World-Renowned Photographer Edward Burtynsky to Headline First Ever Virtual Electric City Talks

The David Sheperd Family Lecture at Trent University has partnered with the Innovation Cluster to welcome Edward Burtynsky to deliver his presentation Water, at the first ever virtual Electric City Talks on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Through stunning photography, Edward Burtynsky’s Water project visualizes the scale and impact of harnessing and consuming the world’s most precious resource. He chronicles the various roles that water plays in our daily lives: as a source of healthy ecosystems and energy, as a critical element in cultural and religious rituals, and the reality we face as the climate crisis creates unprecedented risk.

“My hope is that these pictures will stimulate a process of thinking about something so essential to our survival; something we often take for granted until it’s gone,” Burtynsky remarks on his project.

As a world-renowned photographer, Edward Burtynsky, is the perfect voice to bring stark awareness to and encouragement of the innovative ideas needed to tackle the environmental crisis. The partnership between the David Sheperd Family Lecture and the Innovation Cluster’s EC Talks has created an evening of dialogue, and to this lecture series, as his work addresses the global impacts of human activity on the environment.

Edward Burtynsky’s Water project premiered in 2013 with a travelling museum exhibition, a book, and the award-winning feature documentary, Watermark, directed by both himself and Canadian filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal. In his October 15 presentation with us, Burtynksy will discuss his process of creation from 2007-2013, sharing the story of where water comes from, how we use it, distribute it and waste it from the most remote places to our very doorstep. Through his poetic photographs, Burtynsky reveals a vital component of life on earth and foreshadows the extent to which our future depends on how we deal with this increasingly scarce resource. 

“We’re excited for Edward Burtynsky to bring awareness to the need for new and innovative solutions to the world’s water crisis,” says John Gillis, President of the Innovation Cluster and recipient of the Business Leader Award from Water Canada. “Peterborough was recently announced among the top cities in Canada to launch a water tech start-up so we are passionate about this subject matter.”

This presentation will provide a space for students, entrepreneurs and community members alike to engage in critical discussion that inspires and ignites change in how we confront the environmental emergency.

“We’re looking forward to Ed Burtynsky’s talk and his approach to the complex and important issues surrounding water,” said Dr. Shaun Watmough, director, Trent University School of the Environment. “Photographs make the water crisis visible to everyone, and can inspire the passion, innovation and critical thinking we need to solve the environmental crisis we are in today.”

At the forefront of this environmental revolution is Trent University, a leader in Canadian post-secondary environmental institutions and has been named one of the top 100 environmental university campuses in the world. In July, Trent received $4.8 million in federal funding to go towards the new Cleantech Commons, a centre for supporting and accelerating new companies and research based in clean, green and low/zero-carbon technology. 

Meanwhile, the Innovation Cluster has also long supported entrepreneurs and start-ups focused on innovative clean technology. They are home to the H2O Makerspace, a cleantech hub housing over 30 pieces of equipment for their clients developing water technology.

This virtual event will be hosted via Zoom and will be free of charge to reduce barriers to entry.