For the love of snow 

Grassroots campaigns take on global climate change

What: ActionONE silent auction and slideshow, featuring Blake Jorgenson, Bruce Rowles, Crispin Cannon and Kurtis Croy.

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Dec. 5 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $10

The majority of the world’s scientists believe the earth’s climate is changing, that global weather systems are no longer completely natural, and that human factors like greenhouse gas production are part of the reason some regions are experiencing global warming.

But if people are one of the causes of global warming, can the same people work together to reverse the trend?

According to Marie Fortin of HillTrip and Ian Bruce of the Alpine Club of Canada, the answer to that question is "yes". And who better to start with than the people who live, work and play in the mountains.

"I’m just in love with the mountains, and that’s what HillTrip and this fundraiser is all about," said Fortin, HillTrip founder and the organizer of the ActionONE slideshow and silent auction this Sunday. The proceeds from the event will go to support the Melting Mountains campaign by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC), as well as future HillTrip projects. The highlight of the night will be a series of slideshows by some of the top photographers from the area: Blake Jorgenson, Bruce Rowles, Crispin Cannon and Kurtis Croy, will be putting on slideshows.

In addition to the slideshows, representatives from the Melting Mountains campaign will be on hand with a display and a short presentation. They will be back to make a full presentation, including new data collected by Environment Canada and others, in February.

The name ActionONE comes from Fortin’s own desire to take action, as well as to encourage people to take some action. "There’s been a lot of talk and a lot of education, which is good but I want to be able to take action, too. Most of the people who worked with me on this think the same way, they love the mountains, they love the snow, and want to do something," said Fortin.

The name also stems from the fact that this is Fortin’s and HillTrip’s first project. Managing HillTrip has become her third job, but Fortin hopes to make it her career. One side of it will always be non-profit, raising money for climate change education and events, and the other side will work with resorts, hotels, touring companies, the snowsports industry and other mountain-related companies to help them develop their own plans to reduce emissions.

"The business model is changing, especially in communities like Whistler. There will always be the economic side, but companies are starting to look at issues like sustainability as well, which means the triple bottom line – social and environmental bottom lines as well as economic," said Fortin.


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