Exploring The Relationship Between Environmental NGO’s and Corporations

lubicon - alex janvier

Lubicon, by Alex Janvier (1988)

Can corporations contribute positively to environmental action? Do we need modern-day Robin Hood’s funneling sponsorships toward good causes—or will corporate dollars always have a corrosive effect on activism? Artist Alex Janvier and forestry activist Tzeporah Berman weigh in.

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Tzeporah Berman

Tzeporah Berman, a celebrated and seasoned environmental advocate, has perfected the art of collaboration. She was at the forefront of the Clayoquot Sound blockade, one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history. Her successful campaigning convinced Victoria’s Secret, Scott Paper and others to ditch old growth paper. Then she helped protect an enormous section of B.C.’s coastal rainforest from logging. Throughout it all, she was moving from the blockades to the boardrooms, bringing the sides together to find compromises that worked.

So can “hippies” and “the Man” can work together successfully? We thought Tzeporah Berman would be the right person to ask.

She recently visited the University of Alberta for a talk. In this interview with Terra Informa’s Danielle Dolgoy, she recounts her history as an activist, shares some insight on pressing issues, and some lessons from the front lines.

Tzeporah Berman

Robin Hood

Most artists’ goal is to bring something new into the world. Something that’s moving, or beautiful, or meaningful. Something that speaks to the world they way they see it. When is it worth accepting money from companies that contradict your values about the land to bring that new thing into being?

Renowned artist Alex Janvier has dealt with these conflicts throughout his career, and his painting Lubicon is famous for cracking open issues of corporate exploitation of Indigenous territory in Alberta. So when the Art Gallery of Alberta launched a retrospective of his art sponsored by energy giant Syncrude, Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips wanted to know how Janvier felt about it.

What’s Happening

Exams, DeStress Fest

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? On Monday and Tuesday December 1st and 2nd, the University of New Brunswick will having a Dog Therapy Room. The room is open from 6:30pm – 8pm in the SUB Ballroom. Take a break, drop by, and pet some puppies!

Stanley Park Christmas Bird Survey 

Well here’s something most snowed-in Canadians can only dream of. A Christmas Bird Survey! On the morning of Saturday December 6, come out to Stanley Park in Vancouver.

Join Stanley Park Ecology Society, other youth, and experts for the annual bird survey! After a quick intro to bird ID, split into groups and head into the forest for a 1.5 hour bird counting adventure and a regroup to share our findings.

This event is for children ages 5-14 accompanied by their adults.

Preregister: ync (at) stanleyparkecology.ca

Yukon Conservation Society — End of Year Celebration

On December 12th at 4.30pm, join staff and board members to celebrate the season as well as the recipient of the 2014 Gerry Couture Stewardship Award. There will be a social gathering with delicious foods and drinks until late.

At the YCS Office: Ted Parnell House, 302 Hawkins Street, Whitehorse. For more information, call: 668-5678

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