30×30 Nature Challenge

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From May 1st to 30th, I’ll be participating in the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Nature Challenge. This will be my second year participating, and I highly recommend it. The challenge is to spend 30 minutes for 30 days in nature.

Here’s how the organizers describe it:

“A growing chorus of scientists and researchers agree: time spent in nature makes us happier, healthier and less stressed. It increases creativity and lowers risk of heart attacks. It even makes us nicer, more empathetic humans, with more meaningful relationships and increased community involvement.​

Evidence shows that being regularly immersed in a natural setting, like a park, wetland or woodlot, reduces blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels and boosts immunity…  Studies also demonstrate that nature can have profound effects on entire neighbourhoods or communities by improving job and life satisfaction of residents and aiding community cohesion and identity. It can even reduce violence and bridge the gap in health between high and low-income communities.”

While 30 minutes does not seem like a lot of time to spend in nature, I was surprised to find how much of a difference it made for me. I was able to enjoy local parks where I had already spent quite a bit of time, but this time with a new sense of purposeful action and presence of mind. I also discovered new parks and green spaces around the city.

I have also come to believe that any type of daily practice or discipline, even for 30 minutes a day, can bring a fresh perspective and can have cumulative effects. 

To learn more about the 30×30 nature challenge, or to participate, Click Here.

To learn more about the David Suzuki Foundation, or to support/ donate this important organization, Click Here.

Here are some pictures from last year’s challenge…

 

Stay tuned for more pics and insights on this year’s experience!

Follow my 30×30 experience on Twitter with the hashtags #LoveNature & #30x30naturechallenge.

Alex Janvier Exhibit at the National Art Gallery of Canada

Alex Janvier Exhibit

National Art Gallery of Canada

In March I had the opportunity to visit the Alex Janvier exhibit at the National Art Gallery of Canada.

“My art is truly North American… it has its Indigenous roots. Some of my artwork is healing for myself and for anyone who wants to accept it that way.” ~ Alex Janvier

It was a breathtaking and inspirational experience. Janvier is perhaps best known for his circular watercolours, and they were certainly delightful to see in person. However, I was most moved by his more political work documenting his experience in the Indian Residential School system in Canada, as well as his more recent critiques of environmental degradation and struggles over Indigenous sovereignty.

I was also taken aback by a series of paintings done with oil on linen (pictured here). My favourite was his work called “Fly, Fly, Fly” painted in 1981, which seemed to depict a magical creature “hovering on the surface of the canvas”.

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From Alex Janvier’s ‘Fly Fly Fly’ (1981)

You can view the exhibition website here

To learn more about Janvier, visit his offical website

 

 

“Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience” by Kent Monkman

 

This exhibit will change the way you look at Canada’s 150-year celebrations this year. I highly recommend it!

I found it deeply moving, smart & timely.

“There’s a Canadian myth about itself that doesn’t include what happened to indigenous people, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has shone a lot of light on that. And now I think Canadians are learning what was behind this policy of removing children from communities. What has that meant? That has meant generations of trauma that we’re still recovering from.” ~ Kent Monkman at the Gallery exhibit in Toronto, as quoted in NOW magazine.

Read the article feature in NOW magazine

Learn more about the talented Kent Monkman

The exhibition will be travelling across Canada in case you missed it in Toronto:

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Glenbow Museum
Calgary, AB
June 17 – September 10, 2017

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Kingston, ON
January 2018

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Confederation Centre of the Arts
Charlottetown, PE
June 2018

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
October 2018

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
The Galerie de l’UQAM
Montreal, QC
January 2019

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Tom Thomson Art Gallery
Owen Sound, ON
Summer 2019

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, MB
October 2019

Shame & Prejudice: A Story of Resilience
Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver, BC
April 2020

2016 ~ A Year of Transition & Completion

2016 has been a year of transition and completion.

On November 30th, I defended my doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto, under the guidance of Anna Korteweg, Patricia Landolt, and Judy Taylor. I was also privileged to receive feedback on my dissertation from examiners Tanya Basok at the University of Windsor, and Hae Yeon Choo at the University of Toronto.

I am now looking forward to the next adventure, as a post-doctoral fellow at Carleton University, where I will have the honour of working with Daiva Stasiulis. Read more about my current research here.

In the new year, I intend to start cataloging my journey on this blog… stay tuned and enjoy!