About this project
We met our first goal on New Year's Eve. Your continued support will mean we can afford to make a film to go along with our reporting.
The Power of Story
Story-by-story, we'll illuminate the lives of workers in the tar sands, the love-hate relationship with industry on Canada's West Coast, the resistance by First Nations leaders, and the difficult relationship between activists and the industry.
We believe that stories can make all the difference in reaching peoples' hearts and minds.
And we hope that you believe this, too.
What this Kickstarter Will Do
This Kickstarter will give us the opportunity to go to the tar sands and along the route of proposed tar sands pipelines. It'll allow us to:
Go deep into peoples' lives: First Nations, environmentalists, academics, those impacted by pollution from the tar sands, those profiting personally from its economic benefits.
Visit oil workers and environmentalists in their homes and capture the conversations taking place over dinner tables and to tell these stories to our audience.
Provide an ongoing record of the challenges environmental groups are facing as they battle tar sands projects and the changes the Canadian government undergoes in its determination to get Canada's bitumen to Asian and U.S. markets.
- Explore tar sands water pollution's affects on communities and families and look at what industry is doing to mitigate this.
The more funds we can raise, the better we can make these stories.
What's the Vancouver Observer?
The Vancouver Observer's reporting is independent. We don't accept advertising from oil companies or related industries and we aren't funded by the government or any political parties. This may often mean that we will tell sides of the story that industry and government would prefer not to be told.
The Vancouver Observer reaches a monthly audience of 140,000 people. Our readers come from around the world with the largest concentration in Canada and the United States. We engage with 35,000 people on social media.
Our stories are referenced and/or aggregated by Huffington Post, Postmedia, Bourque, The Tyee, The Globe and Mail, Sun News, Yahoo, The Real News, TruthOut, Foreign Affairs, DemocracyNow and The New York Times.
The Vancouver Observer was recognized by the Canadian Journalism Foundation with its prestigious Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2012 and an honourable mention by the foundation in 2013. CJF cited The Vancouver Observer for "courage", "accountability", "fairness", and "accuracy", saying VO operates on small resources and punches "far above its weight."
STRETCH Goal: FILM
On New Year's Eve, less than 30 days after launching "The Tar Sands Reporting Project" on Kickstarter, we reached our first goal thanks to 283 amazing people. We're so grateful to have the opportunity to be reaching now for our next goal.
Bill Weaver (pictured below) shot our extraordinary Kickstarter video. Now, we want to take this Peabody award-winning filmmaker to where change really happens: in homes and at dinner tables across British Columbia.
It’s in this intimate setting where environmentalists, industrial workers, and ordinary people like you and me talk with each other about how we feel about the environment, the economy, our values our hopes, and our country's future.
Then, we'll take it back to the blockades, the corporate offices, the marches, the parties, and the gas pump -- where all of us put our talk into action.
With your help, we’ll produce and distribute a provocative film that will go beyond the issues, to the very DNA of change, and encourage constructive discussion across all points of view. It’s the only way we’re going to find the innovative solutions we so badly need.
New to Kickstarter? Here's how the process works.
A person who supports a project is called a "backer." The process of giving money to the project is called a "pledge." In return for your pledge, we (the creators of the campaign) are able to offer "rewards," depending on the amount you pledge.
We're deeply grateful for support at whatever level is right for you.
Pledge $25 and get a signed copy of Extract, our book on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline controversy.
You can also pledge $50 to receive a Tar Sands Reporting Project T-shirt.
Pledge $350 or more and receive a print of Zack Embree's iconic photo from the 2013 Healing Walk in Fort McMurray.
Get a special print of this photograph of the Spirit Bear of the Great Bear Rainforest when you pledge $500 or more.
Look who backed The Tar Sands Reporting Project!!!!
Risks and challenges
Everything's harder in practice than it is in theory when it comes to creating great reporting.
These are stories unfolding out in the real world. Nothing is scripted, and anything can happen. This can turn out to be a really beautiful and amazing thing, but also a really trying, difficult and sometimes dangerous thing. We appreciate your patience and support through the year.
In traveling to the tar sands in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and in Northern BC along pipeline routes, it's bitter cold in winter, and conditions are unpredictable. This can make everything much harder.
Another challenge at this point is funding for completing the film we've started and would like to complete. We set our Kickstarter goal to cover the bare minimum of getting us back to the tar sands and to Northern B.C. and through a year of reporting and writing. It will NOT cover costs such as paying to have the film completed, or paying for short videos we really need to do along with the written stories.
So -- all funds beyond our goal will help greatly! They'll go toward film and video so we can craft the story in moving pictures, too, and get it out to the world.
Thank you for believing in this project and for being a part of telling this very important story.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Thank you all for supporting The Tar Sands Reporting Project! Today Margaret Atwood tweeted about us, so we reached all sorts of new people! (Welcome!) Last week, Grimes asked her fans to support us, so we met a lot of new people through her, too. (Thank you, Grimes!)
We've made remarkable progress over the past two weeks, but we still need to raise over $6,000 in to reach our goal. Remember that Kickstarter is all or nothing, so if we don't reach $32,000 we lose it all. If we can rapidly reach our goal, we can start reaching for our stretch goal, which is to make a film to go along with our reporting.
Here's how you can help:
- Post the project to Facebook and Twitter. If you do it today you can say, what a great way to celebrate the holiday!
- Send emails to your friends encouraging them to support the project.
Thank you again! With your help, we can reach our goal and get to work on The Tar Sands Reporting Project!
All the best,