A new music video filmed and produced in the Cariboo will be released on Earth Day, April 22.
At the heart of the video is The Mother’s plea, a song performed by Beaver Valley resident Shannon Zirnhelt, who penned the song a year and a half ago.
“I wrote it post-election feeling like there was lots of discussion about the environment prior to the election and then when it happened it got quiet,” she told the Tribune.
She was also inspired by being a mother of three boys and an active environmentalist, wanting to protect the world for her children and their children, she said.
“Some people think it’s insurmountable and too big to make a change, but it can start at home.”
After she’d written the song Zirnhelt thought she would love to make a music video with youth.
She is related to Julia Zirnhelt, 13, who along with Ella Kruus, 13, started Third Planet Crusade in 2020 to raise awareness about climate change.
When asked if they wanted to be involved with the video, Julia and Ella were keen and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society also became a partner in the project.
Aside from Zirnhelt, Ella and Julia, the video features scenery northeast of Williams Lake including Beaver Valley, Big Lake, some students and preschoolers from Big Lake Elementary School, burned forests from the 2017 Mountain House wildfire and Moffat Falls near Horsefly.
Julia described the experience as a great opportunity and a lot of fun.
She was surprised to learn how much work it takes to film a music video.
“I hope a lot of people will see it, that it will go viral and people will get how we really feel about the issue of climate change,” Julia said.
One of Ella’s favourite parts of the project was when they walked on the Beaver Valley Road for the filming. She also enjoyed all the costumes that Dana Hamblin provided for the film.
The trio said they had some ‘cool places’ to feature in the video.
Zirhnelt’s neighbour Susan Lovejoy plays the part of Mother Earth, seen holding an hourglass while standing on a snow-covered frozen lake.
“There’s a line in the song that says ‘the time’s running out,’ so the video starts with the hourglass and ends with the hourglass,” Zirnhelt said.
With grant funding from the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society and the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake, they hired musician Sam Tudor to film the video.
Rick Magnell shot some additional drone footage and Brandon Hoffman did the final mixing.
Originally from the Yukon, Zirnhelt met her husband Robin Zirnhelt in Canmore, Alta.
He grew up in the Cariboo and they decided to move back to the area to raise a family.
Last fall she recorded four other songs with Hoffman and was part of the Performances in the Park video series in 2020.
The music video will be available to view on YouTube, Third Planet Crusade’s Facebook and Instagram.
All three said they hope to send it to as many people as possible so they will share it with their friends and it goes viral and across Canada.
Third Planet Crusade is preparing for a panel discussion with teachers on how to teach about climate change and plans to hold some more climate strikes before the end of the school year, Ella said.