David Suzuki will visit 12 B.C. communities, from Smithers in the north to Nanaimo in the south, between June 1 and 13 this year.
The Celebrating Coastal Connections events will draw on the long history of work, activism and friendship that David Suzuki and the David Suzuki Foundation have with B.C.’s coastal communities.
“These communities are close to my heart, and I’m looking forward to honouring our shared past and building a future together that is both ecologically sustainable and economically vibrant,” Suzuki said.
Recent events such as shellfish die-offs on Vancouver Island, low snow packs, pine beetle devastation and altered growing seasons highlight the need for creative and quick responses from coastal communities to climate change and other environmental challenges.
The tour will feature a film about climate change in B.C. by Ian Mauro, an award-winning community-based researcher and filmmaker. Mauro’s documentaries include Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change and Climate Change in Atlantic Canada. The David Suzuki Foundation has supported Mauro in documenting climate change’s impacts on the West Coast.
“We’re hoping to celebrate, motivate and connect coastal communities, First Nations and partners around our shared respect and admiration for the coastal waters that make British Columbia such an amazing place to live,” said David Suzuki Foundation Western Canada director Jay Ritchlin. “We want to hear about the challenges facing our coastal communities, successes in overcoming those challenges and visions for a healthy future.” Tour stops will include Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Comox, Campbell River, Alert Bay, Port Hardy, Bella Bella, Smithers, Kitimat, Prince Rupert, Masset and Skidegate. Schools will participate through art projects about students’ connections to their coastal homes.