DamNation February 11, 2015

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Co-presented with Sierra Club of B.C.

This film is from the U.S. where there is a change in the national attitude towards the damming of rivers from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that the future is bound to the life and health of rivers.  Dams are coming down in the U.S. and several dammed rivers and their ecosystems are being restored to their natural states.

Not so in B.C. where the provincial government has just approved creation of the Site C dam on the Peace River which will flood over 100 kilometers of prime farmland found on the river valley bottomland, sever the Yellowstone to Yukon wildlife corridor and flood First Nations heritage sites.

Post-screening discussion will be lead by Ana Simeon, Peace Valley campaigner from Sierra Club of B.C.

 

 

 

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The Clean Bin Project – January 14, 2015

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Co-sponsored with Transition Sooke.

Is it possible to live completely waste free for a year?  In this award-winning documentary, partners Jen and Grant go head to head in a light-hearted competition to see who can swear off consumerism and produce the least garbage.  Set in Vancouver, this film is a call to action that speaks to crowds of all ages.

Before the film in the theatre foyer there will be a chance to visit the Free Store Table (bring a functional item you no longer need….maybe a Christmas gift that didn’t quite resonate with you…….. and take away something that you do; see below for guidelines) and the Transition Sooke table where there will be a small display of items that can replace some of the plastic in our lives such as reusable produce bags, can and bowl toppers, and cleaning sponges.

Once in the theatre, the evening will start with a short video tour (done by Jen and Grant) of the Gibsons Recycling Depot and a talk by Buddy Boyd, from Zero Waste Canada and co-founder of the Gibsons depot.

After the screening of “The Clean Bin Project”, there will be a discussion led by Transition Sooke’s Tony St. Pierre focusing on ideas for reducing the garbage footprint in the Sooke and Juan de Fuca Districts attended by Sooke Mayor Maja Tait and several owners of local businesses who have taken steps to reduce their garbage footprint.  We will learn about Transition Sooke’s initiatives to reduce the use of plastic bags and will be launching a Zero Waste Committee to hopefully work with our elected and appointed officials on making our local garbage disposal areas less of a “dump” and more recycle and re-use friendly.

The evening is expected to go a little longer than usual, likely until 9:30

Here are some guidelines for the free store table:

1. Items should be cleaned prior.  2. Items should be useful/functional and/or art rather than knick knacks.  3. A max of 3 items for the table; unlimited takeaway.  4. No clothing unless it is a special item (handmade, vintage, brand new, etc.).  5.  If you have items too large to be carried away, bring a photo and/or description and contact info for the table.

 

 

 

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Twenty Years of Awareness Celebration – December 10, 2014

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Awareness Film Night will celebrate 20 years of presenting monthly documentaries on topics normally disregarded by the mainstream media with a re-screening of the first film we screened back in 1994: “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media“.

Mark Achbar (“The Corporation”) and Peter Wintonick’s award-winning documentary presents Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist and highlights his probing analysis of mass media and critique of the forces at work behind the daily news.  Including footage of Chomsky’s visit to Malaspina College in Nanaimo.  This film is almost 3 hours long, so we will only screen one part of it.

The rest of the evening will be devoted to cake, tea, the giveaway table (see below) and maybe some  reminiscing and reflection on how we might be more aware than we were in 1994.   Any other ideas for adding to the celebration are most welcome…..after all, Awareness Film Night is all of our baby.

There will be a no-shopping, recycle, re-purpose free store table at the film night for those wanting to reduce time spent in corporate stores during the holiday season.  

POSTSCRIPT:

Hello moviegoers…………

The 20th Birthday Party for Awareness Film Night brought back many memories for me, as I sorted through the list of screenings and some of the newspaper articles from over the past 20 years for a little “Memorabilia” table.  For the first few years there were only 3 or 4 or maybe a whopping 6 people attending many of the film nights. There was even one night, in March of 1997, when we screened a film called  “Genetic Time Bomb”,  about GMOs, where no one came at all except myself and Kathy, my stalwart Awareness Video Night cohort.  In all fairness, we screened the same film again the next March (1998) and 18 people came out (a big crowd in those days).  And by December 2012, when we screened ” Genetic Roulette”   there were 70 people who came to see the film and hear Dr. Thierry Vrain.

The film “Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media” is available at the AFN library and also on YouTube, as are many Chomsky talks.  Here is a link for a 55 minute interview of him by Chris Hedges from September, 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTDIpu5UjAw

 

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Stand – November 12, 2014

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This beautifully filmed documentary takes viewers on a journey through the untarnished scenery, pristine ecosystems and life rich in culture and history of the B.C. coastal areas that are under threat by the proposed Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines and the tankers that will be servicing them.  The film features expedition stand up paddler Norm Hann, who will be attending the screening, iconic West Coast surfer Raph Bruhwiler and a first nations high school class building their own SUPs as they journey through the waters of B.C. showing the landscape and wildlife that would be affected by an oil spill.

Post screening discussion and comments will be led by Celine Trojand of the Dogwood Initiative with assist from those supporting the Sooke municipal election plebiscite on “no expanded tanker traffic in B.C. coastal waters”.  Celine Trojand grew up in northeastern B.C.  Her family made a living in agriculture and horticulture.  She has a degree in Anthropology and began working for the Dogwood in 2009. Celine is unfalteringly devoted to building power in communities across her home province and is best when she’s having exciting conversations and meeting new people.

Everyone, whatever your stand on oil pipelines and tankers, is invited to attend and voice your opinion.

The evening will also feature some fantastic water sports and recreation prizes to be given away: 

Two 3 hour kayak rentals from Ocean River Sports, value $100.

A package of surf and SUP supplies from the new Sooke branch of HtO.

And more……

 

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Defensora – October 8th, 2014

2014/2015 Season Premiere

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Co-presented with the Victoria Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC).

If you want to register your mining company in a country that has the least amount of encouragement or regulations for acting responsibly and cooperatively towards the peoples and the ecology near your mine, pick Canada!

“Defensora” is a documentary about Mayan Q’eqchi resistance against mining in Guatemala.  Set along the shores of Lake Izabal, this is a timely film that provides candid insights into the brave struggles of the men and women in El Estor, Guatemala who, faced with the violence, intimidation, poor health and forced evictions that Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals has brought about in their home and ancestral lands, have now brought their battle for justice to the Canadian courts.

After the film there will be an opportunity to have a discussion and ask questions hosted by 3 members of MJAC.  Kay Gimbel is on the executive of the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers Union, representing about 500 ships officers across the province.  He travelled to Guatemala earlier this year with a mining justice delegation led by Rights Action.  Kay visited several mining sites including the mining impacted community of El Estor and met many of the people who are depicted in this film.  Janet Gray is an active member of MJAC and KAIROS.  She has organized film and discussion events and other social justice projects and she participated actively in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.  Janet has also visited Guatemala and will bring first hand experience to the current tensions involved with mining companies there.  Heather Tufts is a social justice activist, citizen journalist and independent researcher.  She is an active member of MJAC and has organized many events and programs.  As an educator Heather believes in the “learning and research for change” model and has engaged with grassroots movements and indigenous communities for many years.

Now that we in B.C. have had a glimpse of the irresponsibility of mining companies and the blind eyes of the government towards them with the Mt. Polley tailings pond spill, this precedent-setting court case is all the more relevant to us in Canada.  So far there have been no murders and rapes such as happened in El Estor, but the killing of an ecosystem is surely also a criminal act.

 

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