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Requiem For A Glacier

Requiem for a Glacier, by artist Paul Walde will be performed on a glacier by seventy musicians to raise awareness about climate change and resort development.

WHO WE ARE: Artist PAUL WALDE and art curator KIARA LYNCH are working together with residents of the Kootenay communities of British Columbia and with the support of the LANGHAM CULTURAL CENTRE and OXYGEN ART CENTRE to produce an art project of epic proportions – Requiem for a Glacier.

 

THE PROJECT: Requiem for a Glacier is a sound performance by artist Paul Walde that will memorialize BC’s Jumbo Glacier area, an ancient feature of the landscape remaining from the last ice age, now under immediate threat from global warming and mega-resort development. A four movement oratorio, Walde's Requiem for a Glacier presents the history of the glacier, the advent of electricity, climate change, and the BC government’s controversial announcement of a year-round recreational development on the glacier. A 40-person choir and 30-person orchestra, made up of volunteer professional and amateur musicians from communities adjacent to the Purcell mountain range, will perform the Requiem on the glacier this summer. Written and performed for the glacier alone - there will be no audience other than the landscape itself and those contributing in the presentation of the work.

Ajtony Csaba, chief conductor of the Central European Chamber Orchestra and conductor of the University of Victoria Symphony, will conduct the instrumentalists. A team of professional filmmakers and audio engineers will document the performance. In addition, a team of professional mountain guides will lead the expedition. In total our team is composed of approximately 100 dedicated individuals.

Requiem for a Glacier will ultimately take three forms: a) a site specific outdoor sound performance on a glacier near Invermere, BC;  b) an exhibition / installation in the Langham Cultural Centre, Oxygen Art Centre, and future venues,  based on documentation captured during the performance; and c) a a multimedia indoor sound performance.

Requiem for a Glacier will also be the subject of a documentary film which will extend the reach of this work and the issues it is exploring.

 

WHY HELP: Requiem for a Glacier will provide a cultural perspective into one of the biggest ecological issues of our time: global climate change and how it relates to the Kootenay region and the highly contentious Jumbo Alpine Resort. Located in the Purcell Mountain Range in eastern British Columbia, Jumbo or Qat’muk, is a range of five glaciers that have been spared some of the environmental degradation of other glaciers due to their high altitude. However with continued global warming, this geographical advantage will soon be lost, and in fact, these glaciers are already in retreat. 

To compound matters, a $1 billion resort proposal has recently been approved by the provincial governmental. As Professor David Schindler of the University of Alberta warns, “Ski lifts and skier traffic on the surface of Jumbo Glacier will hasten its melting, and compromise one of the important headwater sources of the Columbia River system."

In both the Columbia and Kootenay communities bordering the Purcell Mountain range, approximately 80% of residents are opposed to the approval of the resort.  In fact, the majority of citizens who live in the region are outraged and saddened by the continued development of our remaining wild spaces.

The proposed development area provides key habitat for grizzlies and important other wildlife species and is sacred to the local Ktunaxa Nation who have declared themselves, “expressly opposed to the Jumbo Glacier Resort.” In November 2011 the Ktunaxa Nation was joined by hockey legend Scott Neidermeyer in the Provincial legislature to present the Qat’muk Declaration, which outlines the sacred significance of this area.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Requiem for a Glacier is a unique opportunity for you to lend your support and voice to this important artistic initiative.  Through public and private grants and fundraising, we have raised a significant amount of the funds required for the professional expenses associated with  the production of this project.  However, the logistics of bringing a crew of approximately 100 hundred people and their equipment to the back country of the Purcell Mountains is formidable, and expensive challenge.  We are asking for financial assistance for transportation costs (which includes travel allowances for volunteers who are travelling from throughout the region and province), accommodation, and food costs incurred during the weekend of production.  Additional monies raised will go directly towards post-production work on video and audio footage for the subsequent video and sound installations, audio publication and the film which documents this historical performance.

 

WHAT YOU GET: In exchange for your help you can choose from several Requiem for a Glacier themed rewards. These include, digital audio downloads and CDs, original requiem related artwork by Paul Walde, or even the unique opportunity to witness the performance on the glacier.

No matter how much you are able to donate, you will be left with the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to the creation of this important art event.

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PAUL WALDE - Description of Practice: This project marks a continuation of my studio research in which I explore interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology; amplifying cultural gestures in order to reveal their place within nature and conversely, by capturing natural events through cultural apparatii.  These ideas are developed through a diverse studio practice, which has in recent years led me to examining sound as a physical property and artistic medium. www.paulwalde.com

CONTACT US: requiemforaglacier@gmail.com

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