It’s the fall return of our blog! First up, we’re introducing you to environmentalist Luke Wallace. I met this inspiring folk singer at the premiere of his first documentary, One Big Coast and was instantly a fan. His voice has the power to draw the whole room in and lift the spirits of every environment-loving listener.
One Big Coast was shown at British Columbia Institute of Technology during a sustainability event my classmates and I hosted. An added bonus to the film was a concert at the end. We were blown away by how someone so young, 22 at the time, could have such a strong and powerful voice and how effectively it came across through art.
Luke Wallace is a recent graduate of University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography, a musician and a conservation activist. During his mid-teens he began to sing in choirs. Over time he picked up the guitar and starting writing, singing and performing folk music. He credits his love of music for getting him through university. His musical style has been titled as “folktivism”, as his songs all relate to environmental issues with the purpose of inspiring and educating the listener. During his school years Luke spent his summers and winters on the road with his guitar and camera exploring our beautiful coastline and talking to people who are deeply connected to their surrounding environment.
One Big Coast was Luke’s first documentary released in January 2015 with a corresponding LP The Kitimat LP. It was filmed over two weeks in the summer of 2014. This film outlines the hotly debated subject of the proposed twinned diluted bitumen pipeline, AKA Northern Gateway Pipeline (Enbridge), and its proposed marine terminal in Kitimat British Columbia. He delves into the culture of the Haisla First Nations who have strong connections to their surrounding ecosystem in the Kitimat region and Douglas Channel. The film explores the consequences these ocean and river side communities would face if there was ever an oil spill and the ways to which the public has been misled throughout the Enbridge campaign. Through the work of people like Luke and many others throughout our communities the project approval was overturned by our newly elected Federal Government in January 2016.
Not one to lose momentum, he released his second documentary Sail(ish) in September 2015 with another record called Little Rivers Matter Too. This film is similar that it features six change-makers who set out on a solar powered sailing journey across the Salish Sea to take a stand against the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline and to showcase the viability of renewable energy as an alternative. Once again connecting with local communities and spreading awareness of issues facing the Salish Seas and surrounding waters.
When I asked Luke what his goals were for his music he said:
“I’d like to be performing 200 shows a year, every year for the rest of my life to crowds of people who appreciate my message and want to help grow the social and climate justice movements. More broadly, I want my music to help redefine the way that our society interacts with the environments and processes that sustain us. Music is arguably the most powerful tool we have and I believe that it will be central in shaping the new world that is so desperately needed. It can connect people in ways that nothing else can and has the ability to inspire millions of people into action as we have seen in most other massive social movements.”
Well said, wouldn’t you agree? So what’s next for this busy young man? He has just completed this third LP titled An Opportunity which was released on September 13, 2016. You can find both documentaries on YouTube, soundtracks on SoundCloud, records, t-shirts and tour dates on his website. Follow Luke on Facebook and Instagram as well as subscribe to his newsletter for all the latest details of his adventures and tour dates.
Keep up your inspiring work Luke!
Follow us on social for more inspiration throughout the month!