From the UWSA Bike Lab to the compostable spoons at Pangea’s Kitchen, the University of Winnipeg is building a reputation as a green space in the heart of downtown. The majority of these efforts are thanks to Manitoba Eco-Network, whose work with EcoPIA and the Campus Sustainability office keeps the UW up to date on green practices.
MB Eco-Network hosts many campus workshops throughout the year on practical skills such as lawn care and composting. On February 1 you can join them for their fourth annual Reel Green Film Festival, a fundraising event which is part film festival and part awards ceremony – and all proceeds go toward further Manitoba Eco-Network efforts.
“It’s an important resource for the University to draw from because they can provide a lot of wisdom,” says Alana Lajoie-O’Malley, Director of the Campus Sustainability Office.
Some may expect an event dedicated to this kind of subject matter to be a bit dreary, but Lajoie-O’Malley attests to the light-hearted spirit of the night they have planned.
“As an environmental organization, we often deal with depressive subject matter. This is a great opportunity to acknowledge some success stories, and film is a really beautiful medium to use.”
Some of the stories highlighted in the featured films include the positive impact of the St. Norbert Farmer’s Market, a french-fry powered car, and the “green attitude” at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. “It’s a way to expose people to environmentally friendly practices they may be less familiar with,” she explains.
In addition to the film screenings, several Manitoba-based organizations have been nominated for the Anne Lindsey Protecting Our Earth awards, named for Manitoba Eco-Network’s former executive director who retired in 2011.
The nominees are as diverse as the film subjects, from Sisler High School’s Sustainability Circle to Assiniboine Credit Union, which have put effort into enforcing earth-friendly business practices.
While this event is traditionally held on campus, this year the UW was booked solid for February. So, Reel Green found a home at the Radisson Hotel just down the street on Portage Ave., where Lajoie-O’Malley says the kitchen staff have some delicious food in store for guests.
“They’ve been working with us on food and have been great about sourcing options.
“It will be a great night to take in a show and do some mingling,” Lajoie-O-Malley continues. “Faculty, staff, students and others are welcome. It’s always a really great time, and we have some great prizes [through] both a silent and traditional auction.”
On the list of notable local companies who have donated prizes are Organic Planet, Peg City Car Co-op, and Tall Grass Prairie.
Tickets for the Reel Green Festival are $50 with a $30 tax rebate and can be purchased online or at the Manitoba Eco-Network office on the 3rd floor of 303 Portage Avenue.