October 3, 2021
October 2021: Welcome to SCALE

How will we live in the future? What are the values that will carry us safely through the transition to the post-fossil world, to a culture of care and regeneration? How will we create a sense of belonging for all, and maybe even… joy? We are the culture-makers, after all. Artists must lead the way.

Climate calamity and despair are already all around us. We know the arts and culture sector must rise to the challenge of a coordinated and impactful response, and yet many of us feel anxious and helpless in the face of the crisis, particularly with so many other pressing demands on our time and resources.

The good news is that SCALE is emerging as an antidote to doomism for our sector. Thank you for joining us at Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency – an emergent national hub to develop strategy, align activities, and activate the leadership of Canada’s arts and culture sector in the climate emergency. To those who have recently joined our mailing list, welcome! We’re so glad you’re here.

It’s still early days for SCALE, but some of the initiatives we’re currently developing are:

  • policy recommendations for government, integrating climate policy into arts policy
  • a national campaign for artists and arts organizations to mobilize around the climate emergency, with implementation guide
  • building partnerships with ASOs and networks across the sector
  • a regular newsletter to bring you the most recent developments from the intersection of climate and culture in Canada

As we prepare for our public launch, please help us grow our movement by forwarding this email to your networks and encouraging your colleagues to join our mailing list here. If you would like to become more involved in SCALE—by attending monthly Roundtable meetings, participating in a working group, or by any other means—please contact us at info@scale-lesaut.ca. Everyone is needed, and everyone is welcome.

Here are some examples of upcoming happenings and inspirations at the intersection of art and sustainability we’d like to share with you this month:

Climate Art Web

The newly emerging Climate Art Web/Web d’Art Climatique exists to build relationships and connect artists across northern Turtle Island (Canada) who are working on projects that address climate change, environmental justice, sustainability, and place-based care and relationship. CAW-WAC is building an online resource of such artists as well as facilitating an online gathering that will take place in Spring 2022. This gathering will give climate artists across the country a chance to meet other artists, get acquainted with creative projects in their own and other regions, and discuss best practices and challenges in making art in relation to climate justice. Please submit your work by March 15 to be included in the online resource and gathering!

Canadian works featured in 100 Plays to Save the World

100 Plays to Save the World is a new guide edited by Elizabeth Freestone and Jeanie O’Hare which brings together the best climate emergency plays from around the world. Several Canadian plays are featured, including Alanna Mitchell’s Sea Sick, Colleen Murphy’s The Breathing Hole, and SCALE Roundtable member Chantal Bilodeau’s Forward. Each work is explored in a concise essay illuminating key themes, and highlighting its contribution to our understanding of climate issues.

CBC Radio’s Q hosts a week of artists addressing the climate emergency

From January 31 to February 4, CBC Radio’s Q with Tom Power focuses on artists tackling the climate emergency in a special series: Shelter from the Storm: Arts and Climate Change. Touching on a broad range of artistic practices, from music to fashion to film and drag, Canadian artists talk about how their work grapples with and responds to issues of climate change and environmental sustainability. The series includes interviews with such luminaries as Laakkuluk Williamson BathoryMarcus Syrus Ware and Tamara Lindeman of The Weather Station.

Sustainability and the Performing Arts Training Series

Our friends at the Conseil québécois des événements écoresponsables (CQEER) are organizing this training series in collaboration with the Association des théâtres francophones du Canada (ATFC) and Artiste citoyen en tournée (ACT). This training series aims to equip francophone individuals and organizations working in the cultural and artistic milieu across Canada with tools on various themes related to sustainability. Each 1.5 hour training session is composed of 1 hour of content and 30 minutes of sharing where guests will share their experiences! There are three trainings left between now and April.

Do you have questions or suggestions for a future edition of this email? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at info@scale-lesaut.ca.

In gratitude and solidarity,

SCALE Coordinating Circle

Learn more: SCALE Terms of Reference and list of Coordinating Circle members

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