PowerUP launched at star-studded TIFF event

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      TORONTO—One of the most star-studded events at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival featured a green carpet, not a red one.

      Eco-activist, Tzeporah Berman, one of the founders of ForestEthics, launched her latest effort to save the planet, PowerUP Canada, a new citiizen’s initiative to combat global warming, September 10th during the middle of Toronto’s big movie party, and some of Canada’s highest profile media, eco, and screen celebs showed up to add their two recyclable cents.

      At the Power Up! launch party at the Gladstone Hotel, PowerUP literally rolled out a green carpet as reporters quizzed guests on their latest projects and their commitment to stop global warming while paparazzi paparazzed.

      Green carpet guests at the Gladstone ranged from Charles Martin Smith, director of TIFF’s closing gala film, Stone of Destiny to civil right lawyer, Clayton Ruby. Battlestar Galactica’s “Chief” Aaron Douglas, handled the emcee duties as Berman—the founding exec director—rallied the packed bar with a twenty minute speech about the importance of putting and keeping climate change at the top of Canada’s political agenda.

      “The polls show that Canadians care,” said Berman. “But global warming is getting worse and Canada’s emissions today are projected to rise, not to fall. It is so important to do what we can in our daily lives. We need to change our light bulbs there’s no questions. But we’re here tonight because there is no question that it is even more important to change our laws.”

      Since this is the internet we should mention some of the Google-worthy celebs in attendance including The Hour’s George Stroumboulopoulos; Gillian Deacon, Host of Code Green Canada and The Gill Deacon Show; Project Runway’s winning designer Evan Biddell; Nicky Ryann (host of ROUGH With Nicky Ryann), Stephen Bronfman (really rich guy), and feminist rabble rouser, Judy Rebick.

      There were also plenty of actors munching the all-veggie appies, including Jonathan Walker (Flash Gordon); award-winning actor and writer Anne-Marie Macdonald; A.J. Saudin (Kink in My Hair); Alan C. Peterson (Across the River to Motor City); Seana McKenna (Burn Up, Save The Last Dance); Alisha Morrison (Mean Girls, Soul Food); Anna Ferguson (Heartland, ZOS-Zone of Separation, Road to Avonlea), and the cast and producers of CTV’s upcoming new series, The Bridge.

      The official launch earlier that day demonstrated the appeal of PowerUP as a “citizen’s movement” as the group was joined by several other eclectic orgs including Canada’s Association for the 45Plus (CARP), the Canadian Jewish Congress, the Steelworkers Union of Canada, and the Canadian Federation of Students.

      The new organization is officially non-partisan and their prime directive is to, “provide Canadians with a positive new vision for Canada, provide non-partisan information about global warming and a common campaign to amplify citizens’ voices, clarify federal parties’ and candidates’ climate positions, host public events and build an online networking community.”

      But with Athabasca’s oil sands likely to be fairly high up on the anti-global warming agenda, it’s likely they’ll be applying the most heat to Alberta’s own, Stephen Harper, especially after the Tories dropped the climate change ball in Bali.

      One of PowerUP's first power plays was to send a letter to all party leaders asking a half dozen questions about their official stance on climate change.

      Responses will be posted here.

      To join PowerUP, click here.