Paper cranes wish for wellness

NANAIMO – Pipelines and paper cranes featured in event hosted by Sierra Club at Painted Turtle Guesthouse tomorrow (Feb. 15).

Carla Stein

What do pipelines and paper cranes have in common?

They are both featured in an event taking place in downtown Nanaimo tomorrow (Feb. 15).

As part of Spotlight Earth, the first provincewide festival combining education, arts, action and fundraising around the issues of oil sands, pipelines, tanker traffic and climate change, Sierra Club Nanaimo is hosting Phasing Out Pipelines – Folding in Clean Energy at the Painted Turtle Guesthouse on Bastion Street.

The event, which begins at 7 p.m., features short videos about renewable energy projects already operating in Canada and people are invited to help the group fold 1,000 origami cranes in support of an oil-free coast and clean energy options for B.C. communities.

“We’re borrowing from the Japanese tradition,” said organizer Carla Stein. “Folding a thousand cranes is a wish for health and wellness. We’re wishing for health and wellness for our communities here on Vancouver Island.”

Those who don’t want to fold a crane are invited to write a message on an already folded bird outlining their concerns about expansion of oil pipelines and increased tanker traffic on the coast.

The cranes will be mounted on paintings of coastlines done by local artists and then presented to Nanaimo city council and the Regional District of Nanaimo along with the request that these local governments support clean energy solutions and oppose pipeline and supertanker expansion on B.C.’s coast.

Spotlight Earth is a decentralized festival organized by Global Activators, a Vancouver-based environmental organization.

Stein said individuals and organizations across the province are organizing events on Friday as part of Spotlight Earth.

“The festival is hoping to highlight the issues about B.C.’s environment being at risk from pipelines and tankers and climate change,” she said. “Our continued dependence and reliance on fossil fuels is just adding to the dangers that are compounding climate change. We’re wanting people to become more educated and more aware that we now have a multitude of clean energy alternatives.”

Sierra Club Nanaimo’s event is by donation with proceeds going toward hosting future awareness building events.

Stein said the group formed in September and there are about 75 members on the e-mail list.

“We’re looking for volunteers and people who want to become more involved,” she said.

On Feb. 24, the club is also hosting a screening of two Raincoast Conservation Foundation films – Reflections and Groundswell. The first documents the Art for an Oil Free Coast campaign and the second follows some world-famous surfers as they examine the Northern Gateway project.

Brian Falconer, Raincoast’s marine operation program coordinator, will be on hand to answer questions about the Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline expansion.

For more information about these events, please go to

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