The debate over public funding for faith-based schools in Ontario has heated up once again, and a new voice has entered the debate. A small but growing religion called “Akimboism” has applied for funding to operate a school in Newmarket and they say they are willing to take the matter to court. “Akimboism” is a relatively new faith-based on the philosophies expounded in the music of Kim Mitchell and Pye Dubois. The fast growing creed seems to have struck a chord with residents of Toronto’s suburbs.
We spoke with one of “Akimboism’s” founders Craig Prince on Tuesday. He explained the origins of his faith and their upcoming court battle. “Like everyone in the late seventies, I knew about the music of Max Webster. But I thought they were just another ‘Crowbar’ or ‘Chilliwack.’ But that was before I heard ‘Akimbo Alogo.'”
Prentice is speaking about Kim Mitchell’s platinum selling 1985 album, famous for singles; “Go For a Soda” and “Lager and Ale.” He continued, “when I heard Akimbo, I realized that it was about more than music, it is a way of seeing the world. The first words you hear on the album are ‘might as well go for a soda, nobody hurts, and nobody cries.’ When I heard those words, something clicked, I quit drinking immediately and started playing the record for everyone I could. I told people, ‘life is like a bomb inside your head,’ we need to make it a bomb of love. I was sure that if we all just took a deep breath and cleared our heads, that love would triumph, and I believe that to this day.”
Throughout the Eighties and Nineties Prentice’s faith grew. He humbly spread the word, and in 1999, coinciding with the
release of Mitchell’s album ‘Kimosabe,’ opened the first church of ‘Akimboism.’
Now, things have gone so well that Prentice is prepared to take Akimboism to the next level. “We’re not going to hide anymore. I encourage anyone who finds this intriguing to attend one of our weekly BBQ’s. You’ll know us by our long hair and baseball caps, and yes…patio lanterns. They’re like stars in the sky. Every religion deserves the right to teach their faith to as many people as possible. We believe that the Charter is on our side and we’re prepared to fight for what we believe in. I like to think that we’re just doing our rock and roll duty.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne was unavailable for comment. However, Conservative Tim Hudak told Hammer in the News that he still “firmly supports funding all faith-based schools.” Could we see a school devoted to teaching of Akimboism in the near future? For now, it’s a matter for the courts.
For an example of the stirring power of Kim Mitchell’s music, click Here.