Written by Denise Deby.Ottawa Riverkeeper logoWild and Scenic Film Festival banner

I’m impressed with the work of the Ottawa Riverkeeper. It’s a small organization with talented staff and volunteers who look out for the health of the Ottawa River. The river is a major waterway and a key source of drinking water and recreation for those of us who live in Ottawa and Gatineau.

Part of the challenge of keeping the Ottawa River healthy is that no one jurisdiction looks after it. Responsibility is spread among two provincial governments, several provincial and federal agencies and conservation authorities, and numerous municipalities, so Ottawa Riverkeeper’s efforts to monitor the river’s health and advocate for the watershed as a whole are important.

To raise funds for its activities and awareness about the value of our waterways, Ottawa Riverkeeper is holding its first Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

The Festival is showing seven documentaries, including:

  • White Water, Black Gold, on the effects of the tar sands on the Athabasca watershed;
  • Chasing Water, about a man who follows the Colorado River from its irrigation of his family’s ranch to the sea;
  • The Craziest Idea, an account of two dam removal projects in Washington state;
  • Weed War, the story of a rancher who uses goats to control invasive weeds.

The emcee is CBC’s Alan Neal, and the evening includes beverages, a silent auction and the chance to win cool prizes (think Stand Up Paddle lessons or a learn-to-sail camp weekend). All proceeds go toward Ottawa Riverkeeper initiatives including the purchase of water quality test kits for its River Watch program.

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival will take place at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St. from 7-10 p.m. (doors open at 6:30). Tickets are $12 general admission, or $50 for a VIP pass that includes a reception and reserved seating. You can purchase tickets at ottawariverkeeper.ca or at Delilah {in the Parc}, Delilah {in the Glebe}, Mountain Equipment Co-op or Trailhead.

The Wild & Scenic® Film Festival, which runs every year in California and across the U.S. and Canada, uses film to engage people and encourage action on the environment.

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