ClimArt change show ‘celebrates possibilities’

Inaugural North Columbia Environmental Society art and environment show blends art, music, film and multi-media with a message.

Get ready for an art show that blends climate change and the alpine lifestyle into a multi-media fusion with a message.

The ClimArt change show at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre hosted by the North Columbia Environmental Society will bring together local and regional artists to highlight challenges posed by climate change to the local environment and alpine lifestyles. It will also try to focus on what you can do to be part of the solution.

“It’s an art show with a message about climate action,” says NCES organizer Hailey Ross, who hopes everyone involved with come away with a “positive action message.

“What we want to do is have [artists and viewers] have that conversation themselves and have them tell that story to us,” Ross told the Times Review. “Have it be more their interpretation of the climate change issue in our backyard and then see what comes out of it when people are in a room sharing those ideas.”

The multi-media show is about making interconnections and provoking action. Ross’s educational background is in science, but she assures me that scientists have proven your message will get much further if you invite the artists along. ClimArt will be about, “doing it in a creative way … so that it’s not just scientific information coming at us – it’s something that hits your heart-space. And from an environmental education point of view, all the academic papers say that you won’t any impact unless you are hitting that heart-space.”

Ross hopes everyone involved will come away charged and connected for change. “The idea is that the art … submissions that come in will have a positive action message. Not all of them, of course, because it’s totally open to interpretations. But [that’s] the reason that we went that route as opposed to some sort of broader interpretation of what climate change means to you,” Ross said. “I didn’t want people to walk in and be depressed and see a whole bunch of paintings of melting glaciers. I wanted people to walk in and see a real diversity of images.”

Meghan Ward will present the keynote address at the event. The Banff-based adventure and travel writer is the author of the Alpine Club of Canada’s State of the Mountains Report. Completed in 2011 after two years of research, the 28-page report on climate change in the alpine environment combines scientific research, observations and anecdotes from a dozen top mountaineers. The report (available online for free) was designed to be an accessible resource for anyone interested in the effects of climate change on the alpine environment.

“It is written with mountaineers in mind,” Ward tells me in a telephone interview. “It’s really written for people who care about the mountains – whatever the relationship looks like. What’s unique about it is … we’ve taken 12 of Canada’s pretty-much most well-known or prominent mountaineers, some of which were in their heyday back in the ‘70s and ‘80s [others now].”

“It’s extremely relevant to anyone in the mountain community,” Ward says. “We wanted it to be accessible to the everyday person.”

Ward says her keynote address isn’t reserved for high alpine adventurers; the message of empowerment is also targeted at forest mountain bikers, river kayakers and everyone else who lives in between.

“You can take your passions and put them towards thing you really care about and for a good cause,” Ward said. “Not to take away from the message of climate change, but I know that part of the goal of this event is to really leave things up to other peoples’ interpretations. I’m not ultimately there to tell them anything, other than open up some doors.”

What exhibits are planned?

From Hailey Ross’s description of the artists and works on display, it sounds like Revelstoke art fans won’t want to miss ClimArt change. Not everything was nailed down at the time of our interview, but here’s some hints:

– Revelstoke photographer Bruno Long will contribute a photo essay.

– Sherpas Cinema has granted permission to screen JP Auclair’s now viral section from All.I.Can that features urban riding filmed in Trail.

– Parks Canada is contributing a digital piece that compares old glacier photos and inspiring images from their parks. This will include retouched, almost psychedelic satellite imagery of glaciers that displays ongoing change.

– Revelstoke artist Stephanie Lyn will display a “crazy” installation work that is basically a ski outfit made up of dyed ice cubes. The exhibit will melt away through the evening.

– Banff-based artist Jane Newman is contributing a collage piece in the form of a letter to the planet that will present her reflections on climate change.

– Trapper Snowboards will feature a hand-made local snowboard and talk about what it means to do business in the face of climate change.

– A screening of Revelstoke resident Conor Hurley’s A World to Conserve, exploring the issue of Independent Power Projects in the region.

– DJ Greg Martinello will help the event along with music.

– Revelstoke alpine adventurer Greg Hill will reveal his next challenge, following his two-million foot ski year in 2010.

– There will be a multi-media room with a number of video works.

– Several elementary and high school students are contributing works.

– There are lots of door prizes. They include stuff from Skookum and Valhalla Pure, a free paragliding trip, a skin tune and more.

– Lots more to come. I interviewed Hailey Ross well before the event, and she said there were lots more works planned.

– The free, by-donation event is licensed, but due to liquor rules you must ask for an invite by emailing It is all ages.

The details

ClimArt change is at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre (320 Wilson Street) starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. By donation. All ages. Email for invite (due to liquor laws).



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