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We lost a truly great Canadian and storyteller today. Sad is too small a word to sum up the loss I felt when hearing about Farley Mowat passing away. I met him on several occasions first as a proud Canadian nationalist defending our distinct Canadian culture during the 1988 Free Trade debate and later as a producer of three biography series Lucky Breaks (2000), Northern Lights (2005) and Green Heroes (2013) for my production company CineFocus Canada.

My visit to his summer home in Cape Breton to film this segment of Green Heroes captured a man, though in his 90s, in fine form. After our interview we went to his writing room to get shots of him at work (writing still on a manual Underwood typewriter.) As we set up I said, “I bet you’ve done this a thousand times.” “Oh no, he replied, you’re the first camera to come up here.” I’m not sure if he was teasing but it certainly added to the distinct honour of being inside Farley’s writing world.

Feisty and fun loving is his how I’ll remember him. As he walked with wife Claire and dog Chester, he stopped in his vegetable garden. He lifted the one remaining squash in the late summer light and recited this famous line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: …It was a happy scene that day and he was a gracious host.

Farley’s stories gave me a deep love for the North, for Nature and our Native land. His outspoken activism showed me how important it is to protect all that makes this country great. We’ll remember you and carry on your fight to protect Mother Earth and all her creations. Rest in Peace Farley Mowat.

Farley Mowat with GreenHeroes producer Joan Prowse

Farley Mowat with GreenHeroes producer Joan Prowse

The Green Heroes Campaign is about finding inspirational stories about people who are making a real difference in the environment – and with our web channel and app our story pool expands exponentially to include people suggested by you!


Mary Gorman1Mary Gorman won the “nominate a Green Heroes contest” back in 2011. Mary, who co-founded the Save our Seas and Shores coalition (with Elizabeth May), was crowd-sourced as one of six finalist and then crowned our grand prize winner for her efforts preserving marine life in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Her prize was to be profiled on our TV show and web channel. That fall Green Heroes went to her picturesque home in Nova Scotia to record her story.

As part of the trip, we met Farley Mowat at his summer home in Cape Breton. Farley shares a similar concern to Mary’s about the urgent need to protect the Gulf (whose waters touch five of Canada’s ten provinces and is home to over 2000 marine species.) We are honoured to have  him in this week’s episode, ‘Saving Oceans’.

‘Saving Oceans’ also features Cousteau granddaughters, Alexandra and Céline and retail giant and sustainable seafood pioneer, Paul Uys. With this top-notch roster of Green Heroes, we look at the future of Canadian oceans and fisheries, not only the marine life that lives in their waters, but all species (including humans) who rely on them for survival.

It’s not a doom and gloom scenario – rather it is an episode with a clear message of hope. Paul Uys, past VP at Loblaw’s story shows how community and business can take action to pioneer a program that gives consumer access to sustainable fish in Canadian supermarkets.

Céline and Alexandra Cousteau’s work as multiplatform filmmakers who travel the world to find stories that focus on the human connection to the hydrosphere emphasize how we must all co-operate in human society to achieve a livable future.

All the Green Heroes in this episode, as in the entire series, are committed to showing leadership in the complex struggle we face. We are proud to tell their stories and hope you are inspired to share them with your friends and get involved through our Academy app!

Green Heroes – Saving Oceans – airs Tuesday, July 16 at 7:30 ET on TVO and repeats Sunday, July 21 at 8:30 p.m. ET


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Angela Garde
Communications and PR Specialist, TVO
P416-484-2600 x 2305

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Nerese Richter

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