"If these little communities along the lake ... are going to be left out on our own by our government to duke it out with huge industry, without the same money, without the same resources, without the same information or even the same access, then we might as well start introducing ourselves to each other along the lake. “That's a big part of this tour, to look across at each other, shake hands and say, 'Well, our issues are sort of different, but they all end up in the same place,' and that's the lake." Gord Downie, Sept 2/06
Next week, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, Gord Downie, and special guests will present Heart Of A Lake in Whitby, Port Hope, and Kingston. The Whitby show has sold out, but there are still tickets available for Port Hope (Sept 19) and Kingston (Sept 21). This tour is about you: please join us!
Heart Of A Lake is an evening of music, poetry, dance and stories of environmental justice featuring Mark Mattson (Waterkeeper & environmental lawyer) and Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip, Trustee for Lake Ontario).
This week, poet Tanis Rideout and dancer Andrea Nann joined the tour's roster of performers. Rideout is the â€œpoet laureateâ€? for Lake Ontario. She has crafted poetry inspired by the people and places of Lake Ontario. Nann is a Toronto-based contemporary dance choreographer, performer, teacher and the artistic director of Andrea Nann Dreamwalker Dance Company. Their participation makes Heart Of A Lake a truly unique blend of art and activism.
Last week, Waterkeeper announced that a local resident would also be part of each show. These â€œcommunity ambassadorsâ€? bring a story or spirit to the stage that reflects the experiences of the people who live near Lake Ontario:
Larry Ladd, Whitby show: Larry is a retired autoworker who was born and raised in Oshawa. He helped to launch the Oshawa Marina Users Group in efforts to prevent the closure of the Oshawa marina. The marina was closed in 2002, but Ladd and the Group continue to work towards a clean, green waterfront.
Sanford Haskill, Port Hope show: Sanford was born and raised in Port Hope. His family has owned the same stretch of Lake Ontario shoreline since 1793. He has been active in environmental causes, sports and historical associations, and local politics.
Martin Hauschild, Kingston show: Martin has more than two decades experience in the environmental field and a former Engineering Officer in the Canadian Army. Martin lives on Amherst Island and has been a staunch advocate for ensuring proposals like the Lafarge Alternative Fuels Project meet Ontario's standards for environmental protection.
With the help of individuals like these and talented artists like Downie, Nann and Rideout, Heart Of A Lake is shaping up to be the kind of event that defines a generation.
This is your lake. This is your tour. Please join us.