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We all need nature: cross-country speaker series explores diverse perspectives on why conservation matters

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 clockwise from left: wetlands, branimir gjetvaJ; Alfred Kelly Nature Reserve, QUE., don dabbs; crabbes river, nfld., NCC; NCC; Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, Sask., branimir gJvetaj; Western Toad, Leah Ballin

clockwise from left: wetlands, branimir gjetvaJ; Alfred Kelly Nature Reserve, QUE., don dabbs; crabbes river, nfld., NCC; NCC; Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area, Sask., branimir gJvetaj; Western Toad, Leah Ballin

Imagine Canadian nature. From rugged Atlantic shorelines to Rocky Mountain slopes and the forests and grasslands in between, our country’s natural beauty is rich and diverse. So too are our connections to nature. A forester, an artist, a scientist or a banker may all love nature but appreciate it in very different and personal ways.


Living in Canada, we are blessed with a vast and diverse landscape that provides us with countless benefits, but we can’t take this for granted. Bringing people together to share their views and discuss key issues is essential if we want future generations to enjoy what we have today.
— Karen Clarke-Whistler is chief environment officer, TD Bank Group

NatureTalks, a dynamic national speakers’ series, brings together those diverse voices to talk about our common love of nature, and how best to protect our natural spaces.

“NatureTalks provides a unique platform,” says John Lounds, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). “Our best hope to conserve and care for nature is through collaboration. One way to build that collaboration is to bring together people from different walks of life to share ideas on why nature matters.”

The 2017 series, presented by NCC and TD Bank Group (TD), through the TD Common Ground Project, will touch down in eight Canadian cities.

 The 2017 NatureTalks are modelled on the Why Forests Matter speaker series, which brought together multi-disciplinary speakers to explore the topic of forest conservation. William Suarez

The 2017 NatureTalks are modelled on the Why Forests Matter speaker series, which brought together multi-disciplinary speakers to explore the topic of forest conservation. William Suarez

No two events are the same. At each stop, local voices, people who might not normally share a stage with each other, will join the panel. Conservation leaders and scientists exchange ideas with people from the arts, Indigenous cultures or corporate Canada. They will explore themes that resonate in their communities – the future of the grasslands on the prairies, water on the West Coast and the value of natural capital in the heart of corporate Canada. And they challenge the audience to join the conversation.

“The audience response is amazing,” says Mr. Lounds. “It always reminds me that while we don’t necessarily speak the same language, we all value nature. I’m encouraged to see people finding common ground, and open to learning more about conserving our natural spaces.”

Among this year’s conservation-minded speakers are the award-winning creators of the documentary series The Water Brothers, Alex and Tyler Mifflin, best-selling Canadian author Sharon Butala, and Karen Clarke-Whistler, chief environment officer, TD Bank Group. TD has been a long-time supporter of NCC, helping to protect forested areas in Canada through the TD Forests Program.

“Living in Canada, we are blessed with a vast and diverse landscape that provides us with countless benefits, but we can’t take this for granted. Bringing people together to share their views and discuss key issues is essential if we want future generations to enjoy what we have today,” says Ms. Clarke-Whistler. “TD values our relationship with NCC and is pleased to support and participate in NatureTalks.”

As an added feature at this year’s NatureTalks events, NCC is bringing the outdoors indoors with immersive video features. Audience members will have the opportunity to explore through virtual reality displays some of the 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares) NCC has conserved.

“The NatureTalks series is building a conservation community and encouraging Canadians to think about the country we want to leave for future generations,” says Mr. Lounds.
NatureTalks tickets are available at natureconservancy.ca/naturetalks.

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