There are plenty of beautiful and important environmental sites that people are aware of - think locations like the Everglades in Florida. But then there are places that might be even more important and aren’t anywhere as well known, like the Canadian wetlands.
“Wings Over Water,” the new IMAX film at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd. in Denver, gives audiences a bird’s eye view of this crucial ecosystem through the story of three bird species - the Sandhill Crane, the Yellow Warbler and the Mallard Duck. Narrated by Michael Keaton, the film runs through July 31.
We spoke to Denver-based producer Chris Dorsey about the film, what he hopes people take from the film and more.
Interview was edited for clarity and brevity.
Tell me about how this film came together?
Once upon a time, I ran media marketing for Ducks Unlimited, who lead the way in the conservation of the Canadian wetlands. Leading scientists were brought together to focus on the work being done on the ecosystem, which is the richest bird nursery on the planet, but nobody knows anything about it. Scientists and others have been working there for decades, but doing so in a vacuum, so we decided something needed to be done to raise awareness and protection.
What is the film about?
It was designed to tell the story of the ecosystem through three central characters, all of whom converge during the nesting season in the wetlands and then migrate to different places around the continent. This helps highlight that these birds’ migratory corridors are equally important and need protection.
People love the visuals and epic nature of the IMAX format, which transports attendees so thoroughly to Canada that it’s like they’re stamping their passports. By the end, you’re really vested in this place because you know it and want to support and protect it.
What does it mean for you to have the film screening at the DMNS?
The museum is one of the top natural history museums in the US and the world. What the team has done there is pretty extraordinary, not just because it’s a stunning facility, but because of the life it has outside the walls of the institution.
What do you hope people who see the film come away with?
After one screening I had a guy come to me who said he was so fired up to do something about the wetlands because of the story. I’ve been to all sorts of these things and never come away with responses like this. I hope people lend their wealth, work and wisdom to organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the Audubon Society to get involved in their projects and public policy.
I hope this magical place is going to be known, appreciated and understood for the first time in North American and global history. That’s the first key step in saving paradise.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.dmns.org and https://wingsoverwaterfilm.com/.
Go on a Lakewood-centric scavenger hunt
Lakewood’s Historic Preservation Commission is hosting a self-guided scavenger hunt that can be completed virtually or in-person during Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month. The hunt will take participants to places like O’Kane and Washington Heights parks. The guide can be picked up at the Washington Heights Arts Center, 6375 W. First Ave., during business hours or downloaded from the city’s website. Completed forms can be dropped off at the center during these times as well with prizes for winners.
Visit Lakewood.org/PreservationMonth for more details.
Get your shopping done at City Park
One of the great summer traditions is to do your food shopping at a farmers market, and one of Denver’s biggest, City Park Farmers Market, is back on May 14 with nearly 100 local food-focused producers and much more.
Located at City Park Esplanade, 2551 E. Colfax Ave., the second season has an expanded vendor line-up and, according to provided information, “a system to support small farmers and several new ways to connect community members with those growing, making and preparing food in Colorado.”
The market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 29. Learn more at www.CityParkFarmersMarket.com.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Billy Strings at Red Rocks and Mission Ballroom
Bluegrass musicians rarely get the respect they deserve for their virtuosic musicianship, but every now and then, someone breaks through. Michigan’s Billy Strings is that person now and it’s easy to see why - his skills on the guitar, banjo and mandolin are next level and he has the perfect voice for his genre.
In support of 2021’s excellent album, “Renewal,” Strings will be stopping by Red Rocks Amphitheater, 18300 W. Alameda Parkway in Morrison, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13, and the Mission Ballroom, 4242 Wynkoop St. in Denver, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
Get tickets for Red Rocks at www.ticketmaster.com and Mission Ballroom at www.missionballroom.com/event/424963-mission-ballroom-denver-tickets.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.