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About Striking Balance

Striking Balance: Exploring Canada's Biosphere Reserves

Most of the time when Canadians think about nature, we think about far off places - wilderness areas, untouched by humans. But the reality is, those places don’t exist. People have been a part of nearly every Canadian landscape for thousands of years, so what if our concept of nature included people? UNESCO Biosphere Reserves are a way to think about nature that includes people as part of the environment. For those living in Canada’s Biosphere Reserves, the environment is only healthy if human communities and the ecosystems that sustain them are both thriving - today, and for hundreds of years to come. Narrated by Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy, Striking Balance is an 8x50 minute documentary series that goes coast to coast in cinematic 4K - combining aerial, motion capture time-lapse, and nature photography to create a stunning picture of Canada’s Biosphere Reserves. Join us on this epic journey and it just might change the way you think about the natural world, and our place in it.Biosphere Reserves in Season 1Broadcast Dates

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Striking Balance episodes


Long Point Biosphere Reserve, Ontario


Once surrounded by desert, Ontario’s Long Point – the world’s longest freshwater sand spit, is today lush with forests and wetlands.  Ironically, an invasive plant, phragmites, is now its biggest threat.

Watch the Long Point episode of Striking Balance for a limited time on!


Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, British Columbia


After years of conflict over logging in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia, communities look to the past to learn how the environment, cultures, and economies can thrive for hundreds of years to come.

Watch the Clayoquot Sound episode of Striking Balance for a limited time on!


Mont Saint-Hilaire Biosphere Reserve, Quebec


The old-growth forest and pristine glacial lake of Quebec’s towering Mont Saint-Hilaire are cherished by the communities that surround it, but unchecked – their growth threatens the very mountain they love.

Watch the Mont Saint-Hilaire episode of Striking Balance for a limited time on!


Bras d’Or Biosphere Reserve, Nova Scotia


On the Bras d’Or Lake in Cape Breton, oyster farming was seen as a sustainable alternative to working in coal and steel.  After a parasite ravages the oyster population, both traditional Mi’kmaq knowledge and western science are being used to bring the oyster back.


Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, Ontario


The people of Georgian Bay, Ontario, struggle to mitigate the impact of increasing numbers of cottagers and a new 4-lane highway on the region’s endangered species.


Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, Saskatchewan


Students conduct both social and scientific experiments at Redberry – a salt lake at the heart of a shrinking Saskatchewan community that’s determined to thrive in the face of industrial agriculture.


Fundy Biosphere Reserve, New Brunswick


The Inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic Salmon is teetering on the edge of extinction, but the people of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve are determined to bring it back.


Waterton Biosphere Reserve, Alberta


Grizzly bears have been increasingly protected in Alberta since 2006, challenging the ranchers of the Waterton Biosphere Reserve to find new ways to coexist with this powerful animal.


Sustaining Home ebook


If you enjoy Striking Balance, then you’re going to love Sustaining Home, an interactive eBook written by Dr. Maureen Reed and edited by Peter Kingsmill as a companion to the series. Download a free sample chapter today to learn how the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve program took root in Canada. Look for the full book to be available soon on Apple’s iBook store.


This sample chapter is in the epub format, best viewed on an Apple iPad using the iBooks app. It can also be viewed on an iPhone using the iBooks app, or on a Mac OS computer running the iBooks for Mac. Windows or Android users can use the Adobe Digital Editions ebook reader.  


Note: Sample chapter is 97MB.

Latest news

FREE Series Kickoff Sept. 30th – Parry Sound ON

  Aug 5, 2016     Yvonne Drebert

You are invited to the FREE launch event for Striking Balance. Presented in partnership with the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, we will be screening two episodes from the series on the big screen  - Georgian Bay, Ontario and Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia. The filmmakers   will be in attendance for questions. The evening starts at 7:00pm and each episode is 50 minutes in length. Come a...

Get Ready for the Broadcast Premiere on TVO

  Aug 4, 2016     Yvonne Drebert

Mark your calendars, set your PVRs, and give your neighbours, cousins, and grandparents a call to let them know about the broadcast premiere of Striking Balance!  Beginning Tuesday, October 4th at 9:00pm, with the Long Point Ontario episode – Striking Balance will be coming to small screens on TVO!  You can catch the rest of the series for the following seven weeks on Tuesdays at 9:00pm.  Can...

New Striking Balance Trailer

  Aug 4, 2016     Yvonne Drebert

We are happy to announce the release of the trailer for Striking Balance!  It’s quite difficult to condense all of the amazing stories from the eight biospheres we visited across the country into less than two minutes, but thanks to our eloquent interview subjects, we think we’ve been able to get the gist of what biosphere reserves are all about.  Have a watch and let us know what you think....

Long Point Episode Sneak Peak for LP BR 30th

  May 30, 2016     Zach Melnick

On Saturday, May 28th, we were pleased to be asked to be a part of the Long Point Biosphere Reserve’s 30th anniversary celebrations. A special sneak-peak screening of the Long Point episode of Striking Balance finished out the night and was warmly received.  It was our first time screening an episode of Striking Balance (beyond an audience of our parents!), so we were happy for the positive re...

Community screenings

  • 20October

    Striking Balance at the University of Saskatchewan

    • Thursday, October 20th, 2016 at 4:00pm
    • University of Saskatchewan: Kirk Hall, RM 144, Saskatoon, SK
  • 26October

    Striking Balance in the Waterton Biosphere Reserve

    • Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 at 7:00pm
    • Heritage Inn Banquet Room, 918 Waterton Ave, Highway #6, Pincher Creek, AB
  • 27October

    Striking Balance in the Waterton Biosphere Reserve

    • Thursday, October 27th, 2016 at 7:00pm
    • Carriage House Theatre located at 353 Main Street in Cardston, AB

Upcoming TV broadcasts

  • 4October

    Striking Balance Broadcast Premiere TVO: Long Point Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Oct. 4 - 9:00 PM
  • 8, 9October

    TVO: Long Point Biosphere Reserve

    • Saturday Oct. 8 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Oct. 9 - 10:00 PM
  • 11, 15, 16October

    TVO: Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Oct. 11 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Oct. 15 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Oct. 16 - 10:00 PM
  • 18, 22, 23October

    TVO: Mont Saint-Hilaire Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Oct. 18 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Oct. 22 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Oct. 23 - 10:00 PM
  • 25, 29, 30October

    TVO: Bras d'Or Lake Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Oct. 25 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Oct. 29 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Oct. 30 - 10:00 PM
  • 1, 5, 6November

    TVO: Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Nov. 1 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Nov. 5 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Nov. 6 - 10:00 PM
  • 8, 12, 13November

    TVO: Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Nov. 8 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Nov. 12 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Nov. 13 - 10:00 PM
  • 15, 19, 20November

    TVO: Fundy Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Nov. 15 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Nov. 19 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Nov. 20 - 10:00 PM
  • 22, 26, 27November

    TVO: Waterton Biosphere Reserve

    • Tuesday Nov. 22 - 9:00 PM, Saturday Nov. 26 - 8:00 PM, Sunday Nov. 27 - 10:00 PM

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