Absorption on Earth Day
Saturday’s third annual Edmonton Resilience Festival explores the many facets of sustainable living. Held at Waldorf Independent School, it is timed to coincide with the change of seasons in Edmonton and Earth Day.
More than 40 workshops are offered, allowing attendees the chance to learn new skills, network with their community and even manage mental health.
Featured are hands-on panels with tips for growing and producing food in a permaculture style, as well as lessons on basket-weaving, natural dyeing, sustainable energy retrofitting and more.
“Resilience is kind of a complicated topic,” festival director Laura Ward says. “It doesn’t mean the same thing for everybody, but I feel like in order to have resilience sustainably, you have to have personal resilience and community resilience. So all of the workshops are kind of in that vein.”
The majority of the festival is comprised of workshops, but also includes a Edmonton premiere screening of Silver Donald Cameron’s movie, Green Rights and a YEG Earth Day Party in the evening—headlined by local funk band, Carter and the Capitals.
Each session is individually ticketed, with online registration up to an hour before start time, or cash tickets at the door (depending on availability). Some events are pay what you can, while others—like the open market, or the festival’s keynote resilience panel discussion with communities leaders—are free to attend.
“They’re bringing these skills back that maybe we’ve lost,” Ward says. “Getting people to use their hands and having that act of creating something, and also doing that in a community setting is really empowering.”
Ward says the workshop organizers come together in an effort to help each other live better, so sessions focusing on financial literacy and emergency preparedness are also offered.
Another workshop, presented by Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton, teaches attendees about indigenous rights throughout Canada’s history.
“I think we become better people and a lot more accepting, and I guess you could say resilient, when we start to understand the history of the land that we’re on,” Ward says.
Helping the community change how they think about sustainable practices or discover new tricks for everyday use is an important part of the Edmonton Resilience Festival. Ward explains the festival’s key impact stems from a feeling of togetherness.
“The hope that we have is that people will stick around for the whole day and really kind of soak in the community vibes,” she says.
The several bands and dance groups performing foster that idea, and will wrap up the event at the YEG Earth Day Party.
“We wanted to highlight some awesome local entertainers that we have, and these are people that in someway felt connected with Earth Day and being a part of this community,” Ward says. “We want to have an opportunity for people to bring that into one space and find a way to connect in a more festival atmosphere.”
Atmosphere is key, as Ward says the idea of resiliency is crucial to the way modern society functions.
“I think it’s a really important topic just because of a bit of madness that’s going on in the world,” Ward says. “It’s really trying to come back to our own communities and start to take a bit of responsibility for ourselves, and just do as much as possible to live with integrity, and live in a way that allows you to be self-resilient.”
Sat., Apr. 22 (10 am)
Edmonton Resilience Festival
Waldorf Independent School
Prices vary per workshop