Sitting at this arbour you are nestled between Emera (NSP) and the Harbour, a perfect place to contemplate EAC’s artistic output, including Martin Willison of Hemlock Circus fame dressed up as a giant toilet and parading around the waterfront in protest of the raw sewage spilling into it! You’re also just steps from where a group of singing smokestacks once visited the NS Power AGM, bringing voice to the harmful effects of coal-fired electricity in our province.
Hemlock Circus: Where Are They Now?
Members of Hemlock Circus’ original motley crew of characters got together for a brief reunion. They’d love to say hello.
Once upon a time (in 1999), Ecology Action Centre launched its very own theatre troupe: Hemlock Circus! Through plays, skits, stunts, workshops, dramatic reenactments and hilarity, the troupe shared environmental education with the public and children of all ages.
Cast members included Veronica Sherwood, Nancy Shackell, Mark Butler, Martin Willison, Emma Boardman, David Redwood, Caitlyn Hancey, Sue Brown and Lisa Christie.
Art can be a powerful tool for change, bringing awareness to issues that must be addressed, and creative activism has been a part of EAC since the beginning. EAC’s wacky stunts have been effective and wide-reaching, educating our communities on various issues that affect all Nova Scotians. Roll out a red carpet covered in beach plastic and garbage for the premiers! Build a 25-foot oil barrel outside Gerald Kenny’s office in Bridgewater to protest oil and gas production in Nova Scotia! Crush a car at a public demonstration!
Other notable stunts of EAC’s history include: a Parade of Lights float featuring a fictional politician named Scrooge McHarper (which resulted in a permanent ban on EAC having a parade float) A skit based on the Three Little Pigs, enacted on the coastline to talk about climate adaptation and sea level rise Holding a funeral for the Acadian Forest, complete with pallbearers Setting up dragging nets on the lawn of the Parliament buildings in Ottawa while dressed as corals and sponges. An endangered species zombie walk
Environmentalists aren’t always serious, you know. Sure, sometimes what you need to do is put on a suit and make a reasoned argument to a policy-maker … but sometimes what you need to do is dress up as a shark and lie down on a red carpet made of ocean garbage in front of the convention centre. Guess which one makes the paper?
We celebrate this silly and creative activism and the impact it has had on the hearts and minds of our communities.
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