At the beginning of the conference I had the pleasure of hearing the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, speak. I don’t know much about his politics but I really enjoy his speech. He argued that apathy doesn’t exist. ”Are there really people who don’t care? Or do they just not see a relationship between institutions and their own hopes, dreams and fears?’ he asked.
I wanted to share with you one of his awesome initiatives that really inspired me. Nenshi created the 3 Things for Calgary campaign. This campaign challenged citizens to do three things for their community. These things are promoted through social media and word of mouth. Citizens were then challenges to tell 3 other people to do 3 things! This reminded me of that lovely SuperForesty film Pay it Forward and it also gave me a great idea.
SuperForest, I, Jenni Rempel, am challenging you to do 3 Things for The World. They don’t have to be big or grand things. I once heard Martin Sheen say “We are not asked to do great things, but to do all things with great care.”. They can be little things. Things you probably already do each day. Please start today and please share your three in the comments of this post!
Just after writing this I had a great walk and did a whole bunch of things that might inspire you if you need some ideas!
passing on a smile
giving a high five
letting someone else go first
eating some local, organic plants
giving someone a pep talk
I am so excited about this new way to show my gratitude to the world for all of the opportunities and abundance it provides me with!
Love & Aloha! Love & Aloha! Love & Aloha! (That’s 3!)
A little late, but better late than never. This summer Canada lost one of its most powerful social, democratic voices in politics, and in our Canadian community. You don’t have to be political or aligned with the New Democratic Party to recognize that the late Jack Layton was a SuperForester through and through.
Some of his last words are written below:
As this Obama-esque poster suggests, Jack was seen as the new hope for Canada, and although he didn’t win the race for Prime Minister, he was able to become the Leader of the Opposition (a.k.a. the guy who calls the PM out on his shit.)
Jack was a cyclist, an environmentalist, a peacemaker and a passionate, fiery advocate for change.
I used to work in this cafe in Toronto, and one of my regulars was this totally witty, extremely down to earth guy, Jamie. We used to crack jokes to each other about his resemblance to the Chef who owned the cafe (also named Jamie), given their ”Jamie-ness” and their curly hair and stylish glasses, but mostly we just enjoyed each other’s company. Rather, I enjoyed his, and he probably just liked my lattes.
After I left that job and moved to Canada’s capital, I found out that my cafe regular was also a successful documentary filmmaker and writer! Humble people rock, by the way. I recently stumbled upon his newest documentary, Recessionize: For Fun & Profit!
And so, SuperForest, with his unique and dark sense of humour, Jamie shows us how we can all benefit from these recessionary times! Yay! Jamie provides a better description on his YouTube Channel:
A black-comic road doc about turning crisis into opportunity. A mock educational/business primer frames this series of globe-hopping parables shot in comic verité-style throughout California, Europe and Dubai. An idiosyncratic cast, by turns funny, absurd and heartrending, ranging from kids at “Camp Millionaire”, to Berlin prostitutes offering eco-discounts, to the proprietors of the French “Hamster Hotel.” The present-day journey is interspersed with ironic tales of folks adapting during the Great Depression. Ultimately “Recessionize! For Fun And Profit!” tells a unique,bittersweet tale that touches on the universal ironies of modern market-guided existence.
It just goes to show you, SuperForesters, you never know whose coffee you’re making! Smile and make an effort to connect — you’ll feel great, and you might even learn something.
I’ve been slowly but surely reading this amazing book, “The Sacred Balance” by David Suzuki. Why slowly but surely? Well, to give you a sneak peek into the life of SuperForester Heather, this is because I’m one of those people who has about 3 or 4 books on the nightstand at the same time. Anyway, so far this book is a bit science heavy in places, but overall it’s a wonderful, eye-opening and meaningful book to read about the environment. Like the book says, it is about “rediscovering our place in nature.”
For those of you not too familiar with David Suzuki, you can check out my previous posts about him here and here. He’s an extremely rad dude! Very SuperForesty.
Even though I’m only about halfway through this book, I highly recommend it to you all. A couple of quotes to get you inspired:
“There is no environment “out there” that is separate from us. We can’t manage our impact on the environment if we are our surroundings. Indigenous people are absolutely correct: we are born of the earth and constructed from the four sacred elements of earth, air, fire and water” (page 17).
“Like air and water, soil is a critical source of life that is taken into the deepest recesses of our bodies and actually made into us. Like air and water, then, soil demands great respect: what we do to it, we do to ourselves”(page 143).
I was recently privileged to hear Dr. David Suzuki give his legacy lecture here in Ottawa, as part of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. I’ve spoken about David Suzuki on SuperForest before, when discussing sustainable seafood. Being a Canadian, I cannot imagine anyone who is unfamiliar with David Suzuki, but just in case you are, no worries, you can learn all about him here:
Suzuki created this lecture (and the book and film that followed) in response to the idea of leaving a legacy, or an answer to the question, “If you had one last lecture to give, what would you say?” Suzuki delivered his legacy lecture with passion, vigour and honesty. Much like the title of the film, he reminded us that as a human species, “we have become a force of nature.”
At the ripe old age of 74, David Suzuki spoke with the wisdom of a grandfather and the energy of a young college student. After teaching at UBC for 39 years, he was never officially asked to give a “legacy lecture”, but that hasn’t stopped him. With age comes wisdom, and he believes that his generation should start talking: “it is our duty as elders to distill a legacy [because] we can speak the truth.”
As humans, we must realize that “all other species are our kin”, says Suzuki. We are not the only species on this planet, we do not just have a relationship with the environment, we are the environment. He stresses that “we have to come to grips with how powerful we’ve become.” As a species, we are not any more dominant than the other creatures we started out with in Africa. The only thing that sets humans apart is our memory, our curiosity, our inventiveness and self-awareness. We have foresight to imagine the future, whereas other animals do not. Over the years we have expanded and multiplied at a staggering rate, so that we now occupy every continent on the planet.
It is because of this sheer size that our species must humble itself and realize our impact on the planet. We don’t know our own strength. So many of us have become disconnected to the earth. “The way we see the world shapes the way we treat it”, stresses Suzuki. He provided the example of Peruvian school children who revere the nearby mountain as a god, and therefore respect and honour it. Picture that child and how he or she will treat the environment, then picture a North American suburban child, who sees the nearby mountain or trail as unimportant or unessential in his or her life. How will he or she view that mountain or treat that trail? We are consuming too much and using our environment as a toxic dump.
We are the environment.” — David Suzuki
In days gone by, farming was a main source of income and was the livelihood of most people. Therefore most people lived in rural areas. Nowadays most of the people in the world live in cities. According to Suzuki, this has shifted our focus from environment to economy. What we have forgotten though, is that “an economy is made possible by the biosphere.”
Suzuki went on to share many more kernels of knowledge and wisdom and reminded us all that it seems moot to describe oneself as an “environmentalist” — we should all be environmentalists, it should not be necessary to declare this. I look forward to seeing his film and sharing more of what I’ve learned through his speech. In a world full of opinions, those held by David Suzuki are rooted in scientific fact and expressed eloquently, with a few laughs here and there. Powerful stuff. Definitely to be shared with my nieces, the next generation.
So, SuperForesters, how are you treating the environment? What about your family and friends? Perhaps share one of David Suzuki’s books with a friend or family member and share the passion and the knowledge he has spent many years cultivating. And while you’re at it, why not grow your own food? Like SuperForester Jackson and Jesse have shown, permaculture is the better way! Let’s all become farmers again and be one with our environment. You can start with what disappears when you close your eyes.
Hello SuperForest! On the weekend I went for a hike in Gatineau Park with a friend so I thought I’d share my experience and photos! When I get the chance, hiking is one of my favourite things to do — getting outside, challenging myself on the steep slopes, jutting around the roots and rocks and letting my mind breathe.
When I hike with this particular friend it also serves as a bit of a mutual therapy session; as if being in nature wasn’t therapy enough, we make sure to catch each other up on our lives and help each other figure out how to solve any issues we’re grappling with at that time.
It depends if you’re on a solitary hike or hiking with a friend or many others, but a hike can serve many purposes. It can be a fun outing, a peaceful retreat from city life, a therapy session, a connection with nature, and much more!
For me hiking allows me to be in nature (my favourite place to be) and to let that fresh air create fresh thoughts. Whether I’m chatting away brainstorming ideas with a friend, peacefully being silent and allowing thoughts to come naturally, or clearing my mind and simply taking in the beauty, my mind feels free and my body gets a workout.
We also came across a beautiful dog on our hike that day, I couldn’t resist capturing that pretty face…
So, breathe deep, SuperForest, and get outside for a hike!
Hello SuperForesters everywhere! The lovely SuperForester Marie-Eve, famous for her Herculean strength at Zero One, agreed to cover the Osheaga Music Festival for all of us! So, without further ado, I present to you The Osheaga Music Festival, through the eyes and ears of SuperForester Marie-Eve (with a little help from little old me!)
I am so happy to collaborate with Heather to introduce to you one of many events I’ve attended this summer in our country (we are both from Canada!) I should probably start by saying that I am certainly having the most wonderful summer ever, and that I really hope that you are enjoying yours as much!
Weekend after weekend, Montreal seems to be vibrating on the waves of many festivals. This one, called Osheaga, occurs on the weekend bridging the months of July and August. Some of you probably already know this annual event, since our friend SuperForester Jason performed there 2 years ago (however, I am sad to have missed that!).
Borrowing its name from the Iroquois word meaning “large rapids”, The Osheaga Music and Arts Festival’s goal is to highlight the local and international music scene, both present and future. This 5th edition had showcased over 40 bands on four different stages at Parc Jean-Drapeau on the beautiful Saint Helen’s Island, in the area of Montreal. During the event, the city offers free public transport to the festival-goers. This year, its most exciting initiative was the launch of the Green Stage, which was partially powered by alternative energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines! Doesn’t it sound good? Definitely! And I do hope that next year will be marked by the disappearance of the foam containers used by the mobile canteens! Writing this is giving me the idea to propose this to the town council. Yes! I want to be proud of the town where I live!
Thus, to get back into my main subject, I attended Osheaga for the very first time this year. I spent an amazing day there on Saturday, well accompanied by my great friend and roommate Claude-Emilie! Our very favorite (and the main reason why we were there) has been, without a doubt, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros. Such lovely people they are! The fun they are having on stage is just like a ray of sunshine! I am definitely looking forward to seeing the entire show they have put on (they only had 45 minutes of play time.) Here is a video I made for the real big fans, who will excuse the low quality!
The other bands we saw on stage were: Jimmy Cliff, Jamie Lidell, Pavement, The National and the biggest show and most anticipated band – Arcade Fire. We missed Ingrid Michaelson by 30 minutes (sad), and we missed seeing K’naan but we did hear him while we were having the healthy lunch that we had brought on the site. We found the only kinda calm spot and had a picnic on the grass before going back in the crowd to have a whale of a time! We ended up walking back home, happily tired, wide smiles plastered on our faces, humming nice songs that were stuck in our heads.
I really hope that I tempted you to attend this festival next year, and that you will come numerous times!
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
What a lovely report! Marie-Eve believes she is not very adept with a camera, but I felt like I was in the audience with her! Thank you to Marie-Eve for providing such a lively and informative account of Osheaga, and I hope more SuperForesters can attend next year.
If you haven’t already noticed, here at SuperForest we love us some Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros!
Good Evening SuperForest! The subject of freedom has been heavy on my mind lately. Perhaps it was SuperForester Tawney’s post about Free the Slaves that reminded me of one of my most precious resources: my freedom. (To take action and help free the slaves, click here.)
I am so grateful that I live in a country that allows me to choose freely what I can do and who I can spend time with. Aside from the extremely upsetting situation surrounding the G20 recently in my former home city, for the most part living in Canada represents a relatively free life for many. Unfortunately during the G20, many innocent people were stripped of their freedoms and basic rights, in an attempt to ”control the masses”. Rather than expand on this upsetting situation in this post, I would like to focus on the positive. If you’d like to read more about the G20, you are obviously free to do so.
Canada isn’t usually a place where tear gas is released. Recently we celebrated Canada Day here (July 1st), and living in Ottawa now I realize even more how big of an event it really is, especially here in the nation’s capital. It reminds me that I live in a country that is, for the most part, quite liberal in some ways (regardless of our leader at the moment). With Independence Day in the recent past, I am sure many of you in the U.S. are also thinking about your own freedoms and rights. How many of us are thinking about the many people throughout the world who don’t have the same liberties as we have? I am grateful to people like Tawney who remind us of this.
Freedom is definitely not a new topic on SuperForest; the concept of freedom has been on the virtual lips and keyboard-tapping fingertips of many a SuperForester over the years; SuperForester Julius spoke about his country’s annual day of freedom, SuperForester Jackson spoke about peaceful protest, SuperForester Ewa introduced us to this amazing song and performance, and I myself have also spoken about being grateful for my status as a relatively free individual. Whether it’s the freedom to marry whomever you choose, the freedom to choose your career or lifestyle, the freedom to protest peacefully or the freedom to simply express your views publicly, I believe we should all be free.
SuperForest is also a harbinger of freedom, as I am able to share whatever inspires me with all of you and for that I am extremely grateful. For example, you might have noticed that Friday Films has gone on vacation. I have decided to take a break from posting film reviews because although it was very fun to do and I’m glad many of you enjoyed them, what I love about SuperForest is that I have the freedom to post about anything, and I found that binding myself to one weekly series was limiting my freedom of expression on SuperForest. I may bring back Friday Films from time to time, but I think I’d like to diversify my posting from now on and try to get more personal with all of you. I’d like to use my freedom of expression to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences more! What do you want to know? Let’s chat freely, SuperForest.
I realize this has already been posted, but I’m sure you will all agree, there can never be too much love for this lovely friend of SuperForest. I’d also like to give a huge shout out to Luc & the Lovingtons and the children of New Orleans for writing this amazing song. When I listen to the words, sounds and gorgeous voices, I feel happy and grateful for the freedom I enjoy in my life, and of course, grateful for SuperForest!
Yours forever singing “freedom” at the top of my lungs,
These visualizations are the brainchild of writer and self-described “data journalist” and “information designer” David McCandless. Like many of the amazing infographics we’ve shared on SuperForest, I think these visualizations are also a unique, thought-provoking way of looking at information and our world. Kudos to Mr. McCandless and his colleagues for their talent and ingenuity!
As a Canadian, I suppose I can support my status as one of the many “fruit juice drinkers” across this vast land, as long as wine is included in the “fruit juice” category, I think it’s probably pretty accurate!
Good Morning SuperForest! This Friday I am sharing with you an inspiring TV series that I love! Ok, so it’s not a “film” per se, but I do see each episode as a mini documentary, so I think it qualifies.
Now in its third season, Departures stars Justin Lukach and Scott Wilson, with the superb camerawork of Andre Dupuis. The basic premise is: two typical Canadian guys, traveling the world and expanding their horizons. Through their discoveries of other cultures and landscapes, the guys learn more about themselves and each other, making their friendship stronger. Scott and Justin have a real straight man/funny man dynamic, each of them bringing something different and equally entertaining and informative to the show.
I love this show because I have not traveled much in my life, so living vicariously through Scott and Justin is a great way for me to learn about other countries and be entertained all at once!
You can view episodes online on the OLN Website, or if you are in Canada, Departures airs on OLN Saturday nights at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. They also have a YouTube Channel, DeparturesTV where you can catch clips of episodes.
Departures is SuperForesty because it is all about learning, growing and embracing other cultures. It’s all about connection: connection to friends, strangers and the world around us. One of my favourite episodes is when they visit a nomadic tribe in Mongolia.
From a filmic perspective, Andre’s camerawork is stunning. He always seems to capture what is going on using angles that suit each mood. His keen, creative eye spots so much beauty in the countries they visit, and he’s always got the camera running for any historical tidbits from Scott or funny hijinks Justin is providing at any given moment.
If you have the chance to watch this show, I recommend it!
What travel shows or documentaries are entertaining or inspiring to you?
Hello SuperForesters! I thought you might enjoy taking another little nature walk with me! As you know from some of my earlier posts, I love nature walks! Today, however, it was a nature bikeride!! Yes, I got a new bike a few weeks ago — it's new to me, but it's also second hand. I got a great deal on a super rad cruiserriffic bike: a Norco Santa Cruz! So now I can pretend I'm cruising down the beach in sunny California with some of you SuperForesters who live there :)
I was searching for a name for my new bicycle, but all I could come up with was “Bikey” — either I'm totally not creative when it comes to naming things, or I'm a sucker for cutesy names. (A few years ago at a camp I worked at there was a bunny who lived outside my cabin and the camp was in Quebec, so I called it “le bunneh”. Case in point re: my naming skills!)
Anyhoo, today was such a beautiful day and my bikeride was so lovely! Here are a few snaps I took along the way, I hope you enjoy them! One of the best things about living in a four-seasons climate is when the signs of spring emerge :)
Inukshuks are totally a Canadian thing…I guess you could say this area is Ottawa's answer to Vancouver's seawall…although I do like my new city, I'm sorry but the seawall in Vancouver is way more beautiful!
This little patch had some pretty purple flowers throughout…
I christen thee Seagull Island!
A real live Canada goose! They're everywhere…
Goosey was pretty hungry! While I sat on a bench and read my book, he gobbled down many a tasty treat from beneath the grass! This bikeride was the highlight of my day today — I love to stop and take photos and capture these moments! I promise I will keep sharing beautiful snapshots of nature with all of you :)