News & Events


Award-winning documentary White Water Black Gold comes to Kemptville

Date: Monday, November 17, 2014
Time: 7:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
Location: The Branch Restaurant & Texas Grill, Clothier St. E. Kemptville
Admission/Suggested Donation: $2 (towards the cost of the film)

Sustainable North Grenville is pleased to present a screening of White Water, Black Gold, a jarring new documentary film on the tar sands and the battle between water and oil, by Edmonton Director David Lavalleé. The film follows an imaginary drop of water, and later an imaginary drop of oil, unveiling the threats the tar sands pose to the third largest watershed in the world and two separate oceans. White Water, Black Gold is a film about the inextricable link between water and oil in our modern world.

The film tells the story of water and how the tar sands are impacting an element essential to all life on this planet. “I hope that audiences will listen to the voices in this film,” said Lavalleé. “I want people to see the impact the tar sands are having, and be moved enough to become advocates for an energy future that does not pose such a great risk to our water resources.”

The 83-minute feature-length documentary is narrated by well-known actor, author, director and screenwriter Peter Coyote.

Following the film, local environmental writer Ian Angus will speak about the battle between water and oil right here in North Grenville – referring to the fragile aquifer that supplies 75% of residents’ drinking water and the potential threats arising from the transport of diluted bitumen by the proposed Energy East project.

About the film

White Water, Black Gold is an investigative point-of view documentary that follows David Lavalleé on his three-year journey across western Canada in search of answers about the activities of the world’s thirstiest oil industry: the Tarsands.

As a mountaineer and hiking guide, David is on the front lines of climate change. Over the past 15 years he has worked in the Columbia Icefields of the Canadian Rockies, and has noticed profound changes in the mountains: climate change is rendering these landscapes unrecognizable.

When David discovers that his province is ramping up growth in an extremely water intensive industry downstream of his beloved icefields, he is surprised he knows so little about this industry. This necessitates a journey: from icefields… to oilfields.

In the course of his journey he makes many discoveries: new science shows that water resources in an era of climate change will be increasingly scarce (putting this industry at risk); First Nations people living downstream are contracting bizarre cancers; the upgrading of this oil threatens multiple river systems across Canada and the tailings ponds containing the waste by-products of the process threaten to befoul the third largest watershed in the world. Additionally, a planned pipeline across British Columbia brings fresh threats to BC Rivers and the Pacific Ocean.

White Water, Black Gold is a sober look at the untold costs (to water and people) associated with developing the second largest deposit of “oil” in the world.

This event is open to the public. Snack foods and cash bar will be available.