Congratulations to the 3-thousand plus citizens and artists who mobilized on Facebook to pressure City Hall into re-thinking the closure of the Boathouse. It is a facility unique to Kitchener and one that is worth protecting, and perhaps “cutting some slack.” Now it’s up to Kevin Doyle to strike a deal he can earn a living from with the City, and it’s up the City to look at the bigger investment in the arts. I’ve already had emails from two other arts groups in the City who, while impressed with the response, are wondering why they can’t get a better deal from City Hall. To them, now is the time to address it. The precedent is there, don’t use it to get bitter, use it as an opening to more security. Security and the arts aren’t usually on the same page, but the City of Kitchener showed last night they are trying to “get it.” Mayor Carl Zehr told last nights gathering to mobilize and build something here. That should be extended to others as well. Don’t expect every small pub with an open mike night to get the same treatment as The Boathouse…each case is unique and must present its own case to the powers that be. Last winter in Waterloo, a pub used social media to let everyone know about an over zealous by-law officer ticketing cars in the middle of the night and they listened. Present your case, don’t wag a finger or raise your voice, and like supporters of the Boathouse, you will be heard.