If you have attended a Waterkeeper Gala, you’ll know that we like to experiment.
Gord Downie played an acoustic set during the salad course at our first gala.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. signalled the start to our art auction by reminding guests that “a culture is remembered for the beauty that it creates” at our second gala.
Peter Mansbridge, Sarah Harmer, Scott Thompson, Atom Egoyan, Tanis Rideout, Naomi Snieckus and Matt Baram, Kevin Drew, Andrea Nann, Leslie Feist, Wab Kinew and others shared personal water stories from stages scattered around the dining area last year.
We put a lot of thought into the staging of our events, because it’s the one night a year when we can share our most important thoughts on water.
So, what’s on our mind this year?
Culture. Water is the centre of culture.
Think about it. Everyone’s life has been shaped in some way by water: where they live, what they eat, the work they do, the recreation they enjoy, the places they spend time with friends and family… everything.
What happens when we forget about the importance of water? We are starting to learn. A child growing up in Canada today cannot eat the same fish their parents ate, cannot paddle the same waters their grandparents paddled.
The disconnect between water and culture has profound impacts on our lives. To do harm to water is to do harm to ourselves. That’s one of the themes we want to share with our guests this year.
I am honoured to say that Wade Davis has agreed to speak at the 2015 Waterkeeper Gala Toronto. Wade is a renowned National Geographic explorer-in-residence, anthropologist, and writer. He has been taking a new journey with us at the National Water Centre, exploring the changing role of water in Canadian culture. I can’t wait.