Consulate General of Canada & Vail Film Festival to host Canadian Rec

.Award-winning architectural models from the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Design Competition—a Canada-U.S. collaboration inspired by the Vail region—to be featured at event.
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Media Advisory
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Consulate General of Canada & Vail Film Festival to host
Canadian Reception, April 1st at The Sebastian

Award-winning architectural models from the
ARC International Wildlife Crossing Design Competition—a Canada-U.S.
collaboration inspired by the Vail region—to be featured at event

Vail, Colo. (March 30)—During the eighth Vail Film Festival taking place this week, the Consulate General of Canada in Denver will host a Canadian Reception in the lower level atrium area at The Sebastian on Friday, April 1, starting at 5:30 p.m. The purpose of the event is to highlight the Canadian films and filmmakers screening at the festival, as well as an important Canada-U.S. partnership inspired by Vail's picturesque natural surroundings.

The five winning architectural models from the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Design Competition—an environmental initiative launched by several Canadian and U.S. government, academic and non-profit organizations—will be on display during the Canadian Reception. Also during the reception, representatives from the Consulate and the ARC Competition will speak about the importance of wildlife crossings in recreation areas such as Vail, where wildlife-vehicle collisions have increased by 50 percent in the past 15 years, endangering both human and wildlife safety, and costing Americans $8 billion annually.

The ARC project was launched to develop cost-effective designs that would enable humans and wildlife to better coexist through innovative engineering and architecture. West Vail Pass was chosen as the site of the design competition from among 25 nominated locations because the I-70 corridor serving the region bisects a critical habitat linkage in the Southern Rocky Mountain Region.

Growing scientific research—including the seminal work in road ecology initiated by Parks Canada—shows the importance of wildlife crossings and their effectiveness at reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions. In 1981, Banff National Park began to upgrade an 83-km (51.6-mile) section of the Trans-Canada Highway in response to growing traffic volumes, collisions and wildlife road-kill. Now there are over 24 wildlife underpasses and four wildlife overpasses from Banff National Park's east entrance to the border of British Columbia.

These crossings, along with fencing, have reduced wildlife-vehicle collisions by more than 80 percent. As a result, 11 species of large mammals—including wolf, grizzly bear, elk, lynx, mountain lion and moose—have made nearly 250,000 safe crossings (and counting) across these paths. Similar projects are already underway, including an international public-private partnership established by Parks Canada to monitor wildlife mitigation measures and improve efficacy of these types of projects around the world.

For more information or to set up interviews regarding the ARC International Wildlife Crossing Design Competition (www.arc-competition.com), please contact Bethany Gravell, Executive Director for Center for Native Ecosystems, at (303) 881-1345 or bethany@nativeecosystems.org. For more information about the Consulate General of Canada in Denver or the Canada-U.S. partnership in environmental stewardship, please contact Jennifer Cook, Communications & Cultural Affairs Officer for the Consulate General of Canada at (303) 626-0672 or jennifer.cook@international.gc.ca.

BACKGROUND:

Center for Native Ecosystems: Center for Native Ecosystems has protected more than 1.75 million acres of wildlife habitat in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The organization preserves wildlife corridors and reconnects migration pathways bisected by roadways to help human and natural communities co-exist in the Rocky Mountains. For more information on Center for Native Ecosystems, visit www.nativeecosystems.org. For press inquiries contact Bethany Gravell, Executive Director at (303) 881-1345 or Bethany@nativeecosystems.org


Consulate General of Canada in Denver: The Consulate General of Canada in Denver covers the states of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah, helping to increase trade and investment between Canada and this U.S. region. In addition, the Consulate actively engages political, business and community leaders in this region to raise awareness about Canada's leadership position on issues that affect both Canada and the United States. For more information about the Government of Canada's representation in the four-state Rocky Mountain Region, call (303) 626-0640 or visit the website at www.denver.gc.ca. For all press inquiries, contact Jennifer Cook, communications and cultural affairs officer, at (303) 626-0672 or at jennifer.cook@international.gc.ca.



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