Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today I have something to post about that is even blog-theme related! And it's something that I am very excited - overexcited, even - about.

This past Saturday, March 19 the National Parks Project went live with the release of their interactive website and first two films: Looking Around Without Blinking (Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site on the Pacific Ocean) and Wapusk (Wapusk National Park in the Hudson Plains of Manitoba).

I've mentioned this before, but the introduction to the website (narrated by the one-and-only Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip) explains it all, "In 1911, Parks Canada was founded, becoming the first National Parks Service in the world. On the eve of its centennial, Canada's finest artists embarked on an historic expedition to capture the majesty of the landscape in music and film. Thirteen filmmakers, thirty-nine musicians, thirteen National Parks of Canada."

The website itself can probably be considered one of the most creative and beautiful bits of the internet. I've explored the entire thing, film, pictures, artist bios, outtakes. It's really an incredible amount of work. I can always appreciate learning about the story behind the science, or in this case, the artwork.

The first film, Looking Around Without Blinking features some incredible underwater shots and a series of old-growth rainforest shots that are so still and silent you'll almost be convinced you're looking at a photograph or a painting. The cinematography is incredible. My favourite second is when the hiker disappears behind a tree. The film is set to a soundtrack created by Sarah Harmer, Bry Webb (of the Guelph-based Constantines), and Jim Guthrie.

In the second film, Sam Roberts and Kathleen Edwards manage to make the inner workings of a polar bear exclosure, deep in the heart of the Wapusk backland, sound like the most beautiful place in Canada. It's really incredible the things those two can do with a wide-open landscape and a fence full of inspiration. This film also features of couple of park wardens ensuring the protection of the traveling musicians from the park's namesake polar bear population.

Seriously, go check this thing out, you will not regret it. Two new films will be released each Saturday until the end of April. Also, since the music-making was so plentiful, the soundtracks will be released as the National Parks Project Album on May 3. The songs don't seem to be up on the website yet, but I'm going to say I'm pretty excited to hear Wapusk's I'd Lichen it to Moss track.

p.s. The mac and cheese failed today. It needs three hours on high in my slowcooker, not two on low. Probably should have tested that out previously. There was so much food, it didn't really matter. The party was very nice and went really well and my special favourite red mug was a candy-apple hit.

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