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June 3 - June 4
During June, Huron Waves Music Festival will host GAIA, a touring artwork by U.K. artist Luke Jerram. GAIA is a slowly revolving balloon six metres in diameter, created from detailed photos of the Earth’s surface shot from NASA missions. A related soundscape plays alongside the sculpture in 30-minute cycles. GAIA has been exhibited around the world, including at COP 26, but has never appeared at a science, music, or arts festival in Canada.
GAIA will be hung in the auditorium of Trivitt Church in downtown Exeter from June 3 to July 1 as the site for associated concerts, lectures, special events, school tours and public visits, all emphasizing the theme, Our Earth/My Responsibility.
Outside the church on Baldwin Street will be a giant floor map, Canada From Space, made up of images taken by Canada’s RADARSAT-2 satellite. The map, created by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, offers people of all ages opportunities to explore diverse aspects of our national geography in unique and interactive ways. The Society will also supply related digital and augmented reality activities.
The net effect of the dramatic sculpture, the floor map and the cultural events will be a message of inspiration and hope about the climate emergency, biodiversity loss, and plastic and water pollution in our region and our world.
And that’s where you come in!
Lakeshore Eco-Network has been asked to coordinate a “village” of displays by environmental organizations, to answer the question “What now?” How can visitors to GAIA translate its inspiration into personal action to fight climate change and preserve biodiversity and clean water? How can we change our lifestyles to be more Earth-friendly? How do we become effective advocates for nature and climate? What do we need to do to ensure that our grandchildren and their grandchildren inherit a blue and green planet as beautiful as GAIA?
We’re hoping you will consider hosting a display as part of the What Now? Village for some or all of the weekends that GAIA is open. (Failing that, we’d love to have whatever materials you have available to provide to visitors.)
Wherever GAIA has been displayed internationally, it has attracted huge crowds and its presence in Exeter is expected to draw from a wide swathe of southwestern Ontario. This is an opportunity for groups and organizations like ours to connect and engage with people who might otherwise not be hearing our messages, and for us to galvanize action.
For LEN, the festival theme, Our Earth/My Responsibility, perfectly captures the message we’d like to convey through the What Now? Village. GAIA reminds us of the beauty and fragility of Earth, and our responsibility to protect and preserve it.