Fanfare for a sustainable future – the arts weigh in

Singer Camille Hesketh and Ethos decided to create a “fanfare for sustainability” by commissioning a new work of music that they would perform at the VanDusen Visitor Centre. She explained that buildings like this are still rare and new, but like the pipeline debates, as more and more people become aware of this green technology they enter the discourse on the side of viable and sustainable alternatives.

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It’s in the air

I left the concert wondering if something as arcane as contemporary classical music could definitively get the word out about sustainability. Flett, Hesketh and the musicians of the Ethos Collective were sincere in their efforts to triumph sustainable design (this was no green washing), so I had to take heart that this performance represented a gathering of strands of something rare and handmade, but that more had to follow. Even if The Duke of Green is too unfathomable to inspire the owner of an asbestos-filled monster home in PoCo, many artists are beginning to use their artistic creativity to get the message out in other ways. Take for example Oliver Kellhammer’s Means of Production garden in East Vancouver, which grows its own fibre for spinning, plants for dyes, willow for weaving, and even wood for making musical instruments

Video documentary: Means of Production

Then two days after the Ethos concert, I was delighted to hear that Vancouver New Music would be mounting a festival titled Sonic Topographies with four evening concerts from October 16 through 19, as well as a series of free events in the community called Alternative Energies. From late September through October, Alternative Energies plans to “explore the intersection of art and sustainability” by presenting a series of concerts, workshops, and other events. Don’t miss it!


Opening reception September 26, 2014; 5 - 7PM  |  Performance by Peggy Lee  |  Culture Days Weekend Event!  Canadian Music Centre (837 Davie Street). An installation of images and sounds gathered in various ghost towns of British Columbia. 

At the Edge of Wilderness - September 29 - October 17, 2014; Monday - Friday, 9AM - 5PM   |  FREE. Composition by Hildegard Westerkamp and photography by Florence Debeugny. Canadian Music Centre (837 Davie Street). An installation of images and sounds gathered in various ghost towns of British Columbia. Opening reception - September 26, 2014; 5 - 7PM  |  Performance by Peggy Lee  |  Culture Days Weekend Event!

Vancouver Electronic Ensemble plays music by David Dunn Saturday, October 4 and 11, 2014; 8PM  |  BY DONATION  Vancouver Community College Atrium (1155 East Broadway). The Vancouver Electronic Ensemble (VEE) will perform works based on the music of composer and sound ecologist David Dunn, incorporating environmental and field recordings to explore intersections of art and nature.

Vancouver Electronic Ensemble - Monday, October 6, 2014; 7PM  |  FREE at the Contemporary Art Gallery (555 Nelson Street). An sound performance inspired by the recent works of German artist Jürgen Partenheimer whose exhibition, The Archive - The Raven Diaries, runs from September 12 - November 9, 2014 at the CAG.

Sound and Sustainability Soundwalks Sunday, October 5 and 12, 2014; 2PM  |  FREE. Members of the Vancouver Soundwalk Collective lead two, free guided walks through the urban environment.




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