Les Wetselaar is someone most people in Revelstoke had an encounter with, whether they knew him or not.
The Revelstoke homeless man, who drowned in the Columbia River on April 20, was recognizable thanks to his big glasses and scruffy beard that framed a wide grin.
His friends from Sangha Bean Cafe are working to install a memorial bench in his honour and they are hosting a fundraiser at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre this Friday, Sept 23, at 7 p.m.
They will be showing Minimalism: A documentary about the important things.
The documentary is by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus, who go by the moniker The Minimalists. The two 30-somethings both left well-paying corporate jobs five years ago in order to lead a more basic lifestyle. They got rid of most of their possessions in order to focus on what was important to them — “health, relationships, passion, growth and contribution.”
They published the book Minimalism: Live a meaningful life and this year they released the documentary based on the book. It quickly became the number one independent documentary of the year.
For Amanda Hathorn-Geary, part of what she called Wetselaar’s Sanghan Bean group, it seemed fitting to honour Les by showing a movie about having less.
“It’s all about getting rid of the excess in your life to focus on what really matters,” she said.
The idea for the Les Wetselaar Memorial Bench came from Krista Manuel, the owner of Sangha Bean, and regular Bob Gardali. Others jumped on board to help out.
Entry to the screening is by donation. A few of Wetselaar’s closest friends will be on hand to share memories before the movie.