October 2009 Journal

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October, 2009


Open Dialogue
Tapestry of Tours
Egg-Free Baking
Great Lakes. Grand Finale
Ottawa's Green ...Bin
Website of the Month
Postcard of the Month
Nov 22
Our annual Organic Affair in Ottawa -contact jennifer@otesha.ca 

Nov 28
Alumni Outreach Training in Toronto -contact katrina@otesha.ca

The Launch: Our line-up of 2010 tours, revealed on-line
Opening the Door of Dialogue 
GLT 2009 in the press
As the Great Lakes Tour (GLT) team rolled through small towns across southern Ontario, they discovered thatcreating change isn't always comfortable. For one thing, they were camping in October! But they were also making waves of impact. During one performance in Portland a farmer stood up and spoke out. 

The farmer was concerned that the scene in the play regarding dairy farming was not accurate for Canadian farmers. The surprised team recouped, finished, and at the end of the play received both an apology from the farmer and an invitation to his farm the next day, to see what things were really like. The farmer reflected on the groups tour in an article by the Review-Mirror, the local paper of Westport,"They didn't agree with everything I said and they didn't agree with everything I do, but that was not the point. We could have a conversation about it"

Although choosing what food we eat can be complicated,  we can all make informed choices bydigging up the factsAs Tanis, GLT member, put it, "That's why we're here, to start discussions and educate ourselves as much as others".  Way to bust open the barn doors of communication, GLT! 

Read more about the team's experiences in their notes from the road

Tantalizing Tapestry of Tours

Spinning ThreadsSpinning the threads of dreams and excitement, ideas and budget realities collected through this past bike tour season, The Otesha Project began to see the tours that could be. Now we've almost finished knitting our 2010 Tremendous Tapestry of Tour Offerings.  Before the close of November, we will unveil the tours-to-be. 

Will there be surprises? We'd say so! I mean, is a carrot orange? 
Stay tuned to our website to find out what's in store.

half blue bicycle

If you're curious, here's a hint...
Coast to _________
Ferocious _________
________ to Islands

Egg-cellent Egg-Free Baking

Kirby SewingThe Katimavik wonder, Kambutcha Kirby, has been sewing cloth napkins and in the kitchen baking eco-conscious cakes! She's been getting ready for Otesha's Organic Affair, set to take place on Sunday November 22nd. To join us email jennifer@otesha.ca for more details.

While testing out vegan recipes to be served on the 22nd, Kirby has found that baking vegan-style is easier than she'd thought.  This was her first time replacing eggs with ground flax seeds and water - and was surprised to taste the delicious results. Check out www.veganbaking.net for vegan substitutions for milk, butter and eggs, and delicious vegan recipes. There are even raw Halloween treat tips!

Great Lakes. Grand Finale.

GLT 2009 small group hug
The performance-delivering machine we know as the Great Lakes Tour 2009 has now traveled more than 2000 km and cycled past 3 great lakes, 50 rivers, 1000 creeks and 3 billion puddles. They have exploded with 42 shows and 15 workshops to more than 4000 audience members. 

Finally, last Friday, they delivered their Grand Finale performance in Toronto to an audience of more than 130 people that included friends, donors, some new faces and a few folks who had given birth to a tour member or two.  The energy in the room was tremendously uplifting, and the team deserved the standing ovation that followed.  Though this doesn't do it justice, you can catch some highlights here

The show opened with some postcards and a story from tour member Ishwarya on how the experience challenged her on a personal level.  The night closed with a wonderfully rhythmic and genuine poem by Ashley that you can 
see here - she'll have you cheering by the end. 

A huge thank you to Toronto for sending the Team off to their respective communities with a bang.May the change continue!

GLT 2009 Finale
Robin Rocks the Forest

Congratulations to Robin Bryan, an Otesha Project alumni of the Sunshine Coast Tour (SCT) 2007, who recently won the Brower Youth Award. This is, they say, North America's most prestigious prizefor young environmental leaders. He is being celebrated for his effort in successfully protecting 1.5 million hectares of boreal forest from industrial logging!! Check out the full story in the media here.

We caught up with Robin ourselves, and it's
Robin Bryantrue that he's been busy. Currently working for the Wilderness Committee in Winnipeg and finishing his degree, Robin calls himself a wilderness and bicycle activist. Fortunately, the story that he has worked tirelessly to share is one of hope. "We hear a lot about the negative effects of pollution and toxins in the environment", he says, "but look at what we still have left".  The vast forests of Manitoba, the lungs of the north he calls them, are something to celebrate and protect. Check out Robin's short Brower Award film on his actions for more information. Go, Rockin' Robin!

Interesting Trivia:
This is the second time this award has ever been given to a Canadian - the first time being to Elissa Smith, also an Otesha Sunshine Coast Tour 2007 alumnus!! 

Photo credit: Wilderness Committee's media release
Ottawa Goes Green ...Bin

Like many residences in Ottawa we have finally received our green bin, and come January we will send our backyard pile overflow in with the beginning of Ottawa's municipal collection of compost. We're excited because unlike regular backyard composting, we can put almost anything in the green bin - diapers, flour bags, if we used paper plates, those too!

On a large scale organic matter reaches a higher temperatures which breaks down material faster than in our backyard. There also seems to be a financial benefit to the city as well - extending the life of one landfill delays the need for a new site, and saves the cost of finding and setting up that new yard in a 'not in my backyard' world.

We love that less is going to the landfill - but we know that just because Ottawa's got the Bin doesn't mean it's suddenly Green. Sustainability is still an aspiration, and less in the bin is still more for our future.

Office Crew in a Green Bin
Website of the Month

Cars aren't all a cyclist needs to worry about. Further to last month'sCycle Lane advice on How to Not Get Hit By Cars, we've discovered that far more predictable dangers lurk just around the corner. 

Crap bike lanes. We've all seen them. I am reminded of a bike lane near me that stops, then starts, and then disappears again - just when I need it most. 

This site captures some of the most ridiculous bike lanes out there. Oh yeah, they're waaaay out there. 

Postcard of the month
After every Otesha presentation, we invite our audience members to change the world by committing to one new hopeful action. Each individual receives a postcard, writes the action on the back, and if they complete the action, they mail it in to our office. We now have thousands of postcards from across Canada, and they are our proof that we are building a movement. Here's one of our favourites from this month:

1) I will use lemon electricity to power my club
2) Buy more food from our organic farmers market
3) Use my empty juice boxes to create a new product
4) I will eat less meat or become a vegetarian

Harry, 7 years old, Ottawa

Well Harry, we're not quite sure what you mean about lemon electricty and your club, but it sounds eco-friendly, and the list is an admirable one. 

Wish list
We like re-using! And taking other peoples' trash! 
Here's what we are in need of right now:

Cereal Boxes, rescued from your recycling bin

Digital Camera
 Laptop and Desktop Computers 
~ for details, samuel@otesha.ca ~

Office Chairs

Drop offs are welcome between 9am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday at The Otesha House (72 Riverdale Ave.)
Thank you!