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Choice and Change: How do You Respond to Global Issues?

by Hélène Montpetit

This series on choice and change was born out of a personal need for clarity and direction at a time when there seemed to me to be little room in the world for my values and approach to life. It was only when I began to research people and organizations working for positive change that I realized I actually was in good company. For decades now, all around the world, thousands of people have been actively adopting different lifestyles and creating more collaborative and humane systems in the process. Many are featured here in the Sweet Songs collection. I am happy to also have found several groups of like minded people in my own home town, some of which have been the subject of posts in the local initiatives section of the site.

I recently had the pleasure of moderating a Transition NDG film and discussion event. The evening’s featured film was Cultural Creatives—The (R)Evolution, by Frigyes Fogel. Produced in 2011, it presents information about emerging groups who contribute creative solutions to the crises of our times. Julia Itel, a young woman currently working on her Master’s thesis on Cultural Creatives and spirituality, was there to share her knowledge with the group. She gave the phenomenon context by drawing a timeline and telling us about changes that have been taking place in our metanarratives in the context of postmodernism. I hope to include some of her work here at a later date when its publication is allowed, but for now, here is a quick summary of what I took away from the evening. I would be curious to know whether you recognize your style of response to global issues in the descriptions that follow.

Continue reading “Choice and Change: How do You Respond to Global Issues?”

Sauvons La Falaise endorses Hands Across Our Green Spaces

We are happy to announce that Sauvons la Falaise has added its name to the list of Montreal non-profit environmental groups endorsing Hands Across Our Green Spaces, a fun and healthy way to support the conservation of Greater Montreal’s wild and natural spaces.

Take a peek, get inspired, sign up here!

Saturday, June 10 2017 – from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

 

Looks Like Montreal Could Use Tutoring On Environmental Issues

By Hélène Montpetit

Is Montreal Really an Environmental Dunce?
Adopted in April 2016, the Charter for the Protection of Montreal’s Green Spaces and Natural Environments was signed by over 100 city planners, biologists, sociologists, economists, public health and social housing experts, as well as about 40 citizens groups. On April 20th, to mark its first anniversary, Forum Nature Montréal handed the City a Green Report Card. The final grade came out of a survey in which participants assessed Montreal’s performance on priority environmental issues such as the protection of natural environments and biodiversity, the reduction of urban sprawl and the accessibility of green spaces for all residents. How did the City fare? An overwhelming majority of respondents gave it a poor (D) or miserable (E) rate on all counts! Continue reading “Looks Like Montreal Could Use Tutoring On Environmental Issues”

16-year-old Songwriter Influences Approaches to Senior Housing

by Hélène Montpetit

“Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?”
Lennon/McCartney

I think a song Paul McCartney wrote when he was 16 may be at the root of a revolutionary trend in senior housing. Released in 1967 on the album Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band, When I’m 64 became Baby Boomers’ cheerful, cheeky poke at their parents’ generation.

Now that their own golden age is upon them, flower children are coming together to make sure they are not carted away to senior ghettos set apart from the world. These new seniors are considering reliving past experiences in communes and intentional communities or have started eyeing ecovillages, off-grid communities and tiny housing developments. Continue reading “16-year-old Songwriter Influences Approaches to Senior Housing”

New Conference and Nature Walk Series Focuses On Montreal Flora & Fauna

By Hélène Montpetit

From the strip of walking trails and cycling paths on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River to the well-travelled escarpments of Mount Royal, Montreal is home to several species of birds, animals and plants.

Landmarks such as Mount Royal Park and Bois-de-Liesse are well protected, but infrastructure construction and pushes for new housing developments currently threaten some of the lesser-known areas on the Island.

To keep Montrealers informed about the endangered bounty at their doorstep, Transition NDG has teamed up with several local environmental organizations. Together, they will host a series of conferences throughout February and March on the premises of Coopérative La Maison Verte. Each of the talks will be followed by a nature walk in the featured area.

For more information, see the graphic below. You can also stay informed through Transition NDG’s Facebook page.

To find out more about the areas that will be featured, visit the Amis du Technoparc Facebook page here, the Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook website, the Sauvons La Falaise website and the Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme Facebook page.

natureseries_letter_final

Sweet Songs Collection no. 26 : The UNHCR

houx-de-noel-1The holiday season is upon us and those of us lucky enough to live in safe, stable countries look forward to celebrating with friends and loved ones. For the person on your list who has everything, why not consider the Give a Gift, Save a Life program developed by the UNHCR? You can find out more about by clicking here.

The UNHCR is the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, aka the UN Refugee Agency. It is the world’s leading organization aiding and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. It provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees around the world.

In Canada, volunteers continue to show an outpouring of support for Syrian refugees by housing them and including them as members of the community. Continue reading “Sweet Songs Collection no. 26 : The UNHCR”

Positive change for Artists & Musicians

July 14, 2016

Art And The Planet
If you are an artist interested in promoting social change, check out Artivists.net, an online platform created to facilitate horizontal communication, coordination and cross-pollination between creative activists working to build a more just and resilient planet. Meet the storytellers, dancers, painters, weavers engaged in imagining, articulating and crafting a new and better world.

Inspiration, companionship and the potential for collaborative projects await!

Social change and Art

 

On The Music Front
Earlier this week, Paul Stacey of Creative Commons published a very interesting article on what a commons based music industry might look like. Inspired by the petition signed by 160 American artists and record labels in support of reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Stacey looks into platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, Apple, Google, Tidal and other music services, including Imogen Heap’s Mycelia, a platform dedicated to creating a fair trade music industry. (Access Mycelia here.) Stacey also shares his thoughts on how commons-based thinking might change things.

A must read for professional music makers interested in positive solutions to this common and endemic problem.

 

PeaceDirectLogo

August 3rd happening for peace
Music and social change are on the menu on August 3rd at 7:30pm at Cecil Sharp House, London for the event A Change is Gonna Come as Heartbeat performs to spread the message of peace.

Heartbeat harnesses the transformative power of music, uniting young Israeli and Palestinian musicians and promoting critical awareness to help them become leading voices for change. Through music, young people learn to work together to build trust, understanding and to promote peaceful social change against a deeply divided background.

All the money raised at this event goes to Heartbeat and Peace Direct, to support local people who endlessly and courageously work to end wars, build peace and be the change they want to see. For more information, click here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your comments in the space below.

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Sweet Songs Collection no. 24: The World Social Forum

All citizen-run groups and individuals belonging to social movements are invited to attend World Social Forums to raise important issues, discuss ideas, formulate proposals, build their networks and learn from each other’s experiences.

The first World Social Forum was held in 2001 in Brazil. Since then, gatherings have taken place almost every year. Documentation stemming from these meetings as well as from other workshops and conferences organized under the auspices of the organization is being shared online. Several topics of interest to anyone wishing to foster social, economic and political change are covered. To see what is available, please click here.

Participants come from all over the world to focus on practical alternatives that foster a world built on social and environmental justice, social and supportive economic principles, participative democracy and the preservation of equality and dignity for all.

From August 9th to 14th 2016, Montreal, Quebec, Canada is hosting the first edition of the Forum to be held in the northern hemisphere. For more on this event, click here.

For more information about the World Social Forum in general, click here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your comments in the space below.

 

Town Hall Meeting: Montrealers call for ambitious action at the Federal level

Montreal, May 26 2016 – More than 150 local residents, constituents, and community members packed an auditorium in Concordia University’s Hall building yesterday to demand bold action on climate change. The town hall meeting was hosted by Marc Miller, MP for Ville-Marie- Le Sud-Ouest- Ile-des-Soeurs as part of public consultation leading up to the drafting of Canada’s national climate strategy. Continue reading “Town Hall Meeting: Montrealers call for ambitious action at the Federal level”

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