preparations to wage. nuclear war; to demand that all nuclear powers immediately declare that they shall never be the first to use nuclear weapons; to support an immediate freeze on the development, manufacture, and deployment of all nuclear weapons; and to initiate plans for the immediate reduction and eventual elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.” reads the statement, which also calls for the funding of human needs, using the resources now being consumed by instruments of destruction.

According to Campbell, PAND intends to accomplish these objectives by educating the performing arts community on issues related to the arms race, and by providing peace organisations with distinguished performers for disarmament events.

Nancy White, another PAND spokesperson, was the Canadian representative to the PAND International Conference, held in West Germany in early September.

The conference was held in a Hamburg football field, and attracted about 20,000 people. The concert featured performers from around the world, including Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez. Ms. White sang “La Maudite Guerre” and “This is NOT a Game;” the former an old Acadian song, the latter a recent composition of her own. She was encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the concert, which ranged from folk music to opera.

PAND Canada will be holding many events in the months to come, including a massive benefit concert on December 4 at the St. Lawrence Centre, featuring Harry Belafonte. PAND can be reached at Box 23, Station F, Toronto, On., M4Y 2L4.