Mir Lecture Turns Focus to Wildfire

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
September 7th, 2023

The threat surrounds us and it’s urgent.

Wildfire is a constant theme of the annual calendar in British Columbia and with the disastrous outcomes of Mother Nature’s wrath still fresh, Selkirk College is welcoming award-winning author John Vaillant to take part in a Mir Centre for Peace Lecture. Released this past June, Vaillant’s latest book, Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast, follows the events and the aftermath of the 2016 Fort McMurray fire in Alberta. The book will be the focus of the September 14 event that will take place at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson.

“In the wake of this incredibly intense summer of wildfires, John’s book is an urgent call for us all to choose a less destructive and more equitable way of living together and sharing this Earth,” says Jennie Barron, chair of the Mir Centre for Peace.

Originally from the United States, Vaillant has lived in Vancouver since 1998. A writer of both fiction and non-fiction, his work has appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticNational Geographic and Outside magazine. His first book, The Golden Spruce, is an award-winning bestseller that tells the story about the felling of a sacred Sitka Spruce on Haida Gwaii. Vaillant followed his debut with The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, a book about a man-eating tiger incident that took place in Russia in 1997.

Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast, was published in June 2023 and has received plenty of accolades. The multi-billion-dollar disaster in Fort McMurray melted vehicles, turned entire neighborhoods into firebombs and drove 88,000 people from their homes in a single afternoon. A natural disaster that he considers an equivalent to Hurricane Katrina, Vaillant warns that this was not a unique event but a shocking preview of what we must prepare for in a hotter, more flammable world.

“John is a superb storyteller, and a master at communicating some very hard truths that we all need to hear,” says Barron. “He believes that there’s a way through our climate crisis, but we need to understand what we’re up against.”

The September 14 Mir Lecture event is a terrific opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding from a compelling speaker. Presented in partnership with the Elephant Mountain Lit Fest with generous sponsorship provided by the City of Nelson and School District #8, tickets are now on sale and available through the Capitol Theatre. Tickets for the 7 pm lecture are $26 for adults, $20 for seniors and $12 for student/youth. There are also a livestreaming/recording tickets available for $20 and a low-barrier ticket option ($14) for those with self-identified need.

Find out more information at: https://selkirk.ca/events/mir-lecture-john-vaillant

Categories: EducationGeneral


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