Green Heroes™ tells remarkable stories of people who acted on their ideas and heroically “ventured forth” to protect our planet. From the celebrity to the everyday person, each story details the different paths and interests the GreenHeroes have taken in their quests to help save the world.
The story arch of each episode begins with the tipping point event of our GreenHeroes – the moment that moved them from apathy to action. It then tells of the obstacles and challenges they overcame, ending on the impact their action had on the environment. The goal is to show how a change was made and a community inspired, and to surprise people by including GreenHeroes who are not your status quo, but whose story speaks to a mainstream audience. By shining a light on real people who have become GreenHeroes through their actions and dedication to helping the planet, the aim is to give everyday citizens the nudge they need to also become passionate green participants.
In each half hour TV episode, Green Heroes™ explores a different theme to show how others are tackling various environmental problems – from local food, to art, commuting, beauty, protecting our oceans, and getting back in touch with nature – so we can tread more gently and sustainably on the earth.
Jamie Kennedy: Jamie is one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs, and his passion for locally grown food has shaped the evolution of Canadian cuisine, one dish at a time. In the 1980’s Jamie distinguished himself in Toronto’s culinary scene by pioneering the slow food movement in Ontario with the founding of his organization Knives and Forks. Shaping sustainable practices for the culinary industry early, he became both chef and food activist. Today, Jamie continues to put his name behind grassroots causes. Recently he joined Sarah Harmer and Jim Cuddy at FoodStock, a culinary event that drew 48,000 supporters to stop the mega-quarry of Southern Ontario farmland and has just opened a restaurant in Niagara Falls.
Daniel Lanois: Daniel is an acclaimed musician and record producer, creating career-changing records for Bob Dylan, U2 and Emmylou Harris, among others. By stepping out of the recording studio and returning to the fields of Southern Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment, where he was raised, Daniel has become a food advocate supporting Ontario farmers. In August 2011, he hosted and organized the Harvest Festival Picnic in Hamilton, a celebration of local food and music with a line-up of stellar musical acts including The Tragically Hip and Sarah Harmer. For Daniel, the event was a platform for raising awareness about sustainable food and land preservation in Ontario. GreenHeroes was recording on location at the 2012 Harvest Picnic and recorded artists Jesse Cooke, Gord Downie and Sarah Harmer.
Adria Vasil: When Adria was a teenager she began to question the obscure names printed in the ingredient lists of everyday consumer products. Horrified at what she discovered, she put her journalism skills to work to tell us what is really in the products we buy off the shelf and offers simple and environmental alternatives to our everyday chemically abundant household products. Since the spring of 2004 she has been spreading her message to the masses through the weekly Ecoholic column in NOW magazine. The column’s success has spawned a line of Ecoholic books which offer incites on how to better treat our homes and bodies one page at a time.
Kelly Drennan: Kelly is a Green-fashionista who is the founder of Fashion Takes Action, the one and only organization in Canada that is greening the fashion industry from the inside out. Over the years, Kelly witnessed, first hand, the enormous impacts of fashion, from energy, waste, chemicals and human rights abuses. Instead of being part of the problem, she decided to be part of the solution and today her organization is transforming the clothes we wear to make them more affordable and sustainable.
Donna Bishop: Donna is a former makeup artist/hair stylist who has been a beauty and fashion insider for over 10 years. She created Green Beauty, a curated online beauty boutique and full-service spa in Toronto based on her mantra that there is no need to compromise lifestyle, beauty and fashion in order to be conscientious. Donna regularly appears on the Marilyn Denis Show and has been featured in InStyle Magazine and many more publications including The Globe and Mail, Best Health, NOW Magazine and More Magazine as well as numerous beauty blogs.
Robert Bateman: As a child, Robert was fascinated with the natural world and focused his artistic talents on painting it. He was a high school teacher until the age of 35 when his nature paintings started to receive recognition, and were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., among others. In 1984, he received the Order of Canada for his artwork that attracts a worldwide following. Robert’s art project for children is aimed at connecting them to the natural world, not the computer screen.
Ta’Kaiya Blaney is a 12 year old Sliammon First Nation from Vancouver. Her song, Shallow Waters, was a semi-finalist in the 2010 David Suzuki Songwriting contest, Playlist for the Planet. Written to raise awareness about the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline planned between the Alberta Tar Sands and Kitimat, BC., the music video has more than 120,000 views on YouTube.
Shaun Majumder: Shaun is the Gemini award-winning anchor on the CBC hit series, This Hour Has 22 Minutes and a popular host at Just for Laughs. Shaun recently combined his humorous and serious sides in his stand-up tour: This Tour Has 22 Cities… a Road to Majumder Manor. In the show he introduced the audience to his newest project, Majumder Manor. Located in his hometown of Burlington, Newfoundland, it as an “eco-lux lodge” designed to put city folk and rural Newfoundlanders back in touch with nature.
Sophia Rabliaukas: For over two decades, Sophia has been a leader in protecting the traditional territory of her people, the Poplar River First Nation. Their reserve is located on the eastern side of Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba and forms a significant part of Canada’s boreal forest. Sophia’s years of commitment have helped secure a five year reprieve from logging, hydro, gas and mining development. In 2007, Sophia was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious awards.
David Buckland: David, an artist and avid sailor, formed Cape Farewell, and took a boat-full of artists and scientists on a voyage to witness climate change in the High Arctic. Since then David has popularized scientific reports by connecting artists with scientists around the world, including Canadian musician Feist and Yann Martel, author of the Booker prize winning novel Life of Pie. In November 2011, Cape Farwell chose Toronto for its North American launch with former Toronto mayor David Miller as its Chair.
Edward Burtynsky: On a trip to Pennsylvania, Ed stopped by a small coal-mining town and photographed landscapes there, from the pristine to the transformed. This set him on his life’s work capturing great industrial wastelands. His unique photography was showcased in a documentary film called Manufactured Landscapes and he was awarded the Order of Canada in 2006. He is currently working with the Manufactured Landscapes film team on a second documentary entitled, Water.
Jennifer Baichwal: While directing the film Manufactured Landscapes with Ed Burtynsky in China, Jennifer witnessed firsthand the catastrophic strain the industrialized world imposed on the planet. She realized how the production of thousands of seemingly simple products shipped to places like North America from China is creating extremely inhospitable conditions. Through her moving images, Jennifer reveals a world that very few eyes have suffered to witness, urging a shift in consciousness before these barren landscapes become our own.
Will Kozma: Will is the founder of EcoCab, the pedal-powered taxi in Toronto that is a “win-win” for both the planet and people. After visiting New York City and observing the pedicab rickshaw culture there, Will wanted the same thing for Toronto but better. He gave the pedal-powered taxis a fresh ”spin” as a unique advertising space. Customers are treated to free rides and in exchange learn about ways green friendly businesses are boosting profitability and reducing traffic emissions.
Andreas Souvaliotis: Andreas is the founder of Green Rewards, the world’s first environmental consumer loyalty program. An idea that was so successful it was snapped up in 2008 by LoyaltyOne, better known as Air Miles. As the past president and chief executive of LoyaltyOne’s Air Miles for Social Change division, Andreas helped create a 57 per cent increase in take-up for Toronto’s annual transit pass, a 72 per cent boost for “e-billing” and a six-fold rise in Canadian participation in Earth Hour.
Frank Stronach: Frank is a self-made billionaire who founded the auto-parts giant Magna International. Frank is now partnering with his long time employee Fred Gingl in BionX, a product line of bikes and recreational vehicles that combine human “pedal power” with an electric proponent part that takes the “can’t do” out of biking long distances to work.
Mary Gorman: Mary Gorman is trying to stop a disaster before it starts: Canada’s own Gulf Oil Spill. Twelve years ago, Mary turned from fisherman’s wife to Green Hero after two leases were issued for oil and gas development on the shores of her Nova Scotia home. Knowing spills were likely and would impact 2,000 marine species including endangered ones, Mary decided to prevent a disaster instead of reacting later. Today Mary has formed a growing movement with support from celebrities like Ethan Hawke and Jason Priestley. Her struggle and resulting victory led to her winning the inaugural GreenHeroes award, as selected by fans of the web channel and a jury of esteemed environmental and broadcast judges.
Farley Mowat: Farley Mowat is one of Canada’s most widely read authors and best-known conservationists; his books, such as Never Cry Wolf, have reached more than 14 million readers. After Farley’s war service in 1946, he trekked in Canada’s Great North where he witnessed the demise of Indigenous culture and animals by industrial colonialism. Today, Farley is one of Canada’s most vocal conservationists, using his books and voice to shed light on the loss of nature and the need to protect it. He is an active supporter of such groups as Sea Shepherd and Mary Gorman’s mission to protect the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Alexandra Cousteau: Through her Blue Legacy project and as a filmmaker and TV host, Alexandra continues the work of her renowned grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father Philippe Cousteau Sr. Born into a storytelling tradition, she has mastered their talent to inspire and empower individuals to protect not only the ocean and its inhabitants, but also the human communities that rely on freshwater resources.
The GreenHeroes series include the inspirational stories of singer/songwriters Sarah Harmer and Gord Downie, and Annabel Slaight, publisher of Owl, the popular nature magazine for kids. Explore issues with renowned chimpanzee researcher and conservationist Jane Goodall, racecar driver Leilani Münter, Sharkwater director Rob Stewart, William Lishman who inspired the film Fly Away Home and innovator Stuart Hickox. Watch Green Giant David Suzuki or Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, as they share their “eureka” moments. All these GreenHeroes plus more are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and step on some toes to get the job done. Each half hour TV episode will explore a different theme to show how others are tackling climate change.