Did you know that on April 2, 2007, Leaf Rapids, Manitoba (population approximately 600) became the first community in Canada to ban plastic bags in retail stores? From bike sharing to eating locally, this exhibit will feature efforts like this that are immediate and accessible. Although seemingly small in relation to the scale of the…

2011 Sep 03 – 2011 Nov 20

CHANGE: What’s in It for You?

Curated by Deborah Loxam-Kohl 

It’s getting warm. Global warming is happening, and it’s mainly because of human activity. Rising sea levels, an increasing number of extreme weather events, (eg. droughts and floods) are just some of the evidence of that. Sheltered here in an area of great natural beauty with relatively few people, it can be easy to forget or ignore these problems. Whether in the city or the country however, we’re all playing a part, and will be increasingly affected both directly and indirectly to changes in our planet’s climate.

It’s been said that climate change is not an environmental problem, but a cultural one. It’s our behaviour that’s the issue, and the reality that many of us have grown used to ways of living that our planet and resources simply cannot sustain.

So what can we do about it? The answer has a tendency to get complicated, and mired in things like politics and economics. For an individual, however, it’s pretty simple; we can choose to do something, (and keep looking for more things to do), or we can choose to wait for others to solve the problem.

Choosing to take action ourselves not only takes us a step away from being part of a problem, but a step closer to being part of a solution. And our choices affect others. We are social animals, and shifts in personal values and attitudes will ultimately be reflected in our society. This includes our governments, businesses and industry – without their participation, changing or even slowing our current course will be difficult if not impossible.

There are many people and organizations both here and further afield that are very active and engaged in addressing climate change. This exhibit highlights some of their work, and also provides a venue for some of the progressive and innovative ideas that exist right here in our community.

The examples included on the panels were chosen because they tend to be less about new technology or “greening” current levels of consumption, and more about simply changing our habits and consuming less. The ideas and solutions here are by no means a comprehensive list of everything that can be done. Hopefully they illustrate some of the issues, and the challenges and solutions that people have found in working towards a common goal.

The earth itself will continue to be here for a long time, but whether the same can be said for people is up to us. We need to look for small solutions in our own lives, as well as find ways to work with and support others in moving towards the bigger ones, and encourage our elected officials and businesses to do the same. The time for action is now – can we change?

Beyond the exhibit itself, we hope CHANGE will provoke thought, and encourage new and existing dialogue, discussion and connections around climate change. If you’re not currently involved, you may also consider volunteering for, or otherwise supporting the people, businesses and agencies that work in our community to support and promote positive change in these areas. I once heard someone say, “the most important thing you can do is one more thing”. To me, this sums it up as well as anything, because no single action will fix climate change, but each one is a necessary step towards a solution.

Hours & Locations

The Nelson Museum is located in beautiful downtown Nelson, British Columbia.


Exhibitions, programs, and events to help plan your visit.