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This Article is part of the Great Bear Rainforest special report See the full report

Great Bear Rainforest photographer urges a halt on tar sands oil

“The Great Bear Rainforest really stands in the way of Asia’s insatiable demand for oil and gas," says veteran coastal wildlife photographer Ian McAllister.

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Ian McAllister - black and white bears - Great Bear Wild

Photo by Ian McAllister from Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest, published by Greystone Books.

One of his favourite shots is a rare white bear cub sandwiched between two black bears.  The mother bears have a recessive gene that can produce white or black offspring, he said. 

“You can have a white mom with a black cub, and vice versa.” 

Protect this coast from oil urges photographer

McAllister said Canadians have an important decision to make about whether they want to protect this precious ecosystem from Alberta’s pipelines. 

“Are we going to increase tar sands production, climate-changing production in Alberta, build these thousand-mile long pipelines, and place this amazing rainforest at risk, just to feed cars in Asia?”

“I think this book illustrates why people feel so passionately about this coast, and why people don’t want tankers here.  

"It’s because this area still provides so much life, there’s still so much wild life, there’s humpback whales returning, fin whales are returning."

"First Nations are creating sustainable economies, so are stilling living in the village sites that have lived in for 10,000 years.

"We have everything to lose here.”

Proceeds for the book go to Pacific Wild – a wildlife conservation effort on the B.C. coast.

Starting October 22, McAllister will travel Canada-wide and internationally to share his stories.   

Tour dates and ticket information

October 22Whistler Public Library 7pm
4329 Main St, Whistler, BC
By Donation
October 23Squamish, public Library 6:30PMBy Donation
October 24Vancouver, Canadian Memorial United Church
1825 W 16th Ave, Vancouver, BC

By Donation


October 26Town Hall Seattle , Washington 7:30PM
Doors open at 6:30
Downstairs at Town Hall - Enter on Seneca Street
CLICK HERE to purchase tickets - $5

FACEBOOK SITE - Please share and invite your friends and family
October 27Bainbridge Island, Washington, 7 PM
Eagle Harbor Books 

Visit Eagle Harbour Book Co. for more information about this event
October 28Portland Audubon Society  7:30PM
5151 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR
Free - CLICK HERE for more information
October 30Portland Patagonia Store
907 NW Irving St, Portland, OR
November 3Vernon, B.C. - Okanagan College, Vernon Campus
Science in Society Speaker Series
7000 College Way, Vernon, BC

Tickets - $7 in advance $10 at door
Tickets available HERE or call 250-545-3644


November 6Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival
The Banff Centre, Max Bell Auditorium 2PM
Tickets - $15
  Purchase tickets by following this LINK

November 8The Juniper Hotel, Banff, AB
6-7:30 PM
Special Event - Fireside Chat
Ticket includes refreshments and appetizers 
Contact The Juniper Hotel
View on The Banff Centre website

November 12Victoria, Alix Goolden Hall 7:30PM
900 Johnson St, Victoria, BC
General Admission - $12



November 13Duncan - Quw'utsun' Centre, BC
Quomeakin Room - 7PM
200 Cowichan Way, Duncan
By Donation

November 14Sidney, BC 
Charlie White Theatre
2243 Beacon Ave, Sidney
General Admission - $12

November 18Galiano Island, BC
Galiano South End Hall-  7:30PM
By Donation

November 19Campbell River, BC
Tidemark Theatre  7:30PM
1220 Shoppers Row, Campbell River
General Admission - $12  
Special guest introduction by award winning author, journalist and energy expert Andrew Nikiforuk.

November 20Courtney, BC
The Sid Williams Theatre 7:30PM

442 Cliffe Ave, Courtenay
General Admission - $12 
Special guest introduction by award winning author, journalist and energy expert Andrew Nikiforuk.

November 21Powell River, BC
The Max Cameron Theatre - 7PM

5400 Marine Ave. Powell River
Ticket Sales TBA


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