by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair
The Technology Award is presented to an organization for an outstanding project that pairs technology with local history and provides an inspiration or a model for the heritage community.
Songs make history come alive. In the hundred years since they were constructed, the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks have made changes for the people of King County both positive and negative. The effects were widespread, changing the landscape and lakes. Populations and industry shifted, There are many vivid images and dramatic events that made for good song material. As part of the 100th anniversary of the Ship Canal, Maritime Folknet unveiled a unique opportunity for song writers to write a song about the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Ballard Locks and record it for posterity.
The songs could be about historical events or the effects on people and places to the present day. All musical genres were encouraged, and range from acoustic to soft rock, from swing jazz to folk. Fifteen songs were selected by a panel of judges and were recorded at Jack Straw Cultural Center. CDs were produced and are available for purchase. They are being distributed at no charge to King County libraries, schools and heritage organizations. Free concerts were held at the Ballard Locks and the Northwest Folklife Festival.