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Your music, at work for water

By Allie Kosela

When GreenHeroes approached me asking to do a guest post for the Take Action blog the first “action” that came to mind is probably the most fun thing you can do for the environment: listen to music.  Lake Ontario Waterkeeper has started a new groundbreaking project called Swim Drink Fish Music where water advocates and the arts community connect to support local Waterkeepers.

Musicians, like fellow GreenHeroes Gord Downie and Sarah Harmer, have a strong connection to environmental issues.  In fact, if you look at the arts community as a whole, you’re likely to find that many painters, writers, poets, musicians and dancers share a love for the environment.

We think like-minded people should connect more often!  Swim Drink Fish Music (#SDFM) was launched for you to connect you to your waterbody and to the musicians who are working with Waterkeeper groups to protect it.  The online version of SDFM launched in June 2009 and continues to grow thanks to our amazing supporters.  There is no easier way to take action and help protect your water than joining Swim Drink Fish Music.

Thanks to GreenHeroes, you have an exclusive chance to take action.  The first 10 people to email us at hello@swimdrinkfishmusic.com will get a complimentary subscription to Swim Drink Fish Music!

On March 31st, GreenHeroes producer/director  Joan Prowse was on stage at Revival to launch the GreenHeroes’ channel on  Mediazoic’s new Internet radio network. Here is the GreenHereos radio channel, take a listen to our very own GreenHero musicians and hear to great music by Ed Hanley, Chris BirkettJamie SparksDonna Britton and Ado. Soon to come will be Buffy Sainte-Marie and Lesley Pike!

Chris Birkett played at the event and was accompanied on the electric guitar by Dan Ross on a couple of melodies.  Chris was then joined by  Ed Hanley to play Birkett’s new song Wake Up: A Call to Action. Though the duets were completely improvised, the expert mélange of acoustic, electric guitars and tabla was fantastic.

Dan Ross and Chris Birkett playing together.
Chris Birkett

To check out the full performances at the Mediazoic Launch Party, cclick here. Our GreenHeroes’ performance begins about 25 minutes into this live stream.

Tonight on TVO our first season of GreenHeroes is being rebroadcast starting at 7:30 p.m. This will be repeated Saturday at 4:30 p.m. We begin with episode one; Saving Species.

This stars Ric O’Barry star of the Academy Award Winning documentary The Cove. Ric started out as a dolphin trainer but when TV’s beloved Flipper committed suicide in his arms he dedicated his life to fighting against dolphin captivity and slaughter.

Also featuring Jane Goodall, the world’s most famous primatologist and one of its most famous conservationists. Back in 1960 in Tanzania, Jane discovered that chimpanzees fashioned tools to forage for food – forever blurring the line between animal and human. Up until that point anthropologists had defined man as ‘the toolmaker’. Dr. Goodall went on to fight for conservation of chimpanzee habitats and for the preservation of all endangered species. The Jane Goodall Institute promotes youth activism with its Roots and Shoots program.

William Lishman appears as well. William is the ultralight pioneer and inspiration for the Hollywood movie Fly Away Home. Bill had an epiphany whilst flying amongst a flock of geese, which led to a solution for migratory birds that he has now applied to endangered species, like the whooping crane.

Rob Stewart is the award-winning director of Sharkwater. This paradigm-shifting doc challenges the age-old image of sharks as villains and explains their importance to the planet and to our own survival.

Episode 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 follow subsequent Tuesdays and Sundays. Tune and and find out how these folks ventured forth in the name of the planet.

GreenHeroes is launching an on-line radio station tomorrow! For full details see www.mediazoic.com and our previous post. Check out our Joan Prowse chatting with Mediazoic’s Greg Nisbet about the connection between music and eco-activism.

GreenHeroes has gathered together several of our contributing artists and has created our very own GreenHeroes on-line radio station.
Tune in as of April 1st and listened to musicians tell us about what inspires them to make the music they do, why they are passionate about the planet and how they are connected with GreenHeroes. There will be tons of great tunes playing alongside the musician’s commentary. Come along to the launch party tonight and get a preview of some of the performers with whom we’ve partnered.

Launch Details:
At 9 p.m., Revival opens its doors to the public to celebrate Mediazoic’s launch and host our own awards show – The Zoics – all live-streamed to the Internet!
Click here for details or:

Hope to see you there!
Yours in music,
The Mediazoic and GreenHeroes Team

Can music affect social change? There is no doubt that music has the ability to effect us emotionally, make us think and see the world differently and that musicians have the power to change the world for the better with the broad platform they possess in their fan-base.

This week, we highlight one of the many artists who are melding the world of politics with music.

Ottawa born Bruce Cockburn is the winner of 13 Juno Awards, an Officer of the Order of Canada and has more than 30 albums under his belt.

However, he is also a long-time, outspoken advocate for the environment and unafraid to publicly tackle difficult political questions.

He is committed to raising ecological and social awareness; Bruce is the honorary chairperson of Friends of the Earth and a supporter of the Unitarian Service Committee, he performed at a UNICEF concert in Kosovo, and was a spokesperson for the movement to ban land mines.

In 2005 he performed his well-known “If A Tree Falls” at the UN Summit for Climate Control in Montreal.

Indeed, Bruce was one of the earlier mainstream voices to speak about the destruction of our natural resources and he did so with the conviction that he was speaking for many others who shared his concern.

When asked about why he chose his music as the forum from which to encourage others to think about the human connection to our environment, he explained:

“I don’t think music can bring about social change by itself. I think it can be a crystallizing agent for waves of feeling that move through all of us.”

His music delivers a powerful message in a medium we all enjoy. His upcoming tour to promote his new album, Small Source of Comfort, takes him all over the U.S. and Canada so go check Bruce out live at a location near you!

Watch Bruce’s webisode.

We’re lucky at GreenHeroes to have some amazing talent behind every webisode we showcase.

This week’s webisode on Clayton Thomas-Müller features the musical beats of Plex, an award winning hip hop artist and producer originally from Edmonton, Alberta.

He was inspired as an artist to write the song below, called “Spare Change”, based on his experiences growing up near the tar sands and experiencing the interconnections between the oil industry and people’s lives.

The track highlights an inherent sensitivity behind his musical façade, and a deep interest for social welfare and positive change.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpfKu7NXD_U[/youtube]

“Although I believe it’s important to honor our past, mankind needs to focus on our future and the time to act is in the present. Clayton Thomas Muller may be the man to lead us into a new era of peace and harmony with the planet. Teamwork makes the dream work.”

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, healthy communities matter. Share your story of how you are affecting the health of your neighbours and your local environment, 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.

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