First four films debut with more to follow, covering topics from “Building Alberta’s Deepest Man-Made Lake,” to “Harmony’s Wetlands” to “Canada’s Most Advanced Water Treatment Program.”
In a community aspiring to be the region’s most “holistically-planned, sustainably-built” new neighbhourhood, it’s a statement that conjures up quite a few questions and a lot of curiosity.
What do we even mean by “sustainability?” How are we managing the construction of Alberta’s deepest man-made lake and Harmony’s drinking water? What about the wetlands? The water treatment facilities? Is it worth saving a rare species of grass? What specific measures are our planning, development, and building partners taking to ensure responsible practices?
This summer, we determined the time was right to document behind the scenes, capture the action, and ask the questions people want to know about sustainability at work in Harmony, as the community is actively under construction.
Harmony engaged award winning local documentarian Matt Palmer, and created a mentorship opportunity for Springbank High School student, Tyler Keeling, to assist with the filming and process of storytelling.
Eight short films were commissioned to spotlight a range of sustainability topics, led by project lead Lauren Whitney, BSc., Harmony’s Sustainability Strategist.
“Many people aren’t fully aware of the thought, design and construction processes that go into the creation of the communities they live in,” Lauren says.
“These films – which have turned out to be informative and often visually poetic to watch — provide a unique look at the individual, interrelated, complex systems at work in Harmony. They illustrate the underlying philosophy we have as a team to build our community sustainably and responsibly.”
“Sustainability is often an overused and misunderstood word,” Matt explains. “So one of the first things I did was encourage a film that defines what sustainability actually means in the context of Harmony’s development.”
“I believe sustainability should not just be a buzzword that looks nice on a brochure or a website,” Matt continues.
“As a collection, I hope these films will show how true sustainable practices are being implemented and Harmony’s sustainability philosophy is indeed being realized. I have been struck by the sincerity of the Harmony Development Team in walking their talk.”
Tyler Keeling joined the team when word about the summer mentorship opportunity came from his Media Arts teacher at Springbank High School.
“When I first heard about the Sustainability Video Series, I thought it would be a way to practice my filmmaking and storytelling,” explains Tyler. “Mentoring with Matt, I’ve definitely refined these skills, but I have also been able to see everything that goes into building a Community. It was a great experience attending meetings, visiting the construction site, and it let me see the development of Harmony from multiple perspectives.”
“The main thing I took away from the interviews with all the people involved is how genuine they are about the sustainability aspects of the community. I would say the videos we’ve been working on represent the true core values fundamental to Harmony.”
Thank you Tyler for your participation. And filmmaker Matt Palmer for your vision and expertise. We hope everyone enjoys this first round of films, and joins us each time a new series is released.
You can view the films here.