Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 8pm ET, TVO presents the broadcast and online premiere of the TVO Original series Striking Balance, Season 2, a day ahead of the United Nations’ ‘World Habitat Day’. All nine episodes will be broadcast weekly and made available to stream free at tvo.org and on TVO’s YouTube Channel. This inspiring series, narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and directed by Zach Melnick, explores nine of Canada’s UNESCO designated biosphere reserves, spotlighting the critical importance of these natural landscapes. By imagining innovative ways to co-exist with nature, Striking Balance will challenge what viewers think they know about the natural world and their place in it, investigating how people are creating symbiotic relationships with nature and developing sustainable economies.
“Biosphere reserves are inspiring reminders of how to live and work in harmony with nature. That doesn’t mean living off the grid or preventing commercial economies”, says Jane Jankovic, TVO’s executive producer of documentaries. “As this TVO Original series shows, it is really about cultivating healthy relationships between people, wildlife, water and land to ensure nature and communities thrive for generations to come.”
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Sharing captivating stories of sustainable communities from coast to coast, Striking Balance proves that it is possible to conserve biodiversity without excluding one of earth’s most important species – humans. Residents employ cutting-edge, nature-based solutions to address tsunami-like flooding in Manitoba, unprecedented drought on Vancouver Island, and climate change in Nova Scotia. The stewards of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories apply traditional knowledge to protect one of the world’s largest remaining pristine sources of freshwater; and scientists, climbers and quarry companies devise innovative ways to co-exist with, restore and enhance the rich ecosystems of Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment.
“By considering humans as a part of the ecological community, UNESCO biosphere reserves create opportunities to solve environmental challenges in ways that support local economies,” says Director Zach Melnick of these critical learning spaces.
For Zach and producer Yvonne Drebert, production spanned over 250 filming days, capturing stunning Canadian landscapes and upwards of 307 interviews. Life on the road can be challenging; luckily the husband and wife pair are used to close quarters. Creating documentaries since 2002, the duo are best known for their history-focused work which has led to over 15 feature-length documentaries developed collaboratively with communities across Ontario.
TVO Original series Striking Balance is produced in partnership with TVO, Knowledge Network, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and Parks Canada.