The anticipation was contageous as folks of all ages gathered together at Bellevue Park Bandshell area for a Butterfly Release event. The inaugural A.R.C.H. Butterfly Release fundraiser invited individuals or groups to purchase butterflies in memory of a loved one who has died, or to celebrate the strength and courage of people and families who are currently facing end of life journeys.
Lovely music was offered courtesy of Roman Peredun and Lisa Parlee of the ensemble ‘Shannon Road’ as well as violin duets performed by Emily Alexsa and Connie Irwin. A total of 240 Monarch, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and Swallow Tail Butterflies were resting in special packages as people continued to fill up the hill and grass area in front of Bellevue Parks’ Bandshell.
One of the people in attendance for the evening was Ian Bos, epic walker. Ian began a journey in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia on May 21st, 2015 to raise awareness, and funds for end of life care. Ian has a personal story that moved him into a ‘call to action’. “Hospice and Palliative Care is a crucial support to people and families facing end of life. What began as a pilgrimage to my father, has now become a crusade.” shared Ian Bos. “I have heard amazing and inspirational stories that give me hope to keep going.” adding “There are really extraordinary and dedicated people who give so much to the service of others (well being) through volunteering or working in Hospices.”
Ian has also faced challenges along the route from New Glasgow. Over and above the sore feet and weariness that can come from embarking on such an epic journey, Ian hears stories of loss and grief. “Some of the stories I hear and are shared with me, are about people who have died in a hospital or even alone because the community did not have a Hospice.” Ian shared that he continues to receive alot of encouragement and positive feedback. Ianswalk2015.ca is a place to follow Ian as he treks across the country heading to Victoria, B.C. in October 2015.
One sacred Canadian space is the Terry Fox Lookout area close to Thunder Bay,Ontario, a place that marks the end of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope on September 1,1980, when the cancer he was battling took ahold of him and travelled into his lungs. Terry Fox died on June 28th, 1981. As Ian reflects on the next part of his journey, heading north- west along Hwy 11-17, he thinks of Terry Fox. “I will draw inspiration and courage from visiting the Terry Fox Lookout and Memorial. Every Canadian should go there, at least once in their lifetime.”
Butterflies resonate with people as a symbol for new beginnings, transformation, and the delicate balance of life. Julie Premo, Volunteer Services Coordinator, A.R.C.H. gave the crowd a tutorial on how to warm up the butterflies and gently open the individual boxes, allowing for the creature to wake up, acclimatize, and flit off into the wind. People in attendance watched with a collective joy as the butterflies lifted off the box and into the breeze. Likely on a journey in search of Milkweed.
A First Nations Legend
‘If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.
Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.
In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish.
By making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.’
Judging by the nice sized crowd that came out to support this A.R.C.H. event Thursday evening, July 16th,2015 at Bellevue Park, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, there were many wishes flying into the heavens.
‘The butterflies arrive individually packaged as young adults, ready to begin a new life. When they are released they return to nature to lay eggs and/or migrate.
The butterflies are shipped with cold packs in a Styrofoam shipper. The cold packs keep the butterflies in a dormant state. They have plenty of oxygen and are capable of living for up to 4 days on their own body stores. When you receive the butterflies, remove the lid and put the opened box into your refrigerator, this will allow the cool air to access the butterflies so they can remain in their dormant state until the time arrives to begin their warm up period.
About an hour before releasing butterflies, the box is removed from refrigerator, allowing for the butterflies to warm up slowly to room temperature.
Butterfly releases are possible from May through to early October depending on the weather and variety of butterfly being released. For a successful butterfly release, the temperature must be at least 16 degrees Celsius.’
According to the International Butterfly Breeders Association, when purchasing butterflies from a member of the International Butterfly Breeder’s Association displaying the official IBBA seal on their website or other information, you are assured that the butterflies are:
• hand raised and not wild caught;
• shipped with proper permits and according to USDA regulations;
• raised in sterilized staging areas using detection methods to minimize or eliminate disease and produce high quality livestock;
• selected for freshness and vibrant health, and packaged and shipped using methods and care to ensure live delivery;
• raised by breeders that have committed to ethical and honest practices in dealing with the general public and other breeders.
‘The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.’