words: February 2023; We we're here
February 19, 2023
February 2023 : Why we’re here

The start of the year for SCALE has been a time of intense planning, and your input has been crucial as we determine how best to deliver on our mission over the next two years: to foster a coordinated, artful and impactful response to the climate emergency from Canada’s arts and culture sector.  Big thanks to everyone who took the time to answer our short survey – we were so glad to hear from you! We have exciting plans in the works which we will be announcing soon through this newsletter… stay tuned! If you missed our survey last month, it’s not too late to share your feedback with us

We are also excited to introduce our new LinkedIn page, where we will be sharing more news and opportunities at the intersection of arts and climate. Be sure to follow us and participate in the conversation! 

In our last newsletter, we asked you to share a favourite or provocative piece of art, writing, music or video which inspires and reinvigorates you. And inspiration we got: check out this fantastic digital zine about eco-anxiety: Solastalgia is a community-based zine from the good people at Apathy is Boring, which aims to normalize the large spectrum of emotions one may feel as a result of climate change. It includes painting, poems, collages, writing and various artworks from BC youth artists. Let us know if it speaks to you, and don’t forget to send your own recommendations for inspiration by replying to this email.

We’d like to close this month with our own bit of inspiration from George Monbiot’s Out of the Wreckage, which speaks directly to SCALE’s “WHY”- our reason for existing as an organisation:  “Despair is the state we fall into when our imagination fails. When we have no stories that describe the present and guide the future, hope evaporates. Political failure is, in essence, a failure of imagination. Without a new story, a story that is positive and propositional rather than reactive and oppositional, nothing changes. With such a story, everything changes.

We must hold fast to the power of imagination and the crucial role of arts and culture in building the new post-fossil stories so urgently needed.

Below are some recent highlights from the intersection of arts and climate.

This month’s news

Creative Green Tools’ Fireside Chat with Lori Marchand: Intersections of Indigenous Theatre – February 23 Hosted by our friends at Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts, we are so excited for this upcoming Fireside Chat with Lori Marchand, member of the Syilx First Nation and the first Managing Director of the NAC’s Indigenous Theatre. This conversation will explore questions in and out of Indigenous Theatre through an intersectional cultural lens. Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are welcome to join, regardless of prior knowledge!


Narratives of Abundance – May 24-28, 2023 Tracey Friesen and Amir Niroumand are hosting a four-day workshop at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, May 24-28. Narratives of Abundance was sparked by the impulses that led to the founding of Abundance Community Farm and Story Money Impact. This will be an experiential workshop that brings together media makers and social change activists to support envisioning and embodying a new story for living in harmony with the land and each other. 
Hollyhock is offering tiered tuition pricing, and until March 9 there’s an early bird discount of 15% off the all-inclusive accommodations.


Climate+Arts Prize Winners Last week was a big week for climate+arts prizes in Canada, and our very own Kendra Fanconi (Co-founder of SCALE and current Mission Circle member) was a double winner!! Congratulations to Kendra’s company The Only Animal for being selected as one of five winners of the Rewilding Arts Prize presented by the David Suzuki Foundation. Not to be outdone, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) presented its first-ever PACT Green Award also to The Only Animal. A special shout-out to runners-up Dennis Gupa (also a SCALE Mission Circle member) for his project Gossip with Whales, and Soulpepper Theatre for The Green Sessions. 

The Climate Comedy Cohort The Climate Comedy Cohort is an unprecedented network of American comedians who are coming together to learn, collaborate, and create hilarious new comedy informed by the hottest climate science. The Climate Comedy Cohort functions as a 9-month fellowship and comedy contest, co-created and directed by Generation180 and the Center for Media & Social Impact’s GoodLaugh initiative, aiming to flip the script on the way we think about climate change.


The challenges of sustainable film production in BC To conjure the imagination without pollution: this is the challenge of environmentally conscious film in British Columbia. In this short clip, cultural journalist Lyne Barnabé meets with two major players in the field to learn about ongoing initiatives supporting more environmentally friendly film production. (In French)


Another major divestment milestone in the UK The Royal Opera House recently announced it has severed its sponsorship relationship with BP after 33 years. With this decision, the ROH follows the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Portrait Gallery, the British Film Institute, the National Theatre, the National Gallery and the Tate Galleries (among others), all of whom have cut ties with the British multinational oil and gas company BP in recent years undermining BP’s social license to operate.  We are thrilled to celebrate this major milestone from the UK’s cultural scene – a bold example of one of the many ways  arts and culture institutions can affect impactful change with regards to the climate emergency. 


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