Tar Sands Songbook: Performance and Workshop

Experience an illuminating work of documentary theater that brings together storytelling, original research, field recordings, photography, and an original, improvised score.

Fort McMurray’s Tanya Kalmanovitch weaves her voice with those of First Nations elders, activists, engineers, oil patch workers and members of her own family as they renegotiate their relationships to a challenged landscape.

With a fiddle in one hand and a laptop filled with the voices of the oil patch, Tanya Kalmanovitch will bring you into the heart of a community that has everything to do with the way we live today.

Tanya Kalmanovitch is a Juilliard-trained violist, ethnomusicologist (UAlberta ‘08), and an associate professor at The New School. Born in Fort McMurray, her international career includes long-term residencies in Afghanistan, Amsterdam, India and Ireland. She was named “Best New Talent” by All About Jazz and made the 2018 list of Grist's 50 Fixers.

This lecture is presented by the University of Alberta's Sustainability Council.

Bonus! Storytelling workshop with Tanya Kalmanovitch

Join Tanya for a collaborative workshop that will help you start a new conversation about oil and energy transition in your own community. Using conversation, storytelling, dialogue and group process techniques, this workshop introduces participants to new (and often surprising) ways of addressing issues about oil and energy transition through the lens of the arts.

No theatre or musical experience is necessary. Just wear comfortable clothing and be prepared for fun!


Fall 2020 Sustainability Lectures

We regret that in-person lectures have been cancelled throughout March and April, 2020.

The COP 101 e-conferences will continue as planned.

The Sustainability Council presents an ongoing lecture series exploring local expertise and global innovation across all fields of sustainability. Meet scholars from the University of Alberta and beyond in fields ranging from engineering to ecology, public health to poetry, native studies to nanotechnology.

Our speakers share new perspectives, and explore the diversity of issues encompassed by sustainability. Please join us and help expand the campus dialogue on sustainability issues including: climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, inequality and food security.

The theme for 2020–21 is “Sustainability, Equity and Climate Action.”

Sustainability lecture series schedule. Updated 2020-11-04.
Date Speaker Time
Sept. 30 Carrie Armstrong: Indigenous Healing Plants Noon–1 p.m.
Oct. 14 Farook Hamzeh: Hidden Waste Noon–1 p.m.
Oct. 26–30 Sustainability Awareness Week
Nov. 18 Kira Hunt: Biomimicry Noon–1 p.m.
Dec. 2 & 3 Tanya Kalmanovitch: Tar Sands Songbook Noon–1 p.m.
Steering Committee

The Sustainability Council’s Research Steering Committee guides the selection of speakers for this lecture series.

Meet the Committee