Steve Clegg is one of the Chilliwack residents featured in the new documentary

Steve Clegg is one of the Chilliwack residents featured in the new documentary

Toad People of Chilliwack in focus at premiere in Vancouver Wednesday

The documentary Toad People makes the case for bringing in standalone species-at-risk legislation for B.C.

What does it take to save a species at risk?

The new documentary, Toad People, by filmmakers Isabelle Groc and Michael McKinley of Wilderness Committee, explores that very question.

With its world film premiere on Wednesday in Vancouver, the film focuses the lens on some local protectors of tiny toads and screeching barn owls in Chilliwack, and much more.

So what does it take given that there are 1900 endangered species in B.C.?

The Progress put that question to the filmmaker Isabelle Groc:

“It takes people like Steve Clegg and his family and neighbours in Ryder Lake who are very passionate about the struggle to help species at risk in their backyards,” she said.

“It takes a tremendous amount of care — and legislation.”

Steve Clegg couldn’t help but notice the astounding western toad migrations in the hills of Ryder Lake, as he grew up with them in his backyard.  He became aware of their specific conservation challenges, and started volunteering on the Ryder Lake Amphibian project of Fraser Valley Conservancy in 2008, conducting nighttime migration inventories and more.

He’s been part of the effort locally to decrease the number of toad mortalities, which saw the crowning glory of an amphibian tunnel built by FVC and partners under a Ryder Lake road two years ago.

The doc Toad People makes the case for standalone species-at-risk legislation, given its status as the province with the highest levels of biodiversity in the country.

“This documentary tells the story of these people faced with an issue in their community,” said Groc. “They noticed that something was wrong and decided to do something about it, and we follow what happens as they try to change the fate of the species, their struggles and the realization as the film progresses that everyone struggles because there is no endangered species legislation specifically for species at risk in B.C.

Toward the end, it’s a call to action.

“All these people need help.”

The film Toad People is set to open with a special premiere panel event, on Nov. 30 in Vancouver. Doors open at 6:30 pm, film starts at 7. SFU Woodwards, 149 W Hastings. $10. Reserve: toadpeople.bpt.me

Filmmakers Isabelle Groc & Mike McKinlay will be joined Wilderness director Joe Foy, and Carrielynn Victor of Sto:lo Tribal Council and researcher Kai Chan of UBC for an engaging evening with Q&A about species at risk.

There are plans to screen Toad People again at a later date, in Chilliwack as well as part of the Interior, Vancouver Island and Northern B.C.

Just Posted

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Syringes prepared with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Long Beach, Calif., Friday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Walk-ins welcome at upcoming G.W. Secondary vaccine clinic

Second consecutive Saturday Fraser Health has scheduled a same-day clinic in a Chilliwack school

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

Most Read