Farming and Gardening Gala March 12

saveourfarmland

Farming and Gardening Gala March 12

   Co-presented with Sooke Food CHI

           “Preserving Farmland”

The evening will feature 3 short films:  “Hands Off the ALR Townhall Meeting” held in Sidney in November, “Growing Farmers” and “Hands in the Dirt”.

Post screening discussion with Kimi and Kareno, featured in “Hands in the Dirt”, Javier Ojer of Dandy Shots Productions, filmmaker, who co-produced “Hands in the Dirt”, Nathalie Chambers of the Farmland Protection Coalition and Mary Coll and Mary Alice Johnson of the newly formed Sooke Region Farmland Trust. 

Kimi and Kareno have been a part of the Saanich Organics growers, Richmond Sharing Farm and Kwantlen University Farm School.  They are now residents of Finn’s Slough on the banks of the Fraser where they grow organic veggies for Richmond and Vancouver on Sweetdigz Farm.  Kimi and Kareno are young and energetic and are farmland activists with “Farm Watch”.  They will share with us their passion of “urban farming” and farmland stewardship.

The Farmland Protection Coalition is a grassroots organization of groups and individuals committed to protecting farmland and supporting farmers and food systems in the Capital Region and across B.C.  They recently organized a rally on Family Day in Victoria attended by 1500 people in support of maintaining the Agricultural Land Reserve as it is rather than stripping it of its jurisdiction and teeth as is being tossed about by the B.C. government.

The Sooke Region Farmland Trust has been created to assist in acquiring and preserving land for farmers to work who cannot afford to buy farming acreages in our area and to advance community awareness, local resilience and participation in food security.  “High land values, vanishing ALR land and the loss of processing and distribution infrastructure have undermined local food systems.  The trust’s objective is to enrich Sooke as a place to live, work, raise families and share organic, GE-free food”,  says Mary Coll of InishOge Farm in Sooke and one of the trust’s founding board members. Founded in the summer of 2013, this is the area’s first farmland trust.  Find out about what this means and how you can be a part of it.

The evening will also include:

*  Tables in the foyer with a variety of information on farming and gardening for all ages plus local produce and products made from locally grown ingredients for sale.

*  Tea and gourmet cookies featuring local ingredients made by the Culinary Arts students at EMCS. Bring a mug.

*  Door prizes of garden gift baskets.

(Don’t forget to bring some cash for the cookies and the locally grown produce and products….supporting our local economy!)

7-9:30


POSTSCRIPT:

The Farming and Gardening Gala was…..well…………..a gala.

The gardening enthusiasm was palpable.  There were great farming/gardening products to buy and learn about and most yummy lavender, mint and nettle cookies and herb tea to refresh us. We heard some informed, passionate and eloquent speakers voicing concern about vanishing farmland and farmers here in Sooke and on the Island and, in fact, all over the world. We were encouraged to approach elected officials on all levels of government about the absolute necessity of not only preserving farmland but also of creating avenues for purchasing farmland when it comes onto the market in order to stem the hemorrhaging of arable land that has been going on for the past decades, especially notable in Sooke according to provincial stats.

The short films “Hands Off the ALR Townhall Meeting on Farmland Protection” and “Growing Farmers” are available to watch on the internet. “Hands in the Dirt” will be making the rounds of film festivals so keep an eye peeled if you missed it at the film night (one of its premier screenings).

For anyone wanting more information on Farm Watch BC, the organization that panelists Kimi and Kareno are involved with, go to www.farmwatchbc.blogspot.ca and the Farmland Protection Coalition that panelist Nathalie Chambers was representing can be found at www.farmlandprotection.ca. The Sooke Region Farmland Trust can be reached at their website www.sookefarmlandtrust.weebly.com or on facebook.

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Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle – Feb 12, 2014

Kuper Island

“Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle”

They called it Alcatraz.  It was the Kuper Island Residential School and it stood on a remote island off the coast of Vancouver Island.  For almost a century hundreds of Coast Salish children were sent to Kuper Island where they were forbidden to speak their native language, forced to replace their cultural heritage with the Anglo-Christian culture and often faced with physical and sexual abuse.  Some died trying to escape on logs across the water.  Many more died later, trying to escape their memories.  Metis filmmaker Christine Welsh and Peter C. Campbell join survivors of the school, 20 years after its closure, as they embark on an extraordinary healing journey.

Traditional welcome by T’sou-ke Nation Chief Gordie Planes and Elder Shirley Alphonse.

Film Producer Peter Campbell will be attending the screeningPost screening discussion and slide show will include residential school survivors Alex Nelson and Belvie Brebber.  Alex went to St. Michael’s School in Alert Bay run by the Anglican Church and Belvie went to the Kuper Island school discussed in the film.  Elder Shirley Alphonse will bring healing words and will offer smudging to anyone attending.  And she will explain what smudging is. Carey Newman will speak about his Witness Blanket art project www.witnessblanket.ca  Members of the audience who would like to share stories of his or her time at a residential school are encouraged to do so.  For everyone else, no action required.  A time for listening.

 

POSTSCRIPT:
The Feb. 12 evening on residential schools was very moving and very beautiful. There were around 150 people there and many had journeyed from other places in the region to sit with this story of children plucked from their homes and transplanted into a foreign, regimented and generally inhospitable environment to try and grow, and the effects it has had on them and on future generations. Many thanks to Edith Newman for bringing the evening together and to T’sou-ke Chief Gordie Planes, Elder Shirley Alphonse, Carey Newman (www.witnessblanket.ca), Peter Campbell, Belvie Brebber and Alex Nelson and everyone else who added his or her voice to the remarkable conversation that happened before and after the screening.
And to all who came and listened and gave space.

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Empowered: Power From the People – Jan 8, 2014

empowered

Tompkins County New York is one of the cloudiest, least windy places in the U.S. and yet the residents are proving that they can meet their energy needs through totally renewable resources.  From solar and wind to geothermal and even biodiesel, this film tells the story of one community’s role in the energy independence revolution.  Film Producer Suzanne McMannis, an organic farmer who has been living off the grid for over a decade, says:  “I wanted to make a movie that demonstrates how practical, affordable and fun it can be to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels”.

Post screening discussion with Andrew Moore project director for the T’souke First Nations’ award-winning solar installations, Liz Ferris, Climate Action Program Coordinator for the CRD who will discuss a proposed incentive program to assist home owners wanting to incorporate solar energy technology into their home (this program has been delayed so Liz Ferris will not be attending the film night) and Mike Geldreich, an electrical contractor and “very green guy” who has been installing renewable energy systems “solar, wind turbines, micro hydro…we’ve done it all” for 10 years. There will also be a chance to learn about a company that is making a vertical axis wind turbine that turns like a merry-go-round claiming to use less space, less moving parts, making little noise and doing no harm to birds compared to conventional wind turbines.

Come and ask your questions!

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Chasing Ice – Dec. 11, 2013

Chasing Ice

CHASINGICE_POSTER_11x17_v3.4__85356.1373397591.480.480

This is the story of acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog’s mission to gather undeniable evidence of our changing climate:  The Extreme Ice Survey.  With a band of young adventurers in tow, he used revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.  Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality.  This is a hauntingly beautiful film that compresses years into seconds and captures ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.  The visuals are augmented by interviews with glaciologists and climate scientists and some simple charts and graphs explaining why the extreme ice survey work is so critical.

“You’ve never seen images like this before….it deserves to be seen and felt on the big screen”….Robert Redford

 

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Let’s Talk Trash! – Nov. 13, 2013

Let’s Talk Trash!          November 13

Featuring the film:

“Trashed”

trashed-poster

In this 2013 British documentary by filmmaker Candida Brady, Jeremy Irons travels the world to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem.  Although not a pretty picture, there is some hope as the film turns from the alarming results of ignoring trash to some solutions, including an entire city which is now virtually waste-free.

Post screening discussion with Laura Byrne, Parks and Environmental Services Coordinator, District of Sooke and Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne.  A chance to discuss your ideas and concerns about how the community can more effectively deal with garbage and reduce the amount of waste we produce.

Booths in the theatre foyer:

* A mini fair featuring local Upcyclers and their creative wares.  This could be a chance to do some sustainable early Christmas shopping. Upcyclers are: Dana Sitar – http://sookefinearts.com/gallery-awards/2011-2/ ; Love In Everything – http://loveineverything.blogspot.ca ; Hollow Tree – find them on Facebook; Earth Elf – www.earthelf.ca; Jenn Bell – www.discardedcouture.org

* Info on CRD recycling and Sooke Street Bank (neighborhood lending and giving, sharing skills and posting notices – www.streetbank.com)

* Free gift exchange table (BRING A “GIFT” OF A SMALL USABLE ITEM THAT YOU NO LONGER NEED)

Door prize.

Doors open at 6:30; film at 7:00

 

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