Written by Denise Deby.

Every day is earth day, of course, but Earth Day, April 22, is an ode to the power of people in protecting the environment. Although sometimes co-opted for marketing consumer items, Earth Day was originally organized to bring people together to promote action for the environment.

March for Science

It’s fitting, therefore, that the March for Science will take place on Earth Day (Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017). The March, led by scientists and supporters, is a celebration of science and a reminder of the need to protect scientific enquiry from budget cuts, censorship and political interference. From the organizers:

On April 22, 2017, we walk out of the lab and into the streets. We as Canadians know too well the damage that can be done by an anti-science political agenda. Yet we also know first hand the positive change that is possible when scientists come together to defend science and its critical role in our society and democracy. Join us on April 22nd as we come together in Canada, in the US, and around the world, to march in solidarity with our American neighbours and stand in defence of science.”

To participate in the Ottawa March, come out to the main steps of Parliament Hill at 11 a.m.

There are plenty of additional ways to mark Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Ottawa:

Old Home Earth Day Event: The Glebe Community Association is hosting exhibits and workshops all about how to be energy efficient and live more sustainably in older homes. It’s at the Glebe Community Centre (175 Third Ave.), 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Find the schedule on their Facebook page.

Earth Day at the Canadian Museum of Nature: Walk across a giant map of the Arctic, journey through an inflatable polar bear, join a botanical scavenger hunt, crafts and play Inuit games. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. More information on the Museum website.

Great Cloth Diaper Change: Ottawa Doula Services is hosting the Great Cloth Diaper Change in Ottawa from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Ottawa Birth and Wellness Centre (2260 Walkley Rd.) The event, held in more than a dozen countries, promotes use of reusable cloth diapers.

Wakefield Earth Day Green Market and Environmental Fair: This event features exhibits by local craftspeople, artists, green builders and food vendors; bike repair, tree-climbing, music and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Wakefield Community Centre (38 chemin Valley, Wakefield, QC); hosted by Chambre Wakefield-La Pêche Chamber.

River Ward Earth Day Event: Riley Brockington hosts this community event at the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre from 2-4 p.m. Maison Tucker House talks energy conservation and Junk That Funk provides an e-waste drop-off.

Added: Rethinking Canada’s 150: Human Library and Arts Showcase: Although not billed as an Earth Day event, this gathering features people sharing their experiences and perspectives on social and environmental justice, decolonization and immigration. The focus is “to bring alternative discourses to the mainstream narrative of Canada’s 150th anniversary.” Organized by Next Up at 25One Community (251 Bank St., 2nd floor), 3-6 p.m.

Added: Indigenous Walking Tour: Not specifically for Earth Day either, but Indigenous Walks is holding a public tour of central Ottawa from an Indigenous perspective. 5-7 p.m.; register at booking@indigenouswalks.com.

Ottawa Park Summit and Earth Day Celebration: Ecology Ottawa is organizing two related events for Earth Day. From 1-5 p.m., they’re partnering with Greenspace Alliance, Just Food, EnviroCentre, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Federation of Citizens’ Associations, Social Planning Council of Ottawa and Park People to host a gathering on how to make Ottawa’s parks great. See the website for details and registration.

At Ecology Ottawa’s Earth Day Celebration, the focus is on celebrating community efforts towards environmental justice. The evening (5:30-9 p.m.) includes entertainment by comedian Martha Chaves and DJ Cat Abreu, refreshments and door prizes from local eco-friendly businesses.

Both Ecology Ottawa events will be at Makerspace North (250 City Centre Ave.).

Earth Day 2017 Ottawa International Writers Festival: The OIWF brings an impressive line-up for Earth Day. Nishnaabeg writer Leanne Betasamosake Simpson presents the stories and songs of This Accident of Being Lost. David Suzuki and Ian Hanington discuss Just Cool It!, their book on solutions to the climate crisis. At 6:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral (414 Sparks St.).

Voices of Earth: Local choir Tone Cluster is holding Voices of Earth, a concert to mark Earth Day. It’s at Centretown United Church (507 Bank St.) at 7:30 p.m.

Let us know if you hear of other Earth Day events in Ottawa!

Posted by Denise Deby.

Photo of Diana Beresford-Kroeger courtesy Call of the Forest Film / Treespeak Films http://calloftheforest.ca/

Call of the Forest Film – Wednesday, Apr. 12 – Saturday, Apr. 15, 2017

This documentary features amazing local author and environmental scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger and her journeys to explore and share the history, legacy and contributions of ancient northern forests, and our connection to them. She also examines native species, how to plant them and the medicinal and ecological benefits they provide. Call of the Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees is on at the ByTowne Cinema; see their website for times.

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The Same River Twice: Nature, Media, and Philosophy in the Anthropocene – Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017

Carleton Climate Commons Working Group presents this talk by Dr. Etienne Turpin on urban ecologies, human understandings of nature and much more (see the website for details). At Carleton University, 132 Azrieli Pavilion from 3-4:30 p.m.

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Zero Waste Talk with Bea Johnson – Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017

​Bea Johnson’s zero waste lifestyle launched a movement on living waste-free. The creator of Zero Waste Home will be speaking at this session hosted by NU Grocery—Ottawa’s first zero waste grocery store—in collaboration with city councillors David Chernushenko, Catherine McKenney, Jeff Leiper, Mathieu Fleury and Tobi Nussbaum, EnviroCentre and EcoLead. At First Baptist Church, 7-9:30 p.m. See Eventbrite for details.

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Urban Organic Gardening Seminars 2017 – Tuesday, Apr. 18 – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa – St. Lawrence – Outaouais (COG-OSO) presents its spring series of seminars on growing organic vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Topics include getting started, healthy soils, in-ground and container gardening, pest management, vertical gardening and more–you can sign up for one seminar, or the whole series. At City Hall, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. See the schedule and registration information on the COG-OSO website.

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Posted by Denise Deby.

More April events this week!

Urban Forum, in partnership with loveOttawa, is holding I Love Ottawa, an evening about what people around our city love about Ottawa and why. It’s on Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2017, 7-9 p.m. at the Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall. Presenters include Ottawa River Keeper Meredith Brown, Ottawa writer Phil Jenkins, Ecology Ottawa’s Graham Saul, cycling advocate Hans Moor, photographers and creative city builders Dwayne Brown and Anita Ruivo of the loveOttawa project, and other people you’d love to hear and see from. Urban Forum is presented by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, Ottawa Regional Society of Architects, Institute of Transportation Engineers and City of Ottawa.

Also on Wednesday, Apr. 5, the Carleton Climate Commons Group presents Climate Politics: Trudeau, Trump, Political In/Action, and Alternative Forms of Political Mobilization. Speakers from climate, university and environmental groups will lead the discussion on strategies for change in the current political environment. It’s 7-9 p.m. at the James St. Pub (390 Bank St.)

The City of Ottawa continues its Wildlife Speaker Series with A Celebration of Canada’s Wildlife on Thursday, Apr. 6, including a Wildlife Expo at 6 p.m. and a presentation by naturalist Michael Runtz of Carleton University at 7 p.m.

The NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab – Youth Engagement in City Building on Thursday, Apr. 6 is all about how youth are engaged in creating the city through housing, transportation and community development, from the perspective of groups from California, Edmonton and Gatineau. It’s from 6-8 p.m. at 40 Elgin St., 2nd floor (and will be livestreamed on YouTube).

Added: Just Food presents a discussion on growing (and eating) vegetables, seasonal eating and wild foraging with Stephen Barstow, author of Around the World in 80 Plants. On Thursday, Apr. 6 at Centretown United Church, 6-9 p.m. 

If you’ve ever wanted to learn skills in repairing and making stuff rather than throwing out or buying new, the Ottawa Tool Library and Makerspace North have a deal for you. On Saturday, Apr. 8 from 11-4, they’re hosting a Repair Café, where you can bring your items that need repairing (or share your repairing skills), and a Make-a-Thon, where you can reserve space to work on your project—and borrow tools from the library, of course. Check the website for more information and to register.

Learn more about the connections between the environment and health at Upstream’s Closing the Gap: Better Health for All conference on Saturday, Apr. 8. It’s from 1-5 p.m. with evening speakers scheduled as well. If you register to attend, you can also access the livestream of the event.

Stay tuned for more April events as we approach Earth Day, April 22.

 

 

To the Ends of the Earth film

Filming To the Ends of the Earth image courtesy http://endsofearthfilm.com/press

April (a.k.a. Earth Month) brings a host of events promoting environmental issues and solutions.

Today (Tuesday, Apr. 4), catch To the Ends of the Earth film at Arts Court.

This documentary looks at and beyond extreme energy extraction in Canada’s fossil fuel industry (e.g. Arctic drilling and shale gas fracking), and follows the scientists, authors and activists who are finding alternatives based on cooperation, social justice and ecological stewardship. Narrated by Emma Thompson. A panel discussion includes Ottawa City Councillor David Chernushenko, renewable energy expert Chris Young, Stu Campana of EnviroCentre and Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative president Dick Bakker. Presented by SolarShare Cooperative, at Arts Court, 7-10 p.m.

More information on Eventbrite.

To the Ends of the Earth official TRAILER from David Lavallee on Vimeo.

Posted by Denise Deby.

Gatineau Park has 361 square kms of wilderness habitats and striking geological features, 50 lakes, thousands of species (including 50 mammal, 10 reptile, 15 amphibian, 230 bird and more than 1000 plant species) and 140 species at risk–but it doesn’t have the same protection as a national or provincial park.

For many years, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-Ottawa Valley, through its Make it a Real Park campaign, has been calling for legislation and action to protect Gatineau Park.

CPAWS-OV is hosting a Café Scientifique–an informal conversation over refreshments–to explain the Make it a Real Park campaign.

The Café Scientifique is on Monday, Mar. 13, 2017 from 7-9 p.m. at Fox and Feather (283 Elgin St.).

Learn more on CPAWS-OV’s website.

 

What do women and the environment have to do with each other? Everything.

Here’s some of what’s happening in Ottawa on International Women’s Day, Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2017:

ONE Carleton is organizing a Rally for Education – International Women’s Day, to support women and girls around the world seeking equal access to education, sanitation, health care and other services. They’ll be at the University Centre on Wed. afternoon, then travelling to Parliament Hill by bus at 6 p.m.

Around 10 local organizations are hosting The Future is Feminist – International Women’s Day 2017 starting at 6 p.m. at Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington St.). The event, which celebrates women’s activism, achievements and diversity, includes awards, an activist fair, arts performances, refreshments and a dance party. Admission and on-site child care are free.

There’s a Public Lecture on Planetary Solidarity: Gender and Climate Justice in a Global Perspective at Saint Paul University amphitheatre, 7-9 p.m. Hilda P. Koster (Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota) will speak about the intersection of gender justice and climate justice, in Canada and around the world.

The Canada-India Centre and Carleton International are hosting Gender and Empowerment 2.0 from 6-8 p.m. at Residence Commons, Carleton University. Keynote speaker is Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

 

 

Chaudière Falls, Ottawa, ON, 1870 by William Notman (1826-1891) Musée McCord Museum on Flickr Creative Commons No known restrcitions

Chaudière Falls, Ottawa, ON, 1870 by
William Notman (1826-1891) Musée McCord Museum on Flickr Creative Commons No known restrictions  https://www.flickr.com/photos/museemccordmuseum/2918568677/in/photostream/

Posted by Denise Deby.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, see Awakening, a film about the late Algonquin Elder William Commanda’s celebrated vision for the Chaudière Falls and islands as an international gathering site.

Authors David Mulholland and Romola Thumbadoo will also share reflections that shed light on Ottawa as Algonquin territory, and on Elder Commanda’s legacy.

It’s at Kitchissippi United Church (630 Island Park Drive), 7-9:30 p.m. Details here: http://ottawastart.com/events/film-documenting-indigenous-vision-for-chaudiere-falls-to-be-shown-at-kitchissippi-united-church/

See more on the Falls vision and area here: https://freethefalls.ca/