There’s been an annual soapbox cart derby down 4th in Kitsilano for the last 17 years. It’s been a locally run affair and a lot of kids used to take part – used to. This year was different as the June event was ‘passed-on’ to Red Bull due to a reported lack of volunteers and sponsorship. As this was the first time I’d come across the event, I knew nothing of it’s history and a web search hasn’t turned up anything written about it’s past. I’d previously had an embedded YouTube video here from 2003, however, the owner has now removed the clip (Jul 10).
This year, Red Bull set the participants minimum age to 19 and the event has changed from what appears to have been a real community event to something on a far grander scale. The thing is, what comes with the injection of corporate sponsorship is a big dose of risk management – hence no kids and a loss of community identity. Did I enjoy the event? Well, yes. It was fun to dip in to for a hour or so, but I’d have thought that it didn’t have the feel of events of the past for locals, and that’s a shame.
Enjoy the soapbox movie .