Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Edward Burtynsky host gala and art auction for Lake Ontario Waterkeeper on February 7
For interview opportunities with hosts, supporters, and artists, please contact:
Allie Kosela at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper
t) 416.861.1237 (after hours, call 416.579.1731)
TORONTO, January 24, 2012 — Two prominent figures from the worlds of art and environment are coming together for the first time to help raise funds for the Toronto-based Lake Ontario Waterkeeper on its 10th anniversary. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance and son of the U.S. political figure, and Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky will co-host a gala dinner and art auction presented by RBC on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at Corus Quay in Toronto.
Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Burtynsky will be joined by other Waterkeeper supporters from the worlds of art, sports, and science, including Joseph Boyden (Giller Prize winning author), Wade Davis (National Geographic explorer), Denise Donlon (media executive and television host), Gord Downie (musician and poet), Kevin Lowe (NHL all-star) and Karen Percy Lowe (Olympic medalist).
"Waterkeeper believes in a world where it is safe to swim, drink the water, and eat a fish,” said Mark Mattson, President, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. “With the vision of artists, the wisdom of scientists, the courage of athletes, and leadership from the business community, we can achieve a swimmable, drinkable and fishable world."
Over a dozen works of art will be auctioned off at this sold-out gala to help Waterkeeper restore Lake Ontario. Contributing artists include Michael Adamson, Ed Bartram, Paul Beliveau, Edward Burtynsky, Barbara Cole, Barbara Davidson, GAGNON, David Grieve, Daniel Hughes, Stewart Jones, Anita Kunz, Raymond Martin, Charles Pachter, Peter Rotter, Joe Sampson and Su Sheedy. The works can be previewed at waterkeeper.ca/gala.
The inaugural Waterkeeper Gala is presented by RBC with contributions from Bullfrog Power, Corus Entertainment, Mill Street Brewery, and Waddington's / Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects.
After contaminated drinking water caused seven deaths in Walkerton, Ontario, Mark Mattson and Krystyn Tully started Lake Ontario Waterkeeper to protect the province’s most important drinking water source. Lake Ontario provides drinking water to nine-million people in Canada and the USA, including those in the Greater Toronto Area, Kingston and Hamilton.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper is the first Ontario member of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s Waterkeeper Alliance, a global network of 200 watershed protection organizations. The group works for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable Lake Ontario.
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More information: waterkeeper.ca/gala
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is a resolute defender of the environment. Mr. Kennedy serves as President of Waterkeeper Alliance, a global network of 200 grassroots environmental organizations. He is a professor at Pace University’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. He is a licensed master falconer. Mr. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success leading the fight to restore the Hudson River.
Edward Burtynsky is one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world. Mr. Burtynsky’s distinctions include the TED Prize, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, The Flying Elephant Fellowship, Applied Arts Magazine book award(s), and the Roloff Beny Book award. He holds four honorary doctorate degrees and was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.
Joseph Boyden is a novelist and short story writer who studied creative writing at York University and the University of New Orleans. Joseph writes about First Nations heritage and culture. His novels include Three Day Road (2005) and Through Black Spruce (2008). Joseph is the winner of the Giller Prize, Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Joseph is a founder and President of Moose Riverkeeper.
Wade Davis is an ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker. He is currently Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Wade’s photography has been featured in 20 books and over 80 different magazine, journals, and newspapers. Wade had received numerous awards including the Golden Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and the Explorers Medal. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998. Wade’s newest books are Into the Silence and The Sacred Headwaters.
Denise Donlon is a Canadian media executive, television producer, television host, and program director. Her career began at MuchMusic as a host and producer; she became MuchMusic’s director of music programming, Vice President and General Manager. She has also worked for Sony Music Canada (President), CHUM (Board of Directors), and at CBC Radio (Executive Director). Denise was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Powerful Women, and is a board member of the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Performing Arts Awards. Denise was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2004. She has been a Trustee for Lake Ontario since 2007.
Gord Downie is the lead vocalist and driving creative force behind “Canada’s band”, The Tragically Hip, who have thrilled audiences around the world with their live performances for two decades. When not writing, recording and touring tirelessly with The Tragically Hip, Downie also enjoys a successful career as a solo artist. In the summer of 2001, he released Coke Machine Glow – an album accompanied by a book of poetry, of the same name. Coke Machine Glow garnered critical acclaim, paving the way for 2003′s Battle of the Nudes and 2010′s The Grand Bounce. Gord has been a tireless supporter and Trustee for Lake Ontario since 2006.
Kevin Lowe is a retired NHL defenseman who played for the Edmonton Oiler and the New York Rangers. Kevin is currently the President of Hockey Operations for the Edmonton Oilers. As well as being a six-time Stanley Cup winner, Kevin was a five-time NHL all-star. Kevin sits on the board of directors of North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper and is an active Waterkeeper Alliance trustee.
Karen Percy Lowe
Karen Percy Lowe is a Canadian alpine skier who won two bronze medals at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics near her hometown of Banff. Karen became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1988 and received an Olympic Champion award at The Tribute to the Champions in 1989. Karen is recognized in the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Karen is co-founder, chairperson, and president of North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper and is an active Waterkeeper Alliance trustee.
Lake Ontario Waterkeeper’s Co-Founders
Mark Mattson, President & Waterkeeper
Mark Mattson is a prominent environmental lawyer whose love of water stems from his childhood summers swimming and fishing on Wolfe Island, near Kingston. Born into a family of lawyers in Southern Ontario, Mark grew up with a passion for fairness and individual rights. He pursued a career in law, but abandoned the corporate world shortly after graduation in order to dedicate his work to protecting the natural environment. As a prosecutor, first for government and then for the non-profit sector, Mark was part of groundbreaking private prosecutions and administrative cases against major industrial polluters.
After ten years in the courtroom, Mark began to devote more time to developing institutions that will restore and protect watersheds for generations to come. He founded Lake Ontario Waterkeeper in 2001 and remains the organization's full-time Waterkeeper and President to this day.
Krystyn Tully, Vice President
Krystyn Tully grew up in Oshawa, Ontario, where she saw first-hand how communities disconnected from their waterfronts struggle culturally and economically. Since co-founding Lake Ontario Waterkeeper with Mark Mattson in 2001, Krystyn has been able to help win back some of the watershed's lost spaces and strengthen its vanishing waterfront culture. She has written or edited more than 400 articles about water and environmental policy. For two years, she was editor and co-host of the Living at the Barricades radio program. Krystyn has appeared before numerous municipal, provincial, and federal government committees, including defending navigation rights at the Standing Committee on Finance. In 2010, Krystyn began designing Swim Guide, a mobile app and website that will connect people to clean, local beaches.
For more information about our Co-Hosts, special guests, and the founders of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, please visit waterkeeper.ca/gala.