LSM Newswire

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2009 Ojai Music Festival Expands Environmental Efforts

California Solar Electric and LifeSource Supports the Festival’s 2009 “Green” Initiatives

New Initiatives Include Introduction of Carbon Fund

Ojai Environmental and Artistic Missions Combine with “Green” Sound Sculptures by Trimpin

In response to increasing demands on the planet from climate change and pollution, last year the Ojai Music Festival in California’s lush and fertile Ojai Valley instituted a multiyear green plan to preserve the historic area once marked sacred by the ancient Chumash Indians for future generations. This year the Festival will continue those efforts with support from California Solar Electric, a leader in clean energy, and LifeSource, which focuses on returning water to its natural state and will introduce several new green initiatives.

“What makes the Ojai Music Festival so special,” said Festival Executive Director Jeff Haydon, “is the unique symbiosis between the high-level music performed here by the world’s greatest artists and the incredible natural beauty that surrounds us. We want this always to be here for our children and their children, and so we are making every effort to ensure that any changes taking place in Ojai are for the better.”

In cooperation with Ojai Valley Green Coalition and EJ Harrison & Sons and with the support from California Solar Electric and LifeSource, this year’s Ojai Music Festival will continue all of the initiatives it introduced last year, including recycling and decreasing the use of paper products, encouraging walking and biking, providing many zero-waste stations for separating trash, and selecting merchandise and locally produced foods. California Solar Electric, well known for its Green Collar job-training programs for at-risk youths, will provide informative materials at Ojai’s Green Booths. LifeSource will provide three “free” water dispensing stations located on the Festival grounds, where patrons can fill their reusable drinking containers.

For 2009, the Ojai Music Festival has established a Carbon Fund to offset its carbon footprint and has calculated that the Festival’s 2009 carbon offset will be approximately $680. The Ojai Music Festival will make a donation based on the carbon footprint to Ojai Trees, a non-profit organization that plants trees throughout Ojai. Moreover, collection boxes will be set up for Festival patrons who would like to make donations to the fund.

“We are pleased to participate once again in helping the Ojai Music Festival continue its multiyear green plan,” said Deb Pendrey of the Ojai Green Coalition. “This is the perfect example of the Coalition’s motto to ‘think globally, act locally.’ We believe each of us must be conscious of our individual responsibilities to ensure a greener and healthier world starting now.”

This year Trimpin, the sound sculptor, composer, and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, will combine the Festival’s environmental and artistic missions. The Seattle-based artist, whose artworks are made from recyclable materials, has created two interactive sound sculptures, which will be on display throughout the Festival at Libbey Park. The first is “Sheng High,” a reed instrument activated through blown air and water, and the second sound sculpture is “Giuter-toy,” made from found toy plastic guitars in all colors.

2009 Ojai Music Festival green efforts include:

· Providing free water refills at water stations and encouraging concertgoers to bring their own reusable water bottles or purchase stainless steel or ceramic mugs at Festival concerts.

· Serving cold drinks in recyclable glass or aluminum containers. Coffee and tea are served in cardboard cups.

· Encouraging residents and volunteers to walk, bike, or use the Ojai Trolley to commute to the Festival. Ojai provides a free bike valet area.

· Selling reusable totes and bags, and stainless steel containers at the outdoor marketplace.

· Serving food in biodegradable containers with biodegradable utensils.

· Assisting concertgoers in sorting trash at “Zero Waste Stations” into appropriate receptacles marked Landfill, Compost, or Recyclables.

· Providing a Green Booth, where local groups can offer information about minimizing individual ecological footprints.

· Using soy ink and recycled paper and decreasing the use of paper by minimizing margins and utilizing both sides of paper.

· Recycling program books.

New this year:

· Introducing a Carbon Fund to offset the Ojai Music Festival’s carbon footprint.

· Providing re-usable water bottles to artists and Festival staff.

· Reducing number of program books printed to encourage re-use.

· Reducing materials in mailings and posting more information online.

· Showcasing environmentally friendly sound sculptures by artist/composer Trimpin.

As part of the Festival green plan, the Ojai Music Festival is bringing back an Ojai market to sell gourmet food and baked goods that use organic and locally grown produce provided by Seasons Catering, and as well as certified organic, shade-grown coffee provided by local shop, Coffee Connection, and Ojai-based Zhena’s organic teas.

Several Ojai Marketplace vendors will be on hand with local Ojai items that include organic olive oil, creams and soaps from Ojai Olive Oil and Vicki’s handmade scented soaps.

Trimpin describes his work as “an ongoing exploration of the concepts of sound, vision, and movement, experimenting with combinations that will introduce our senses of perception to a totally new experience.” He works with “natural” elements—water, air, light, fire, etc.—and reconfigures them in new and unusual applications, pushing them to the limits. Currently, an artist-in-residence at the California Arts Institute, Trimpin’s sound sculptures, both whimsical and serious, have appeared all over the world. He previously exhibited his interactive Conloninpurple installation during Ojai’s 60th anniversary season in 2006.

California Solar Electric has been designing and installing solar electric systems on residential and commercial buildings from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez valley for over eight years. Harnessing power from the sun to free people from high electric bills while reducing carbon footprints is a passion of every employee. California Solar Electric participates in various Green Collar Job training programs, providing at-risk youth in southern California with the knowledge and experience to enter the burgeoning sustainable job force.

LifeSource Water Systems has been committed to environmental awareness and protection since their founding in 1984. Since that time, they have focused on returning water to its natural state in a way that doesn’t harm people or our planet.

The 63rd Ojai Music Festival takes place from June 11 to 14 at Ojai’s outdoor Libbey Bowl. Since 1947, the four-day Festival has become legendary for its fearlessness in championing pioneering musical ideas and personalities, including the 2009 music director eighth blackbird. This year’s programming reflects the qualities that have made the ensemble a growing musical phenomenon—genre-defying variety in wildly collaborative and visually dramatic presentations. For more information and tickets, visit or call (805) 646-2094.

Labels: , ,

Project Niagara seeks public input for traffic impact study

May 27 public information centre aims to get clear understanding of community issues

The public is invited to a public information centre on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Fire Station #1, 2 Anderson Lane in the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, to provide input as part of a traffic impact study for the area surrounding the site for Project Niagara – a proposed 17-week international music festival to take place on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Project Niagara is an initiative of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and National Arts Centre (NAC). The two organizations have been working together on Project Niagara’s development and feasibility since 2004. They are hoping to launch the festival during the bicentennial celebrations marking the War of 1812.

The May 27 public information centre will be an opportunity to meet the consultants from Delcan, the firm leading the study, as well as members of the team spearheading Project Niagara

Four Mile Creek Road

Townline Road

. The goal of the public information centre is to achieve a clear understanding of community issues and the expectations of affected stakeholders, to review the study scope, and discuss issues related to the project including alternative solutions and evaluation criteria. These will be integrated into the process and ensure all study-related concerns are captured and addressed.

Project Niagara is running a notice in several newspapers in the Niagara Region to invite people to the May 27 public information centre. To submit comments, the public is encouraged to contact Nick Palomba, Vice President of Delcan Corporation, by mail at 4056 Dorchester Rd., Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2E 6M9; by telephone at (905) 356-7003, ext. 222, by fax at (905) 356-7008; and by email at

A second public information centre is planned in the summer to follow-up on the May 27 session.

A feasibility study presented to Niagara-on-the-Lake Town Council on December 15, 2008, by representatives from the TSO and NAC showed that Project Niagara could generate more than a hundred million dollars in economic activity and create hundreds of jobs over several years. The proposed site – located on part of the 268-acre Parks Canada Lands on Lakeshore Road west of the Old Town of Niagara-On-The-Lake – was overwhelmingly chosen over several sites in the Niagara Region based on criteria related to unique beauty, size, and ambient noise.

Project Niagara has committed to working with the Region and the Town to help address any issues relating to transportation and sewage infrastructure. Project Niagara will also collaborate with the Parks Canada Agency to ensure environmental assessment requirements are completed.

Financial backing for the Project Niagara development work and analysis to date has come from the NAC and TSO, as well the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Falls Management Corporation, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the Niagara Economic Development Corporation.

Delcan is a leading international engineering, planning and project management firm with extensive experience throughout Ontario, Canada, and the world in multidisciplinary transportation and traffic projects of all sizes and degrees of complexity. The employee- owned company has been providing clients with innovative solutions for over 50 years and has served the Niagara Region with a local Niagara Falls office for more than 30 years. Delcan has unique knowledge of the Niagara Region and specifically the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake through their involvement in studies such as The Town Transportation Master Plan, the Garrison Village Neighbourhood Infiltration Study, the Chautauqua Area Traffic Investigation and the Old Town Parking Demand Study.

For more information about Project Niagara, please visit

Labels: ,