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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Violin meets piano in The Red Violin at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Jasper Wood joins the Bergmann Duo for an intimate morning concert in Chilliwack

Bold and brazen singer Begonia brings colourful show to Tractorgrease in Chilliwack

The musician from Winnipeg is equally comfortable singing lullabies, headbangers and ballads

PHOTOS: Home, Leisure and Outdoor Living Expo runs all weekend in Chilliwack

There are more than 250 vendors set up for the annual home show at Chilliwack Heritage Park

Second earthquake in two days strikes near Agassiz

A 2.6-magnitude recorded Saturday morning

Province bringing 421 new affordable childcare spaces to Fraser Valley

Supporting early childhood educators and creating spaces go hand in hand, minister says

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Henderson at the Chilliwack SPCA

Henderson, also known as Biggy, has FIV, a virus similar to HIV in humans

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

Surrey tells Uber to cease operations in city, but company ‘respectfully’ declines

Ridesharing company told to stop operating within the city by 9 p.m. Jan. 24

Coronavirus concerns cause cancellation of Langley Lunar New Year celebration

Close to 1,000 were expected to attend the annual Live In Langley event on Saturday

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read