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Friday, January 16, 2009

'Fresh eyes', perspective needed for summer initiative on Lake Simcoe

'Fresh eyes', perspective needed for summer initiative on Lake Simcoe


Ready ... set ... and ... action!
Lake Simcoe will likely see a lot of action this summer - film action, that is - as more than 100 teenagers are expected to get behind the lens and shoot movies in and around Georgina's most precious natural resource.

The initiative aims to get young people excited about the lake through filmmaking and to show its beauty and ecological importance "through fresh eyes," said Annabel Slaight, a member of the Ladies of the Lake, which, along with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and the Windfall Ecology Centre is sponsoring the project.

The $400,000 initiative, dubbed Behind the Lens - Lake Simcoe Revolution, is an eight-week program where 100 young people 14 to 19 will create, through movies they shoot and edit, an increased appreciation for the importance of Lake Simcoe and the many ecological challenges it faces.

"We want this to be a 21st century revolution for Lake Simcoe and we hope these efforts may be used to help lakes in other parts of the world," Ms Slaight said to a backdrop of nature slides showing the lake's many beautiful and unique features to the 1988 hit song Talkin' About a Revolution by Tracy Chapman.

The vision is a two-month film school where students will travel the lake in a solar-assisted mobile studio that travels between five locations with equipment and facilities.

They will learn the art of filmmaking through one-on-one coaching and a specially created website.

In the end, teams of five young people will shoot 20 films.

Then, to showcase the work of these up-and-coming movie directors, there will be a film festival in six locations across the watershed, two in outdoor venues.

The films will go online and be shared worldwide as a prelude to connecting lakes in other countries.

Finally, a conference, called Where Waters Meet, will bring together 25 to 30 lake experts for a two-day workshop using the films to plan a collaborative community effort and action to protect, restore and sustain the lake's health.

The project doesn't come without a cost, however, and council was asked to share in the financial burden of pulling off such a revolutionary effort.

Ms Slaight asked Georgina to consider a $5,000 donation, plus any expertise or other "in kind" assistance.

The one-time cash request will be sent to staff to see where the funds, if any, are available, council decided.

The province has been supportive, as well, Ms Slaight said, through its Go Green drinking water fund and the Trillium fund.

Young people interested in being a part of this once-in-a-lifetime adventure should keep reading The Advocate for updates and information on when and where to apply.

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