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Member's Contribution: To The Watershed with CEP

05 Aug 2015 10:39 PM | Anonymous member
On the July edition of CEP CONNECT, members of CET Toronto watched the inspiring play the Watershed. Here is what our member Isabelle Netto felt about the play:

To The Watershed with CEP


If you work in the water industry, you’ve probably already heard of The Watershed, a play about the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) that was part of Panamania’s cultural programming. But if you’ve never seen documentary theatre before, nothing can prepare you for what an incredible learning journey it can be.  Last Tuesday, July 14, CEP Toronto organized a group outing to go see the play at the Berkeley Theatre.


The Watershed focused on the federal government’s shutdown of the ELA and its subsequent rescue by the IISD. This was of special interest to me – I’ve been hearing about the ELA and involved scientists since I first started researching freshwater pollution as a grad student many years ago, when I was inspired enough to attend every event where Maude Barlow or David Schindler were speaking. About a year ago, I couldn’t understand how the ELA, one of the world’s greatest research facilities, had to resort to Indiegogo to stay afloat (to which I dutifully donated in exchange for a postcard); but after that I stopped following its plight, because at that point it was just too sad.


So it was with much anticipation and curiosity that I went to see The Watershed. Told from the perspective of the playwright herself (Annabel Soutar) as the main character, and drawing parallels with her own experience researching the ELA debacle, the play doesn’t tell the audience what to think, but makes us question everything instead, regardless of what our preconceived opinions may be. Ultimately, it reinforces the idea that even when there is no agreement between both sides of the issue and it’s hard to find common ground, change doesn’t happen in the absence of collaboration – and it’s up to us to figure it out.


It was also fantastic to have the chance to talk to the actors after the show, it really added another layer of meaning to it all. A big thanks to Jonathan for arranging this!


The Watershed opens again in Montreal this November (en français), and will likely run again in Toronto sometime next year. Don’t miss it!

A big thanks to Isabelle for her contribution! 


CEP Toronto will continue to bring together the environmental professionals in this city. We strive to provide our members various opportunities to engage the diverse topics in the environmental sector. Hope to see you at our next event!  

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