U of G Hosts Environmental History Conference

June 06, 2008 - News Release

The Ontario Historical Society will mark its 120th anniversary at a conference running June 13 and 14 on the University of Guelph campus.

The theme of this year's two-day event, which is being held in partnership with the Guelph Historical Society, Guelph Museums and U of G's Department of History, is "From Nature to Ecology, Landscape to Ecosystems: A Historical View of Ontario Environnments."

Debra Nash-Chambers, president of the Guelph Historical Society, said Guelph was chosen to host this year's event because of the city's reputation as "a frontrunner in the implementation of environmental policies and programs, the University's position at the forefront of environmental research and our people's commitment to historical conservation."

The conference officially kicks off with a gala event called "Celebrating Ontario's Environmental Heritage" June 13 at 8 p.m. at War Memorial Hall. The evening will feature an illustrated talk by environmentalist and author Peter Kelly of the Department of Integrative Biology.

Kelly will discuss the ancient trees found on the Niagara Escarpment, based on the book he co-authored with integrative biology professor Doug Larson, The Last Stand: A Journey Through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment.

A "Guelph Guitar" built by Larson will be showcased during the event. It's an acoustic guitar made from items connected to U of G research and Guelph history.

The gala will also include performances by Guelph Museums' Spirit Walk artists and local songwriter James Gordon.

Tickets to the gala are $25 general, $20 for seniors and students, and are available from the River Run Centre box office. Tickets will also be available at the door for $30. Half the proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the response to the devastation caused by the recent cyclone in Myanmar.

The two-day conference will feature a variety of tours, events and presentations, all focused on Ontario's environmental history. The keynote speaker is University professor emeritus Gil Stelter of the Department of History, one of the founders of urban history in Canada.

The conference is open to the media and the public. Registration begins June 13 at 1 p.m. at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre. For complete program details, conference fees and registration information, visit the website.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or l.hunt@exec.uoguelph.ca, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or d.healey@exec.uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1