Damien Gillis on a Government Cover up.

Damien Gillis, is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues – especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada’s wild salmon – working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

Damien authors a two part series on the Cohen Commission and the apparent government cover-up of disease records. The fear is that the same virus that wiped out the Chilean Wild and Fish Farm industry is now present in BC’s Waters

” This past year, the Norwegian-controlled salmon farming industry spent $1.5 million on a glitzy advertising campaign in BC, which essentially denied the impacts of open net cage salmon farms on wild fish and the marine environment. The ads left viewers with the impression the industry’s critics are nothing but a bunch of raving conspiracy theorists.

At the same time, unbeknownst to the public, the salmon farmers were facing their toughest hurdle to date – and it was no longer about sea lice, as it has so often been in the past. The subject matter was of a much smaller but infinitely more damaging nature – the possibility that viruses connected to their operations were not only devastating their own farmed fish in places like Chile, but could potentially be linked to mysterious crashes of iconic wild salmon runs on Canada’s west coast. What’s worse, it’s now clear the industry knew about these problems and has done everything in its power to keep them from the public.”

Read the rest of part 1 and part 2 here.



A People’s movement

In 2010 Wild Salmon people marched to the BC Provincial legislature to send a message to the provincial government that Industrial Fish Farms need to get out of BC waters.  From what started as a handful of walkers resulted in 5,000 supporters decending on the lawns of the BC legislature in the largest environmental rally in the province’s history.

The video is a pictoral documentation of what happened.



VANCOUVER — Top bureaucrats in Ottawa have muzzled a leading fisheries scientist whose discovery could help explain why salmon stocks have been crashing off Canada’s West Coast, according to documents obtained by Postmedia News.

The documents show the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister’s Office, stopped Kristi Miller from talking about one of the most significant discoveries to come out of a federal fisheries lab in years.

Read more: http://www.canada.com/technology/Ottawa+silences+scientist+over+West+Coast+salmon+study/5162745/story.html#ixzz1TRFIO9gC

After Dr. Millers report was published in Science Magazine, Time magazine attempted to contact her for an interview, of which she was denied. Salmon Activists in support of Dr. Miller and her research,  made a satirical reference to her being named ‘scientist of the year’

UPDATE: August 26, 2011

On August 25th, Dr. Kristi Miller testified at the Cohen Commission under cross examination by lawyers from the Conservation Coalition, she explains her frustration about not being able to speak. 5 Min audio clip

Curatorial Statement

INQUIRY: a Wild Salmon Examination

Sept 2-3, Gallery Gachet, 88 East Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC gachet.org

Curatorial Statement

INQUIRY, explores themes of the impact of industrialization on West Coast Wild Salmon. This exhibit coincides with the $25 Million Dollar Federal Investigation (Cohen Commission) that is presently looking at the collapse of the 2009 Fraser River Sockeye. This artist response explores themes related to the decline of the West Coast Wild Salmon Fishery and Fraser River Sockeye, from the ecological effects of Industrial Fish Farming, to the Hijacking of the Department of Fisheries by Norwegian Corporate Interests, the suppression of Science, the social side effects of a collapse of the West Coast fishery and the resulting peoples moment intended to highlight these issues. The viewer is invited challenge the themes presented, through their own INQUIRY.

Artist Call:

Artists are invited to create their own response to the issue through visual art, multi-media, music, performance, poetry. Although no artist fees will be paid a 20% commission will be taken on all sales and re-distributed to all artists. In addition, donation proceeds received during the exhibition will also be re-distributed to the artists. Artists are encouraged to donate proceeds to the movement to save the Wild Salmon, including the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society and the Wilderness Committee. Tax receipts can be generated for contributions to the Wilderness Committee.

Artist Call now closed, thank you for your submissions.

Submission Requirements:

1) Description of work or performance piece, including

Artist Statement (1 -2 paragraphs)

2) Installation requirements

3) Title and Value of work

Programming Schedule

All events at Gallery Gachet, 88 East Cordova, Vancouver, BC

Friday September 2 – 6pm: Exhibition Opens, music by Glenn Chatten

Saturday September 3 – Noon – 10pm: All Day Art Making facilitated by Melanie Schambach and J Peachy

Saturday September 3 – 1pm: Screening “Rise of the Salmon People” by Jeremy Williams

Saturday September 3 – 2pm: Ripple Relay Presentation by Michele Nickerson

Saturday September 3 – 3pm – 5pm: Arts Action Forum led by Don Staniford, Damien Gillis and Ivan Doumenc

Saturday September 3 – 6pm – 10 pm: Wild Salmon Warrior Performance Night featuring 10yr old Singer, Songwriter and Artist Ta’Kaiya Blaney.

For more information contact: J Peachy at salmoninquiry(at)jpeachygallery.com