Canadian folk artist Spencer Burton released his new album Coyote this winter on Still Records and commissioned the design of an eco-friendly Spencer Burton/Ontario Nature sweatshirt, featuring some of Ontario’s iconic wildlife. Spencer is generously donating $10 from the sale of every Canadian-made, eco-friendly fleece sweatshirt to Ontario Nature.
Ontario Nature sat down with Canadian folk artist Spencer Burton to learn about what he believes in, how nature inspires him, and the work he’s doing to make a difference for nature.
ON: Is there some alignment with your music and nature?
SB: Always. There is no life without nature, no nature without life. We are all a part of a great natural wilderness. I believe most humanity has removed themselves from that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still inside all of us.
ON: How important is spending time outside to you and your family?
SB: My family and I spend most of our time in the wild. Without it, we’d feel trapped, lonely. It’s incredibly important to get outside and feel that fresh air on the inside. Nature provides in so many ways if you let it.
ON: Do you have any special memories of time spent in nature with your family either as a child or now?
SB: Every moment spent in nature is special. I do recall, as a child, my parents taking me into the rivers and creeks of British Columbia where we would eat apple pie and catch crayfish. That’s a nice memory.
ON: How do you make an effort to live sustainably?
SB: We strive daily to keep our lives as sustainable as possible. We are fortunate enough to live on a small hobby farm in southern Ontario. We grow our own produce, raise our own livestock and harvest game and forage as much as possible from the surrounding forests. We buy second hand, almost always and whenever possible we buy local, be it handmade products or food from local farms.
ON: Why are you supporting a conservation organization now? And why Ontario Nature?
SB: I’ve always supported conservation in my own way, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized conservation is something far more than cleaning up your local forests and making the odd donation. Ontario Nature has and is doing some really cool stuff, I want to be a part of that in any way I can.
Kirsten Dahl is Ontario Nature's Director of Development and a Friend of Nature monthly donor. She loves cross-country skiing in Algonquin Park, cycling through the wilds of Toronto and any chance to explore Ontario Nature’s nature reserves.