Written by Denise Deby with information from Ben Powless, Ecology Ottawa.

Energy East Ride

Ecology Ottawa is hosting two more events about the proposed Energy East oil pipeline through Ottawa.

On Tuesday, July 29, 2014, they’re holding an information session at the Johnny Leroux Arena in Stittsville from 7-8:30 p.m.

On Saturday, August 2, 2014, they’re inviting everyone to welcome the Energy East Resistance Ride, a group of people cycling from Nova Scotia to Ottawa along the Energy East pipeline’s proposed route. There’s a rally at noon at the Human Rights monument, a critical mass bike ride through the city and a gathering at a local pub.

Find out more about the Energy East Resistance Ride here. RSVP for the welcoming rally and bike ride in Ottawa here.

Written by Denise Deby.

It’s great to hear more buzz about the Asinabka Festival this year.

The festival, in its third year, presents films and other artistic works by filmmakers and artists from Canada and other countries, works that address Indigenous cultures, histories and viewpoints.

This year Asinabka has included two outdoor feature film screenings, a wide range of short films, a live music night, a talk on photography with acclaimed hip hop photographer Ernie Paniccioli and an art gallery crawl. Opening night saw a screening of “must-see” Canadian film Rhymes For Young Ghouls, an Indigenous Walking Tour of central Ottawa and a gathering, “Decolonizing Together,”  for people to come together to discuss a new relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples based on justice and solidarity. The festival closes this evening (Sunday, July 27, 2014) with a screening of Drunktown’s Finest (USA, 2014) at Victoria Island on the Ottawa River.

I think the Asinabka Festival is hugely important. By making diverse Indigenous perspectives, stories and voices more accessible, the festival promotes acknowledgement and understanding of the complexities of Indigenous peoples’ lives and relations with non-Indigenous peoples. It combats the erroneous “single story” that often prevails about Indigenous peoples, and sheds light on histories and realities that have been invisible to many Canadians.

The Asinabka Festival also offers a way to see Ottawa with new eyes. As explained on the Festival website:

The name Asinabka was chosen for this festival as an act of decolonization, and to reinforce that the Nations Capital is in the heart of the unsurrendered land of the Algonquins of the Ottawa River Valley. It was also chosen in solidarity with Elder William Commanda’s visions for the Asinabka area.”

Those visions include a plan for what the area could be—a place of natural beauty and one that respects the ecological, spiritual and cultural integrity of Victoria Island and the Chaudière Falls.

Check out the Asinabka Festival today if you can, or keep an eye out for news and related events for 2015.

Thanks to Katherine Forster at Friends of Petrie Island for the River Day information.

Petrie Island River Day Poster

River Day is from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Check the Friends of Petrie Island’s Facebook page for updates.

Thanks to Joshua Dyer at Harvest Noir for the post suggestion.

Wicker Picnic Basket Grass 6-1-09 1 by Steven Depolo https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3586893833/ on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wicker Picnic Basket Grass 6-1-09 1 by Steven Depolo https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3586893833/ on Flickr Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Harvest Noir is part evening out, part urban gathering and part celebration of local food. The dress-up, pop-up picnic and dance party (in a surprise location every year) happens in September, but the people behind Harvest Noir are holding a few events between now and then.

The first is a Summer Picnic at the Main Street Farmer’s Market on Saturday July 12, 2014. The “Parisian-style,” casual event is from noon to 3 p.m., and it’s free. Bring your own food (and blanket), or pick up picnic fare at the Market.

There’ll be another Summer Picnic on August 23 (location to be announced).

Harvest Noir raises funds for BioRegional North America, an Ottawa-based environmental organization.

Check out other upcoming Harvest Noir events on their website.

Written by Denise Deby.

School Gardens, Broadview School - D. Deby photo

The Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais Chapter (COG OSO) runs programs that support children, seniors, gardeners, farmers and educators in their efforts to produce and promote food that’s grown sustainably and organically.

Through the Growing Up Organic program, COG OSO assists schools, parents and students to create school gardens. They also offer workshops and help arrange farm field trips.

Growing Up Organic enables kids to learn about organic, local food production and discover or strengthen their gardening skills. I’ve seen kids in my own neighbourhood experiencing the joy and wonder of planting, growing and sampling their own vegetables at school.

Unfortunately, Growing Up Organic’s core funding, through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, is ending. COG OSO, a charitable organization, is trying to raise at least $25,000 to continue the program for another year.

You can visit COG OSO’s website at http://cog.ca/ottawa/ to learn more about Growing Up Organic and how to help their good work continue.


Written by Denise Deby.

Photovoltalk by Pink Dispatcher (Bernd Siekeron) - Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic  https://www.flickr.com/photos/98529529@N00/483756270

Photovoltalk by Pink Dispatcher (Bernd Siekeron) – Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Canadians have a “tremendous opportunity” right now to change the way we think about and invest in our country’s energy future—that’s the perspective offered by David Suzuki in a recent Vancouver Sun op-ed.

That view resonates with me. Rather than continuing to support tar sands and other unsustainable energy sources, or debating pipelines versus rail oil transport, we need to be working towards renewable energy systems.

David Suzuki’s op-ed includes some examples of “solutions-oriented thinking” about alternative energy, such as the energy transition underway in Germany and Tesla’s announcement about making its patents publicly available.

Other groups are calling for an end to unsustainable energy production and a switch to better options:

Ecology Ottawa and the Council of Canadians are among the organizations that are speaking out about the proposed TransCanada oil pipeline from Alberta to New Brunswick (through Ottawa). By facilitating tar sands expansion, the Energy East project would exacerbate environmental degradation and climate change. Ecology Ottawa is hosting a meeting about the pipeline  and what can be done on Thursday, July 3, 2014, 7-8:30 p.m. at Kitchissippi United Church (630 Island Park Dr.).  Ecology Ottawa’s website has further information on the proposed pipeline, why it’s an issue and what people can do to help.

A group of cyclists have set off on what they’re calling The Energy East Resistance Ride. They’re biking from Sydney, NS to Ottawa to collect and share stories of people’s resilience along the proposed Energy East pipeline route, and to express their rejection of the pipeline project. Watch for their arrival in Ottawa in late July/early August.

Another initiative, Our Horizon, is proposing that warning labels be put on gas pump nozzles to raise awareness about the real costs of producing and using fossil fuels. Their #facethechange campaign is a step towards redirecting thinking towards more sustainable alternatives.

Also across Canada, universities and other institutions are considering divesting from fossil fuel companies.

There’s a long road ahead towards sustainable energy, but change is in the wind.

Written by Denise Deby.


On Thursday, June 19, 2014, the Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa with Ecology Ottawa, the Peoples Social Forum, Council of Canadians, and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Ottawa Valley are hosting Indigenous Resistance & Solidarity: Against Pipelines, For the Land. The evening of short films, at the Mayfair Theatre, starts at 6:30 p.m. with an opening by Albert Dumont. There’s a gathering afterwards from 8:45-10 p.m. at Southminster United Church (15 Aylmer at Bank).

The annual Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival and Competition Powwow is happening Friday, June 20-Sunday, June 22, 2014. It’s always a great event, with music, dancing, theatre, comedy and other performances by Indigenous artists. There are workshops for musicians, and kids’ activities (including free pony rides). It’s at Vincent Massey Park, so good outdoors time, too.

A group of people have been walking from Cacouna and Kanehsatà/:ke in Quebec to Ottawa to draw attention to the routes of proposed pipelines (TransCanada’s Energy East and Enbridge Line 9). A Walk for Mother Earth is expected to arrive on Parliament Hill on Sunday, June 22 at 2:00 p.m. Check http://www.peuplespourlaterremere.ca/ or https://www.facebook.com/events/494489877349717/ for more information.

Update: Glow Fair, which takes place June 20-21, 2014 along Bank St., includes a National Aboriginal Day screening of WELCOME TO KANATA, a program of animated films by First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. Curated by Ariel Smith, it’s presented by ASINABKA Aboriginal Film and Media Arts Festival in partnership with the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and runs 8:30-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, 2014.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 137 other followers