MEDIA RELEASE: Climate Group Requests Parachutes for the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2018 
Media Contact: Laura Sacks, ccl.westkootenay@gmail.com

Nelson, BC:  Parachutes for the Planet is a youth-inspired collective international art project illustrating shared concern for climate change. A national display of parachutes will be held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in mid October. Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada (CCL Canada), who is organizing the display, created an educator’s guide so that Canadian youth — or those of any age — can create a parachute for the national display. A guide in French is also available.

The display, planned for Monday October 15, will happen during CCL Canada’s National Conference and Lobbying Days. The conference’s theme is “building bridges” because climate change is a serious and non-partisan issue that will require policy persistence through multiple election cycles. The Parachutes for the Planet display will show Parliamentarians that people across the country care deeply about solving the climate crisis.

Parachutes are a metaphor for a soft landing for a healthy and safe future for today’s youth. The parachutes (non-functional) are circular pieces of cloth decorated with artwork and personal comments about concerns for the health of our planet. Each one is a unique creation, expressing the makers’ local concerns and hopes for the future.  

Creating a parachute is an excellent opportunity to engage students and their community with the often dark issue of climate change, using the healing medium of art.

“I never cease to be amazed at the power of art to attract and engage a broad, diverse audience, says Kimberly Benson, co-director of Parachutes For The Planet. “It allows people to open up, explore, and experience.”

A group display is very powerful, transforming the parachutes into powerful messages of strength, hope, and communal determination.

“The exciting thing about this project is that it engages people locally in the creation of the parachute, but it continues to inspire when presented in national and international displays,” says Laura Sacks, who is leading the team organizing the Ottawa display. “Art has a way of touching the heart, where scientific graphs cannot.”

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Over a dozen CCL Sudbury youth from four schools made this parachute and then got over 500 Sudburians to sign it.