In Defense of Nature: a look at the history of environmental activism in British Columbia

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 19:00

Photos: Postmedia News

Join us for a provocative discussion involving local environmental activism featuring key figures in the movement.

Moderated by Postmedia News journalist Larry Pynn, panelists Charlene Aleck, Roxanne Charles, Sophie Harrison and Karen Mahon will speak to their experiences fighting for environmental protection in Clayoquot Sound, Great Bear Rainforest, Burnaby Mountain and beyond. This discussion will serve as a survey of environmental battles over the years, and the activism that has served the front lines of environmental preservation. Intimate discussions surrounding protest strategies in British Columbia and their evolution will be considered. The relationship print media has with environmental campaigns and the rise of social media as a source for activism and counter-activism will be discussed. The alliance between environmental movements and First Nations will be considered, particularly in relation to Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain Pipeline. This event promises to be lively. Come out and share your opinions.


Date: Thursday, February 15, 2018

Time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Admission: Early bird (prior to 4pm on February 14): $10; *After 4pm on February 14: $15. Free to MOV Members and individuals who identify as First Nations.




*Online Tickets Sales will end ONE HOUR before the event begins. Remaining tickets on sale at the door / Visitor Services at the time of event.

The price of your ticket can be immediately applied to your MOV membership. At $49 an individual adult membership provides FREE access to most MOV public programs all year round!




Charlene Aleck is a Granddaughter of Chief Dan George. She's an elected Councilor for the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (TWN) and a spokesperson for the TWN Sacred Trust Initiative. She is a mother of four and a grandmother. As a child, she played Sarah Jim on the Beachcombers. She is dedicated to the protection and restoration of the land and waters her people have been the stewards of since time immemorial.

Roxanne Charles of Semiahmoo First Nation is a cultural historian employing means of visual representation, oral history, and ceremony. Methods which have been utilized by Semiahma People for thousands of years. Roxanne received two undergraduate degrees from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is currently completing her Master of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University. Roxanne’s work directly responds to a troubling colonial present and documents a variety of issues that reflect her daily life such as spirituality, identity, urbanization, food security, resource extraction, trauma, and various forms of systemic violence.

Sophie Harrison is a climate activist from unceded Coast Salish territories in Vancouver. She served as a Canadian Youth Delegate to the COP 21 and COP 22 UN climate change negotiations, and is currently fighting the Kinder Morgan pipeline and oil tanker expansion as a campaigner with Dogwood. Outspoken from a young age, you can find a photo of her protesting the Iraq War as a small child in the Museum of Vancouver's City on Edge exhibition.

Karen Mahon joined as the Canadian Director in March of 2015 to focus on accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. Karen is a strategist, organizer, facilitator, and fundraiser with more than 25 years in making social change. Early in her career she led Greenpeace's campaign to protect the old growth rainforest of Clayoquot Sound, now a UN Biosphere Reserve. She was a principal architect of the multi-sector collaboration that resulted in the protection of the  the Great Bear Rainforest on Canada's west coast. Karen has worked as a strategic consultant for a wide variety of high impact private, public and civil society organizations. In her work as the Executive Director of the Hollyhock Leadership Institute, Karen focused on increasing the effectiveness of activist and change makers and applying the teachings of the wisdom traditions to the practice of social change. She is the past Managing Director of Greenpeace Canada and Public Outreach USA.

Larry Pynn covers the environment and special projects for The Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers. He’s won eight Jack Webster Awards, is a member of the international Explorers Club, freelances marine science stories for on-line Hakai Magazine, and has written two non-fiction books, The Forgotten Trail and Last Stands.



City on Edge: A Century of Vancouver Activism is a photo-based exhibition exploring how protest demonstrations have shaped Vancouver’s identity. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to access rarely seen images capturing epic moments of Vancouver’s protest history from the Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers’ photo collection. These photographs are exceptional historical records of intense and transformative moments in the lives of Vancouverites. Opening September 28, 2017


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