Requiem for a Glacier | A\J – Canadas Environmental Voice

WHAT DO YOU GET when you put one innovative BC artist, a passionate curator, fifty musicians, and fifty porters, sound techs and camera operators on a melting glacier slated for controversial development as a four-season ski resort?You get “Requiem for a Glacier,” Victoria artist Paul Walde’s four-part operatic composition mourning the loss of glacial ice to global warming, and specifically highlighting the recent approval of the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort. Performed on the rapidly receding toe of the Farnham Glacier in the central Purcell Mountains, 35 kilometres west 75km by road of Invermere, the piece was performed for an exclusive audience of melting glaciers.Commissioned by Kaslo’s Langham Cultural Centre, “Requiem’s” performance was an inspirational, unique intersection of art, passion, music and mountain culture. Many of the musicians and support staff were moved to tears during the performance, a nod to the power of Walde’s music and a spectacular mountain wilderness under threat. For over two decades, locals in nearby communities, including the Ktunaxa First Nation, have been stalwartly opposed to the proposed resort, which is to be located 55km from the nearest community. Currently, access to the proposed resort is only a rough gravel logging track into the heart of the Purcell Mountains.Biologists have gone on record opposing the proposed resort for the impacts it will have local grizzly populations. Skiers don’t even want it, as every single local town already has a community ski hill that recently expanded in the mid-2000’s economic bubble – 15 community-based ski areas within a five-hour drive all vie for this crumbling ski pie. These resorts are nowhere near capacity, given the well-documented decline in the alpine ski industry, and another major resort in the mix will most certainly draw critical ski tourists – and jobs – away from existing communities.Sustainability activists argue that the resort’s business plan for a glacier-based ski resort on rapidly melting glaciers, combined with its proposed location far into an undeveloped mountain range fly in the face of well-documented climate change science. Finally, the proposed resort location is at the heart of Qat’Muk, the Ktunaxa Nation’s spiritual home of the grizzly bear. This is obviously not the place for a real estate scheme.

via Requiem for a Glacier | A\J – Canadas Environmental Voice.

About Makere

A transplanted New Zealand Scots/Maori academic/grandmother/random singer and sometime activist, my life is shaped by a deep conviction of the necessity for active critical engagement in the multi-faceted global and local crises of being and survival of species that confront us in the 21st century, the urgency of re-visioning the meaning of thriving together, and the contribution of Indigenous knowledge systems to a truly sustainable and just global society.
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