This weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the Tallack Martial Arts winter training festival in Kingston.
More than 150 participants aged five to 65 came from across Canada to take part in the festival at the Holiday Inn Waterfront this weekend. On the agenda were seminars and martial arts demonstrations, a banquet dinner and an award ceremony.
“The core martial arts help install … character, education, respect, compassion, dignity,” said festival coordinator Renshi Kyle Cochrane. “And one of the great compassionate things that a martial artist can do is learn how to give back to the community.”
The weekend event is also a fundraiser for Kingston’s Partners in Mission Food Bank.
Cochrane says it’s a chance to give back, especially for the younger people.
“If they keep doing it, they’re going to be used to it,” he said. “And if they’re used to it at such a young age, it’s going to be so easy for them to continue that tradition as teenagers and young adults and adulthood as well.”
Dan Irwin, the food bank’s executive director, was on hand to thank those that helped contribute.
“We don’t receive any government funding, so we rely on events like this,” Irwin said. “I couldn’t tell you how many thousands of pounds of food you’ve donated, but it’s a huge help to us and the community”
Cochrane says the timing of the festival just seems to be right when it comes to the charity.
“The food bank gets a lot of donations at other parts of the year, and these winter months, not long after the New Year, there’s a bit of a lull,” Cochrane said. “So adding this event at this time to give them a bolster to their donations is a wonderful help.”
Organizers say they’ve raised close to $150,000 for various charities over the event’s 25-year run.