Jeff & Dodie McKay, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, and Merit Jensen Carr at the Manitoba Launch

Manitoba Loves Trees

Manitoba screenings for The Global Forest are going on all this week. It is the end of October. I have managed to undress the CBC of Winnipeg and throw caution to the winds to get people to go out and see the film, Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees, by filmmaker Jeff McKay and yours truly.

Apart from one other film, ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ in 1992, our film has reached peak numbers of audience. The Cinematheque on 100 Arthur Street ( told Jeff McKay that they have never seen anything like it. The beautiful theatre has been packed to overflowing every night. While the show was on, people kept coming into the box office on the hopes of one spare seat. The staff were wonderful to us as well.

I have to tell you one story about Sunday evening last week. Jeff and I were selling our big posters of Call of the Forest, when the crowd got very dense in numbers. One gentleman started shouting. The people moved away from him a little. He continued to shout. Then I saw his hand go up into the air. He was holding a white ticket in his hand. ‘I’ve got the last one for tonight…’, he said. He was visibly upset. ‘You people…won’t make it. I feel so guilty’. The ticket waved. The crowd closed in again. Thankfully Cinematheque has added screening dates in November so those who did not have the opportunity can see it later this month.

Every evening Jeff and I introduced the film. It was wonderful to speak to a Winnipeg audience. They appreciate art and understand work. This film was a slog from one end of the world to another, ending in that pristine tribal garden to the North of the city called the Boreal Forest. This is where the Bald Eagles fly and the songbirds of the continent rest and eat in their seasonable comings and goings. The pattern language of the forest has not been disturbed and it is overlaid by lichens that clean the atmosphere.

This huge, complex forest is our last shield against climate change. So, put your shoulders to the wheel and help Sophia Rabliauskas and Pimachiowan Aki save it for your children and grand children.

Tonight our brilliant sound engineer, Norman Dugas, will be speaking with Jeff McKay to introduce the film. He did some extraordinary things with three-dimensional sound for us, especially with water set as an underlying tapestry. He, too, is a Gémeaux-award winner. He will also be en francais. My book The Global Forest by Viking-Penguin, the basis for the film, will be there on sale, too. It is available at McNally Robinson. So go and get a copy. It is the prayerbook of the forest, to my thinking. And I’m just the author – I believe in respecting nature, we have to live with it, because we can’t live without it…That’s just the way the world works.


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