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Hot temperatures. Brutal conflicts. From ground zero of climate change,  a new publication.
Hot temperatures. Brutal conflicts. From ground zero of climate change,  a new publication.
Hot temperatures. Brutal conflicts. From ground zero of climate change, a new publication.
574 backers pledged CA$ 80,939 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Reports from the Energy Battlegrounds

CA$ 80,939

574

We'd like to thank Grimes for giving us permission to use her music for our project video. You can get a tank top with Grimes' original art on it for our $30 reward! Here Grimes rocks out in our Tar Sands Reporting Project t shirt, the $50 reward!
We'd like to thank Grimes for giving us permission to use her music for our project video. You can get a tank top with Grimes' original art on it for our $30 reward! Here Grimes rocks out in our Tar Sands Reporting Project t shirt, the $50 reward!

Stretch goal target:  If we make it to $100,000, we can do a year of reporting BEYOND THE ENERGY BATTLEGROUNDS, stories focused on climate change solutions. 

We have a stack of resumes from reporters across Canada eager to join The National Observer team.

With your support, we can afford to:

1. Build out Canada-wide investigative reporting ($75,000)

Put an experienced investigative reporter based in Toronto plus a veteran Ottawa-based reporter to work.  Fill in gaps in Canadian reporting, and explore the relationship between corporations and government and the impact of this relationship on ordinary citizens.

Arrests on Burnaby Mountain
Arrests on Burnaby Mountain

2. Create an in-depth report about  the oil bust and Calgary.  ($80,000)

3. If we make it to $100,000 (that would be amazing!), we can afford to roll out an interactive map for the election that tracks where federal candidates stand on climate change mitigation.  The map would include the publication (after the election) of the National Observer "Resilience Index", which will measure how cities are doing comparatively on climate change preparedness and livability.

Our awesome design team has already created a mock-up of what the map would look like
Our awesome design team has already created a mock-up of what the map would look like

After the election, we can use the map to track where the most exciting renewable solutions can be found in Canada, North America, and around the world.

SOLD OUT!!!  $30 reward: Grimes' original art work on a cool out of print tank top

Get this beautiful original artwork tank top by Grimes. Hurry: supply limited.
Get this beautiful original artwork tank top by Grimes. Hurry: supply limited.

Fund Reports From the Energy Battlegrounds!

This year will be the hottest year ever in energy politics, filled with big pipeline decisions, big energy dramas, and big elections.

This is the year of Keystone, Kinder Morgan and Canada's fossil fuel-touting prime minister's bid to be the longest serving leader of Canada.

We're a team of award-winning journalists. 

Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award 2014
Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award 2014

With the funding from this project we'll create one year of powerful reporting on energy politics and the environment.  We'll look for connections between powerful U.S. interests and Canadian politicians.

We'll bring you reporting on where candidates in the 2015 federal election stand on pipeline projects, LNG, big oil,  and how they think and feel about climate change. 

We'll travel to where landowners face multi-national corporations who claim rights to place energy infrastructure across their land. 

We'll interview scientists once muzzled by Canada's government who are now speaking out about what they know.  And we'll be publishing stories we can't even imagine today. As the news unfolds, we'll be there.

We'll be on the ground, bringing stories back to you daily for a year. Making our target will mean we can:

  • Afford to cover Canada's energy story through daily, in-depth, critical reporting.
  •  Reach those who are hungry for our stories quickly, through search engine advertising, vigorous development of our social media outreach, and some solid consulting help on effective optimization of our digital news ecosystem.
  • Complete development and design work on our new site.
  • Produce a new book, Extract: Vol. 2 The Pipeline Wars, Burnaby Mountain Kinder Morgan protest.

The National Observer

Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking at a conference in Fort McMurray, the heart of the tar sands.  High resolution image by National Observer's Bill Weaver for $150 reward
Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaking at a conference in Fort McMurray, the heart of the tar sands. High resolution image by National Observer's Bill Weaver for $150 reward

We've developed The Vancouver Observer into an award-winning regional online newspaper.

Now we're building a new publication. 

Canada's federal election is coming, and energy policy will be at the centre of this election. 

 Your support will mean we can launch the National Observer with outstanding coverage of politics and news through the lens of energy and the environment.

Vancouver Observer + National Observer = two great teams, two great publications with investigative reporting and daily news that packs a punch. Delivered to an engaged and growing audience.

While the Vancouver Observer will continue as a vibrant local online newspaper, The National Observer will branch out across the continent and narrow in, with a sharp focus on energy and the environment.

Nationalobserver.com takes a beautiful design, integrates it handily for smartphones and tablets and makes it easy to share articles across platforms.  This is how we will deliver some of the most powerful stories of the year, with your help, by meeting our goal.  Please join us to make a new platform for energy and environment news and reporting.

We deliver

We're the team that created "The Tar Sands Reporting Project." Kickstarter called it their "Most Socially Conscious Project" in Canada of 2014. 

We produced 140 stories in the year of the report.  The investigative stories funded by the project led to the resignation of Canada's top spy watchdog, a class action lawsuit by citizens who were being spied upon by government for criticizing the oil sands, and changes to citizenship laws. The stories outgrew our local brand, "The Vancouver Observer."  And that's why, with your support, we're busting out. 

YOUR REWARD: EXCELLENT REPORTING AND...

What happens when citizens take a dangerous stand against climate change?  Dramatic stories from Burnaby Mountain pipeline protest.
What happens when citizens take a dangerous stand against climate change? Dramatic stories from Burnaby Mountain pipeline protest.
Postcard of iconic Spirit Bear in Great Bear Rainforest with photo by Andrew S. Wright
Postcard of iconic Spirit Bear in Great Bear Rainforest with photo by Andrew S. Wright
Postcard of aerial view of Great Bear Rainforest with photo by Andrew S. Wright
Postcard of aerial view of Great Bear Rainforest with photo by Andrew S. Wright


 

Join Linda,  the creator of this project, for a webinar on the story behind this story & how to build a crowdfunding campaign
Join Linda, the creator of this project, for a webinar on the story behind this story & how to build a crowdfunding campaign
Terrible beauty. Exclusive aerial limited edition signed photograph of the oil sands with photo by Andrew S. Wright.
Terrible beauty. Exclusive aerial limited edition signed photograph of the oil sands with photo by Andrew S. Wright.
Be part of an exciting roll out with The National Observer tote.  Take the good news with you!
Be part of an exciting roll out with The National Observer tote. Take the good news with you!

8K Reward: A trip to the Great Bear Rainforest

Get off the grid with us for some deeply relaxing and educational down-time, while learning about how divided factions negotiated for over 19 years, ultimately putting their differences aside to protect the Great Bear Rainforest's trees.

Spend seven days on the Island Roamer sail boat, exploring one of the world's most gorgeous coastal regions. Its future hangs in the balance, as oil and gas projects and companies work to push pipelines through the wilderness to the coast.

We'll use evenings for story-telling, exploring the issues around oil extraction and delivery to market, and alternative sources. During the day, we'll observe wildlife, waterfalls and witness a part of the biggest migration of fish on the planet. We'll watch whales in Douglas Channel and look for the iconic Spirit Bear  by a turbulent stream in a mist-laden rainforest.  

Risks and challenges

We're reporting in a time that is ever more precarious for journalists. Threats on freedom of speech and attacks on reporters seem to multiply by the month. News organizations are hacked, attract haters, and powerful forces attempt to undermine their credibility.

But one of the amazing parts of a crowd-funding campaign is knowing you have a whole community of backers behind you. This brings strength that goes way beyond money. You inspire us to take risks and to grow.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.79

    We give you our love and thanks.

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    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    We tweet out a thank-you to you AND follow you through our @natobserver account on twitter. You must give us your twitter address, though!

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    Up your social media action with Valentina Ruiz, our brilliant social media manager. Valentina has worked for newspapers in Venezuela. She's just finishing up her Masters in Journalism at UBC.

    In this webinar, learn how to connect more deeply through social media. Make your interactions meaningful.

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    Join a webinar with our humour writer, Jordan Yerman. May date, to be announced.

    Jordan will share excerpts from spam and verbal spankings we've received through our local publication, The Vancouver Observer.

    Spell casters, anonymous critics and more.

    Jordan will take you to the extremes of internet communications.

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    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $16

    2 postcards. One of the iconic spirit bear from the Great Bear Rainforest and one aerial view of the Great Bear Rainforest by National Observer photographer, Andrew S. Wright

    Simply beautiful.

    Completely inspiring.

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    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $24

    A TANKTOP FEATURING ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY GRIMES.

    Be fashion-forward with a unique tank top featuring original art by Grimes, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and artist whose song you listened to in our video.

    You'll get a surprise gift from in the package when it arrives as well. Hurry, as supply is very limited!

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    Reward no longer available 105 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $40

    COLLECTOR'S ITEM: LIMITED EDITION. Tar Sands Reporting Project t shirt. XL only.

    See our photo of Grimes rocking out her XL Tar Sands Reporting Project t shirt.

    Think how good it will look on you!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $40

    Join National Observer editor-in-chief Linda for a webinar on the story behind the story of this Kickstarter campaign, which she has been working on for...

    Linda will share how many months it took her to plan, how long it took the team to make the video, how many people had a hand in the writing, editing, tweaking and providing invaluable advice for this project.

    She'll also answer your questions about crowd-funded campaigns.

    If this project makes its target, it'll be our team's third successful crowd-funded journalism campaign.

    On hand also will be Jordan Yerman to weigh in on what it really takes to deliver rewards, as Jordan beautifully manages these things.

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    Pledge CA$ 75 or more About $59

    Extract: The Pipeline Wars Vol. 2 Kinder Morgan.

    Exclusive photography book focusing on the protest against the Kinder Morgan pipeline on Burnaby Mountain. All photographs and text produced by our team.

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $79

    "The National Observer" tote bag.

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    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $119

    High resolution photograph of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu by National Observer photographer Bill Weaver.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $396

    An eerily beautiful aerial photograph (poster-sized) of the oil sands by National Observer photographer Andrew S. Wright.

    PLUS: a webinar with the photographer on the challenges of photographing the oil sands.

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    Pledge CA$ 850 or more About $673

    We will write an advertorial about your business or non profit.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $792

    YOUR MOST DRAMATIC MOMENT

    For us launching the National Observer is one of our most dramatic moments, involving risk and challenge. And joy.

    We'll ask you what's the biggest risk you ever took...YOUR most dramatic, joyful or inspired moment?

    You'll recount your adventure, and we'll turn it into a story. We'll ask you for images to go along with the story.

    After your review, we'll publish it in The National Observer so your story can inspire others for years to come.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 8,000 or more About $6,333

    Cruise with National Observer founders for a week through the Great Bear Rainforest to view whales, bears and meet Indigenous people living in area. Dates: October 2-9. Total passengers: 13.

    If you cannot go yourself, you can use this reward to pay for the costs of sending a reporter or filmmaker who would not have the opportunity to see the area for themselves. They will then produce an in-depth piece about the journey.

    One of the world's most pristine wilderness areas is under threat from the proposed Enbridge pipeline project. If the pipeline goes through, it will move tar sands bitumen to BC's wild coast and bring more than 200 oil tankers into the waters yearly, to Kitimat, B.C, the proposed pipeline's terminus.

    You must cover all costs of getting to Bella Bella, up to when we meet our vessel, The Island Roamer.

    Your reward covers all costs once on board this luxury sailboat which will take you into a wilderness so breathtaking it will change the way you see the world. We will provide travel details and recommendations up to Bella Bella and for getting home after cruise. Prepare for dazzling sunny days, and misty, rain-drenched mornings, as you witness the brutal, inspiring journey of salmon upstream, and the feast they make for eagles, bears and wolves.

    Americans, take advantage of great USD-CAD exchange rate to see the Great Bear Rainforest with us, and to benefit from enriching evening talks on the issue, storytelling, and unique photographic opportunities.

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Funding period

- (30 days)