Silver Donald Cameron is trying to change that. The writer, producer and educator launched the multimedia Green Rights Project to explain the importance of rights to clean water, air and food, and to present the stories of people seeking recognition of those rights.
Silver Donald Cameron will be in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 to show the film Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World, and talk about his book, Warrior Lawyers, which explores environmental rights and struggles around the world to have them recognized, drawing on the perspectives of environmental lawyers involved.
The event is at 8 p.m. at the Pearson Room, Lord Elgin Hotel. (Thanks to planetfriendly.net for the information and links to more about the Green Rights Project.)
For a look inside some of the city’s interesting places, including some not normally not open to the public, check out Doors Open Ottawa on Saturday, Jun. 4-Sunday, Jun. 5, 2016.
You’ll get to see buildings of architectural, historical, scientific and other significance—and those that are just plain intriguing: the Central Experimental Farm (including the Saunders building with “a complete collection of all plants found in Canada”), Maplelawn Historical Garden, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind National Training Centre, Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre, Parkdale Food Centre, the Hydro Ottawa generating station on Amelia Island (“believed to be the oldest operating hydroelectric generator in Canada”), Suntech Greenhouses, Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health (with “awe-inspiring architecture by Douglas Cardinal”), numerous embassies and more.
There’s a free shuttle bus that goes to 50 of the 120 participating Doors Open sites; or you can see 5 sites on a bicycle tour with Escape Tours (it’s a fundraiser for Trips for Kids Ottawa).
Check the Doors Open Ottawa website and guide for opening hours of buildings, and other information.
Canada Dance Festival
See part of the Canada Dance Festival—outdoors. Kaeja d’Dance presents Porch View Dances in Westboro on Saturday, Jun. 4 and Sunday, Jun. 5, 2016 at 4 p.m. The audience moves through the neighbourhood to watch local families perform dances created by professional choreographers—extremely fun. (For more outdoor dance, check out Aeriosa’s aerial performances and La Grande Fente’s pop-up dances in the Byward Market on Thursday, Jun. 9, 2016.)
The wonderful Westfest happens Friday, Jun. 3-Sunday, Jun. 5, 2016 in its new location, Laroche Park (52 Bayview Rd.). The free festival includes live music, art programming, an Indigenous pavilion, an artisan area and local food trucks, performance artists, spoken word artists, kids’ activities and more. See the website for the full lineup.
Prose in the Park
Another fun (and free!) outdoor event is Prose in the Park, happening on Friday, Jun. 3 (at Origin Studio) and Saturday, Jun. 4, 2016 at Parkdale Park. There’s a great line-up of authors, so check it out.
Great Lemonade Standemonium
On Saturday, Jun. 4, 2016, look for the Great Lemonade Standemonium, where kids around town will be running lemonade stands in their neighbourhoods, to raise funds for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. There’s more information and a map on the website.
April 22 was Earth Day. Earth Day draws needed attention to the environment, but sometimes it comes with a lot of hype, too–for example, by companies promoting yet more consumption of their stuff, or association with things that have very little to do with sustainability.
Reflecting on Earth Day this year made me want to think bigger–about the earth’s complexity, the way good writers or artists can express it. When I learned that April 23 is World Book Day, that clinched the idea of a post on books.
Of course, there’s a lot of great literature—fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction—on the environment, so here’s just a tiny sample:
The Lorax: The incomparable Dr. Seuss speaks for the trees, inspiring kids and adults alike to do their part, however big or small, for the environment.
Catch This Changes Everything again on Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2016 at Carleton University with a screening hosted by Carleton Climate Commons Working Group, 350 Ottawa, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op and Carleton Cinema Politica.
Also on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, Impact Hub Ottawa hosts What’s next after Paris? Community action for a post-carbon future. Panelists Mitchell Beer (Smarter Shift/The Energy Mix), Mike De Souza (National Observer), Andrea Flowers (City of Ottawa), Graeme Cunningham (Bullfrog Power), Janice Ashworth (Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op) and EnviroCentre’s Carbon 613 will talk about getting involved in creating a sustainable world.
For inspiration on understanding and protecting nature and ourselves within it:
Local conservation biologist and author Robert Alvo launchesBeing a Bird in North America at Octopus Books (Glebe) on Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016. It’s a book that uses humour and science to provide a new perspective on birds.
Celebrated primatologist Jane Goodall will be speaking in Ottawa on Monday, Apr. 11, 2016 about her lifetime of research and her sustainability work with youth. (Proceeds from the event support the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada’s conservation, humanitarian and youth programs.)
The City of Ottawa is hosting Engaging Citizens in Science to showcase groups that are involving people in understanding and documenting nature. As well as speakers Dr. Jeremy Kerr (University of Ottawa, co-founder of Bumblebeewatch.org) and Andy Kenney (University of Toronto, Neighbourwoods Program), several groups will present their citizen science and research initiatives. It’s on Tuesday, Apr. 12, 2016.
The Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club has several upcoming birding and other events. Check details on their website.
For inspiration on making Ottawa a more sustainable city:
Janette Sadik-Khan led New York City’s program to create safer, more liveable streets, and wrote about the experience in Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. She’ll be speaking in Ottawa on Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2016 at Streetfight: NY’s Urban Revolution Comes to Ottawa, a discussion organized by Ecology Ottawa and other groups.
From Canada to Ireland and Tanzania, First Nations communities to the oil sands and rural Quebec, through the world wars, to the fight against ISIS, this week our festival is bringing stories from around the world to Ottawa.”
A few highlights:
First Peoples, First Stories with Lee Maracle, Bev Sellars and Joseph Boyden, hosted by Waubgeshig Rice, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m. (Important things to know, and new ways to think.)
Oil, Gas and Water with Marq de Villiers, Louis Helbig and Andrew Nikiforuk, hosted by Neil Wilson, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. (The politics of water, the “beautiful destruction” of the tar sands, and the fight against fracking.)
The Dorito Effect with Mark Schatzker, hosted by Sean Wilson, on Monday, Oct. 26, 6:30 p.m. (How food flavours have shifted from real and healthy to “craveable” but empty.)
The Reason You Walk with Wab Kinew, hosted by Waubgeshig Rice, on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m. (A memoir and a reconnection.)
As well as food for thought, the festival has food—including local dishes from Dash Mobile Cookery, Bridgehead and local breweries served in the Festival Café (check the schedule for times). There’s also a Literary Luncheon with Margaret Atwood on Tuesday, Nov. 17.