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Bill Lishman’s passion for flying high with the birds took on a new meaning in the 1970’s, when the city of Pickering put in a bid to build an airport in his backyard. Residents in the area, including Bill, fought to keep the airport off their lands.

Peter Shatalow’s documentary, Last Stand, captures the community’s fight and unique methods of drawing attention to their cause and preserving the land. We were inspired by this story because of its close-to-home feel, sharing a similar battle against an airport that we faced in our own backyard.

Pickering is no stranger to rebellion. Shatalow’s film takes a look at the region’s history of uprising, pinning it up next to their present protests.

What drew us to this particular protest?

Bill was one of the leaders of the pack to speak out against the proposed development, using innovative methods to raise the voice of the community.

Rather than a typical protest, they re-enacted dramatic and historical speeches and hangings. This unusual, out-of-the-box outcry reminded us of Margaret Atwood’s innovative book tour, which threw her audiences for a loop and reinvented an otherwise predictable event.

The result of these unorthodox presentations? Mass media coverage and some much-needed attention drawn to their causes.

In 1975, the public outcry was enough to put a stop to the Ontario government’s airport plans. But over 30 years later, the challenge of a new airport arrived. Watch a clip of the must-see Last Stand, which captures these amazingly innovative means of protest and successes.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, let your ideas take flight: Share your story of innovation and bright ideas sparking change by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

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Calling all environmental film lovers! Starting tonight, Wednesday, October 13th, until Sunday, October 17th, Planet in Focus International Film Festival will be launching the 2010 edition of its festival, with over 100 amazing films from across the planet.

At the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Director Ron Mann will be showcasing his world-traversing documentary following Canadian Author Margaret Atwood as she travels the globe with her new novel, The Year of the Flood.

Rather than hosting a traditional book tour, Atwood spins the tour on its head, executing a theatrical version of her novel in cities from Edinburgh to London, New York City to Vancouver.

The proceeds of her tour are given to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and other environmental groups. The documentary shines a light on the writing and efforts of Margaret Atwood, and demonstrates hope of bringing the world together for change.

We’re jumping to see Margaret Atwood, who will be present to accept the Planet in Focus Canadian Eco Hero Award along with fellow novelist Graeme Gibson.

For more information, visit Sphinx Productions. To purchase tickets to the film, which is showing on Wednesday, October 13th, at 7:00 PM in Toronto, visit the Planet in Focus site.

Stick around for Friday, October 15th, when the film short GreenHeroes: Sarah Harmer makes it international debut!

You can catch a sneak peak of Sarah Harmer’s webisode here, but you’ll need to join us at Planet in Focus for an airing of the never-before-seen short, which profiles Sarah Harmer’s fight to protect her hometown backyard, parts of the Niagara Escarpment and Mount Nemo in Burlington where she grew up.

A GreenHero she is – the film explores her journey from singer to activist and conservationist, as she co-founds Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL) and tours the country with her music.

The film is one of a series co-produced by our own GreenHeroes, Joan Prowse and John Bessai, also co-founders of CineFocus Canada. Executive Producer and Creative Director of the GreenHeroes Campaign John Bessai said:

“I am very excited that Planet in Focus is part of the GreenHeroes Campaign. The work of PERL is fantastic and we are so happy to be sharing the story of how Sarah Harmer has raised awareness about the ecosystem of her own back yard. We hope that other GreenHeroes will come forward and take part in the GreenHeroes Campaign at www.GreenHeroes.tv and participate in the nominate GreenHero contest and win a chance to be profiled on TVO.”

If you don’t get a chance to attend the film festival on October 15th, you can catch the GreenHeroes TV series, including GreenHeroes: Sarah Harmer, starting on November 2, 2010, on TVO.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can make a difference in your backyard. What actions are you taking to make a difference in your community? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

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