Earth Talks


Download to Calendar:
Date: Monday, September 18, 2023
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE
Friends Program Room

The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley and the Canmore Public Library Presents: Earth Talks

Community Oriented Environmental Speakers and Conversations

What is Earth Talks?
Earth Talks is a new program coming to the CPL, in collaboration with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, to bring you monthly environmental speakers and conversations relevant to our community.

On one Monday evening each month, we will be joined by Biosphere staff in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm for an Earth Talk. Earth Talks will typically be held on the third Monday of the month, with a few exceptions.

Admission is free, with donations graciously accepted.

Get inspired to learn more about the world around us and what we can do to preserve it!

Future Dates:

Speaker TBA.

Speaker TBA.

Speaker TBA.

Past Speakers:

Together is Better: Community Green Energy Generation in Alberta with Jodi Conuel

Join Jodi Conuel, Shift Climate Transitions Program Coordinator, at the Canmore Public Library for her Earth Talks presentation Together is Better: Community Green Energy Generation in Alberta.

This Earth Talks event, in partnership with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, will take place on Monday September 18th, 2023 in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm. Registration is required.

About Together is Better:
The climate is talking, and communities are listening! Join Jodi Conuel for a presentation and discussion about how community generation is advancing Alberta's green energy transition.  

Community generation projects are renewable energy installations financed, owned, and managed by individuals. Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative (BVGEC) is a locally owned and volunteer-operated social enterprise that uses a unique model to allow community members to invest collaboratively and benefit from power generation. This presentation will use BVGEC as a community action initiative case study. 

Jodi is excited to share the trials and successes of community projects, answer your questions and shift us into effective climate solutions.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The importance of community collaboration in effective action and how to build a successful initiative
  • What is community generation and how does it work in Alberta?
  • How can you get involved and benefit from community generation projects

About the Presenter:
Jodi has been coordinating all aspects of the Biosphere Institute’s Shift-Climate Transitions program since May 2018. Under her leadership, the Biosphere Institute completed a comprehensive study of the technical and financial feasibility of community renewable energy generation in the Bow Valley.

A sophisticated community engagement specialist and communicator, Jodi has received several certifications in Public Participation and Engagement techniques. In her role, at the Biosphere Institute, she uses a variety of community engagement tools to empower Bow Valley residents to take meaningful action on climate change.

Jodi is motivated by a long-standing interest in climate change issues and sustainable living.

June 19th - Meet Some Bow Valley Birds!

Join Gareth Thomson at the Canmore Public Library for their  Earth Talks presentation Meet Some Bow Valley Birds!

June in the Rockies is an amazing time to see a wide variety of birdlife. Come and join lifelong learner and bird lover Gareth Thomson for this family friendly evening introducing you to some of the birds in our own backyard.

We will begin our evening at the library, after a few short minutes we will set off on foot to explore the birds in the nearby Policeman's Creek area, on the boardwalk and walking trail.  This is by-and-large an outdoor event.

Register Now!

Participants should come prepared to be outdoors for an hour, and bring a suitable jacket, hat, and walking shoes.  They should bring their own set of binoculars if they would like, and be able to walk two kilometres at a leisurely pace. We will provide binoculars for those who do not have them.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to use binoculars
  • How to identify a few commonly found bird species
  • How to continue learning about birds after today, at your own pace

This Earth Talks event, in partnership with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, will take place on Monday June 19th, 2023, meeting in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm

About Gareth Thomson:
has been a resident of the Bow Valley since 1989, and served on Canmore Town Council from 1992-1995. He brings over thirty years’ experience in community engagement and environmental education: he founded and led the Alberta Council for Environmental Education as Executive Director for fifteen years, founded the education office of a conservation NGO before that, and began his career an environmental educator with Kananaskis Country.

Gareth has taught high school, been a judge for the Alberta Emerald Awards, and volunteered with Alberta Ecotrust Foundation on their grant review committee. He has an engineering degree, an M.Sc. in Environmental Geology, is a certified teacher, and has received awards for outstanding service in environmental education from provincial, national, and international associations.

Gareth lives in Canmore, where he divides his free time between parenting three exceptional young people, birdwatching, trail running and biking, and walking hand in hand with his wife Kelly.

Join Josh Welsh, Justin Deoliveira, and Dr. Peter Thompson at the Canmore Public Library for their presentation Sharing the Bow Valley: Balancing Human Use with the Needs of Wildlife.

This Earth Talks event, in partnership with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, will take place on Monday June 12th, 2023 in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm.

Register Now!

You can also join us online via Zoom for this event by clicking the link below.

Join Live on Zoom

About Sharing the Bow Valley:
Attendees will learn about current and upcoming efforts to...

  • Understand the cumulative environmental effects of human development and use in the Bow Valley
  • Ensure that Mountain biking takes place in a responsible manner that keeps people and wildlife safe and secure
  • Conduct research and generate recommendations to ensure functional wildlife corridors as well as human recreational activities

About the Presenters:
Josh Welsh, is the Senior Manager of the Communities & Conservation program at Y2Y. He is grateful to be living, playing, and working in the Bow Valley on Treaty 7 territory. He joined Y2Y after working for 20 years as a landscape architect, national park ranger, and mountain town planner to develop a body of work that seeks balance between land-based conservation and development in Canada and the United States. His primary work at Y2Y is with communities of people and exploring how they might thrive alongside wild places and intact nature.

Justin Deoliveira, President, Canmore Area Mountain Bike Association. Justin moved to the Bow Valley in 2007 and instantly fell in love with trails and mountain biking. When CAMBA was formed in 2016, Justin saw an opportunity to give back to the trails in Canmore and area that he had enjoyed for nearly a decade. Offering his skills and expertise in IT as a software developer, Justin helped build "online" infrastructure for CAMBA, such as a website, a digital membership system, and other applications the association utilizes for its day-to-day operations. To this day, Justin continues to serve as CAMBA's "IT Guy." In his role as CAMBA president, Justin works daily with land managers across the Bow Valley to further CAMBA's mission of building and maintaining trails for everyone to enjoy. When not meeting with decision-makers, Justin can often be found at the Canmore Nordic Centre, grooming the winter network for fat biking, as one of CAMBA's active "Snowdog" groomers.

Dr. Peter Thompson, Peter is a biologist currently working at University of Alberta. He is studying how grizzly bears and wolves move through the wildlife corridors surrounding Canmore, and how they react to the presence of humans recreating on the landscape. Peter hopes to use his background in data analysis and modelling to predict how these animals may adjust to changes in land use in the valley. He will be working with remote camera data as well as GPS collar data to analyze the movement patterns of these elusive animals. He also enjoys getting out in nature and birding, and loves to visit the Bow Valley when he can!

Moderator: Gareth Thomson, Executive Director, Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley.

Join Nick de Ruyter and Lynda Pianosi at the Canmore Public Library for their presentation Family Hiking: Making it as Easy as 1-2-3. Learn the key things you should know for a safe and enjoyable day on the trail!

This Earth Talks event, in partnership with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, will take place on Monday May 15th, 2023 in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm. Registration is required.

Register Now

You can also join us online via Zoom for this event by clicking the link below.

Join Online Via Zoom

Meeting ID: 822 8205 1784
Passcode: 396316


About Family Hiking: Marking it as easy as 1-2-3:
Living with the beautiful Rocky Mountains in our backyard, we are surrounded by nature, wildlife, and hiking trails galore. But do you know which trails are family friendly, or how to choose the best hike for all the members of your group? Have you wondered what you should pack in a first aid kit or how to use bear spray? At this Earth Talks presentation, you'll learn all that, and more!

Nick and Lynda will touch base on the key things you should know to make your family hiking experience safe and enjoyable!

They will cover topics like:

  • How to avoid and handle encounters with wildlife at home, in town and on the trails, with a specific focus on families and newcomers.
  • How to easily find valuable resources about wildlife safety, responsible trail use, trail warnings and closures and how to use bear spray.
  • How choose the right hike for all members of your hiking group.
  • A checklist of key items to pack for a day hike.
  • Trail etiquette and the Seven Leave No Trace Principles.
  • Hiking safety plans.
  • How to find information about gentle hikes and walks suitable for families and beginners of all ages and stages in Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis and Lake Louise.
  • How to Tame the Trail Tantrums.

This presentation will also provide you with hand-outs and check lists on local hiking trails suitable for families, packing lists, and how to be wildlife smart. It will offer opportunities for you to share your own hiking stories or wildlife close encounters you've experienced, and will give you a peek at the gear and supplies they use when on the trails!

About the Presenters:
Nick de Ruyter is the WildSmart Program Director at the Biosphere Institute and enjoys delivering educational programming to diverse groups of residents and visitors! Prior to joining the Biosphere Institute, Nick spent 8 years working as a commercial "Bush" pilot in the Canadian Arctic. After hanging up his "wings," he continued to work up north managing remote mining camps, which is where he first became involved in human-bear conflict issues while dealing with polar and grizzly bears in camp. In his free time, Nick likes to be outdoors skiing, mountain biking and hiking with his wife and 2 kids.

Lynda Pianosi’s love of the outdoors started in her childhood. When she had her children, she knew she wanted to share her love of the outdoors with them. Hiking was a great way to do this. However, she quickly discovered that preparing a family with two small children for a hike in the mountains was a challenging task. Not all hikes were alike and not all trails were designed for families.

  • Which hikes were good with child carriers?
  • Which trails would work with all-terrain strollers?
  • Which hikes were considered easy and which were more challenging for older children?

Though she referenced several easy walks and hikes books, they were written with adults in mind and left her with unanswered questions. Through trial and error on many-a trail, an idea grew roots: what if my family documented our experiences to help other parents? The seeds for “Take a Hike with Your Children™” — the first-of-its-kind Rockies guidebook written with families in mind, including the 1-2-3 Mountain Rating System— the difficulty level from a child’s perspective — were sown. Shortly after self-publishing her book, she became a Professional Interpretive Four Seasons Hiking Guide. Lynda aims to provide families and beginner hikers of all ages with the knowledge and skills they need for a safe and enjoyable day on the trail.

Join Melissa Tomaszewski at the Canmore Public Library for a lively discussion on when garbage isn't garbage!  Melissa is the founder of Fyne Products, which gives new life to used clothing that is too damaged for the second-hand market and would typically end up in a landfill. Their presentation Why We Should Talk More About Garbage will offer a guide to upcycling and teach you easy ways you too can turn garbage into gold!

This Earth Talks event, in partnership with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, will take place on Monday April 17th, 2023 in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm. Registration is required.

Register Now

About Why We Should Talk More About Garbage:
Fyne Products is a Bow Valley based company that is obsessed with garbage that isn’t garbage. Fyne Products are Pre-Adventured. They are made using post-consumer waste (used clothing) that is too damaged for the second-hand market and would typically end up in a landfill.

At this presentation, we will learn about ways to upcycle "garbage" into clothing, as well as cover topics like 

  • The difference between linear and circular economies and the implications for waste
  • The status of Extended Producer Responsibility in Canada
  • Useful tools for changing personal purchasing habits to reduce waste

About the Presenter: 
Melissa believes that by talking about our collective garbage habits and understanding broader waste systems, we can better focus our energy and action on the most impactful environmental protection actions. As well, reflecting on how our waste reflects our social values helps close the gap between understanding and action.

Melissa has over fifteen years of experience in operations management and human resources in both the public and private sectors. With a B.Mgt. in Human Resources and an MBA focused on Public Policy, Melissa approaches environmental discussions from a system and a human perspective.

Join Dawn Byford, C.H.N.C., Plant-Based Cook, PBNC Nutrition Professional, at the Canmore Public Library for their presentation Our Plate and the Planet - an hour of delicious discussion highlighting the power of your plate and how what you choose to fill it with can impact not only your personal health, but the health of the planet as well. Eat plants, plant trees, love life!

This Earth Talks event, in partnership with the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley, will take place on Monday March 20th,  2023 in the Friends Program Room at 7:00pm. Registration is required.

Register Now

About Our Plate and the Planet:
Do you know the positive effect you have on the planet each time you choose a plant-based meal?  Do you know how much rainforest is destroyed every day for animal agriculture? How much ocean is destroyed each day in relation to that?

At this Earth Talks presentation, Dawn will offer an eye-opening and delicious introduction to the many benefits of a whole foods plant-based lifestyle for human and planetary health.

We will learn about the importance of the power on your plate to profoundly impact climate change - for instance, do you know how much forest we can save just by cutting meat intake by 40%?

Dawn will also be treating us to a mini cooking demonstration and tasting of a plant based recipe!

About the Presenter:
Dawn is a graduate with honours from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and Professionally Certified in Plant-based cooking and Plant-based Nutrition. She’s a dedicated community volunteer, as part of the Rotary Club of Canmore, and a lover of all things that are good for your Soul. Teaching others how to make easy and health-supporting plant-based meals is her passion. She believes strongly in the resiliency of the human spirit and of all Life itself.

In the past two years, Dawn also discovered the vast environmental benefits of a Whole Foods Plant-based lifestyle, through her international volunteer role with ESRAG’s (Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group) Plant-Rich Diet Taskforce, and her certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition with T. Colin Campbell’s Centre for Nutrition Studies at eCornell. Infusing all she does with kindness and “Vitamin L”, is a primary intention as she humbly explores this ever-changing and wondrous journey of life.

Eat plants, plant trees, love life!

Event dates

  • Monday, March 20, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 17, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, May 15, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, June 12, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, September 18, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, October 16, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, November 20, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 18, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday, June 19, 2023 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
You can register for these future events