Welcome to the blog of Living on the Edge, a documentary film project about climate change in eastern Quebec.

Susan and I first started working together on this subject two years ago, following the December 10, 2010, high tide storm surge that caught most of us here in the Lower Saint Lawrence off guard. For many, it was our wake up call, our own “Sandy” that – for better or for worse – finally put climate change on the map in eastern Quebec.

Although we weren’t thinking “film” at that point in time, the idea came to us slowly over the following year, as Susan continued reporting for the CBC (here and here) and Radio Canada (here and here) on the aftermath of this storm surge and as I continued to photograph coastal erosion, infrastructural damage and the demolition of houses along Route 132.

climate change coastal erosion high tide storm surge quebec 2010 climate change coastal erosion high tide storm surge saint lawrence river house home damage destroy demolish shore

Everything coalesced in June 2012 when Susan was awarded one of four grants provided by the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network  (QAHN) under its Storynet initiative that supports the art of documentary storytelling in English-speaking Quebec. Now, the first thing you need to understand is that there aren’t that many English-speakers in this part of Quebec. Slim pickings, if you know what I mean. But Susan was convinced that the work I was doing documenting the impact of climate change among coastal communities along the Saint Lawrence River was a compelling story to tell, considering where I came from and what I had been doing before moving to this rural area of Quebec. You’ll have to watch the film to find out what I mean by this!

So, starting in July 2012, we travelled together as far as the Magdalen Islands, up and down the Gaspe Coast, to the Reford Gardens and to the great metropolis of Rimouski in the Lower St. Lawrence to find out what people thought about climate change, whether it has affected their lives, and how they are adapting.  We met some great people all along our journey, and we’ll be sharing their stories with you in a variety of ways over the coming months.

Cynthia Dow climate change activist quebec canada Lise Chartrand climate change activist Quebec

Anyone who knows Susan or me is aware that this project has pretty much taken over our lives.  We’re in post-production right now, and hope to screen our film in the fall. Between now and then, we’ll keep you posted through this blog on how we’re doing, how many sleepless nights we’ve had, and what our thoughts are on this whole experience which is, to be quite honest, totally new for both of us. We’ll also post little snippets of the film and/or still images to whet your appetite. We will soon be adding a link to our new Facebook page to help us with crowd-sourced funding. Why? Well, it’s easy. We think climate change is happening right now, right here in our own backyards, and we want to bring this issue to the forefront in a human and compelling way. If you have any ideas or interests, drop us a line. We have even started thinking about a phase II to this project…

Alors, come along and join the ride!

Joan and Susan (check out the Team tab above for more info on our project roles and backgrounds)

3 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. Congratulations, good work Susan & Joan……Look forward to seeing your film in the fall.


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