In partnership with the ANKORS team, Shambhala Music Festival announce last week that they have donated the final $10,000 needed for the purchase of a FTIR Spectrometer; an advanced drug checking technology which can detect many ingredients in one substance. The donation completed the GoFundMe campaign that ANKORS has been hosting for the past two years.
Shambhala Music Festival – which runs Aug. 10 to 13 at the Salmo River Ranch – has long been championed for their work in harm reduction and continue to pave the way for other live events to follow their lead. One of the teams that has been essential to this mission is ANKORS, a not-for-profit organization that provide harm reduction services at music festivals through on-site drug testing.
Their donation was in addition to the $32,000 that was raised by Shambhala guests through a ticket purchase donation option and other independent donations through GoFundMe. With better technology, ANKORS is able to give people who choose to use drugs more accurate information on the substances they might put in their bodies.
“Shambhala has supported ANKORS in this fundraising effort to obtain an FTIR Spectrometer for our community and to use at Shambhala every step of the way” says ANKORS drug checking coordinator Chloe Sage. “After two years we will finally see this instrument in action. I’m very excited to add the FTIR to our harm reduction service this year at Shambhala.”
Additional partners of ANKORS include Interior Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Silvina Mema, ASK Wellness of Kamloops, and the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU), who have been leading the evaluation of drug checking as a harm reduction service.
Results from a pilot study led by the BCCSU revealed that most substances on the street may not contain what people expected – 90 per cent of opioids and 6 per cent of stimulants tested positive for fentanyl. For this reason, it is imperative that Shambhala is using the most advanced technology.