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At Pontiac Enchanté we are privileged to be able to present our concerts in a location of outstanding natural beauty. Our venue is situated beneath the dramatic cliffs of the Eardley Escarpment: the escarpment is the dividing line between the St. Lawrence Lowlands and the Canadian Shield, the largest mass of exposed precambrian rock on Earth. As the gateway between these two vastly different landmasses, the escarpment houses a fragile and rare ecosystem that is home to over 70 at-risk plant and animal species. Our proximity to such an environment gives us a front row seat to the greatest show on Earth - we are awestruck every spring when the meltwater from the winter’s snow comes thundering down the cliffs, and entranced in the autumn when the leaves turn every possible shade of red and yellow. This comes with an opportunity and a responsibility to do our part in protecting the beautiful planet that we all call home.
Environmental factors and the reduction of our carbon footprint are central to every aspect of our concert-presenting practices and our future development plans. These considerations can be broken down into four overarching categories:
When we decide which artists to book for an upcoming season, the distance each artist has to travel to reach us, and the means by which they will do so, factor heavily into our process. We will completely cut out the use of air travel for any journey that can be completed by car or train, and we will employ a maximum of one overseas group/artist per year, and only if that group or artist is performing a multi-stop North American tour that does not involve short-haul flights. We are also looking at creative ways to incentivize our audiences to travel to us by more fuel-efficient methods.
In the coming years we plan to incorporate energy-efficient technologies into our building upgrades, including (but not limited to) gradually replacing all of our lighting with new energy-efficient bulbs, and installing solar panels to offset our energy usage by creating our own (more) sustainably sourced power.
We are conscious of the fact that hosting an event has the potential to generate a lot of unnecessary waste. To counter this, we are reducing our paper usage by offering digital-only programmes (downloadable to a phone or tablet), replacing paper tickets with digital ones, and eliminating single-use plastics when we serve food or drink.
When sourcing products for our events (eg. food and drink), we always seek to partner with people and organizations located close to us who share our eco-friendly philosophy. By doing this we cut down on auxiliary transportation emissions (generated by product movement), and support our local eco-aware businesses.
Beyond the impact that green thinking has on our day-to-day operations, we aim to use our platform and location to encourage greater environmental empathy in our audiences. For so many people, positive environmental action is generated by seeing nature at work. At every concert, we highlight one or more of the at-risk species living on the escarpment behind us, and speak about some of the ongoing seasonal changes happening in the world around us. We are happy to call ourselves neighbours with the Gatineau Park, managed by the National Capital Commission. The park encompasses all of the fragile territory on the Eardley Escarpment, and runs several environmental protection and awareness programmes across its lands more widely. Pontiac Enchanté seeks to work with organizations like the NCC and other environmental protection projects in the region to help spread awareness, and contribute in any way it can to protect and rehabilitate our precious ecosystems. By enacting all of the above policies, Pontiac Enchanté is the first classical concert series in Canada to make environmentalism a cornerstone of its mission and operational structure. We recognize that science and strategies around environmentalism are constantly developing and changing, so we will continue to develop and modify our policies as new ideas come to light. All industries, no matter how big or small, need to adapt and re-think their ways of business in order to play their part in the global fight against climate change. We want to lead the classical music industry forwards into a greener future, and hope that other concert-presenting organizations will join us in this fight for humanity’s survival on this planet.