Conscient Podcast: e85 tracey friesen – narratives of resilience for a post carbon world

My #conscientpodcast conversation with media producer and cultural impact leader Tracey Friesen of Vancouver about increasing the power of media to affect social change, her book and organization Story Money Impact, and the good work of Good Pitch. Including quotes from e26 klein and e54 garrett.

I first met Tracey on September 21, 2021 at a Processing the federal election during a climate emergency Zoom event organized by the Climate Emergency Unit. Since then, we have kept in touch through our participation in SCALE (the Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency network). 

Our 30-minute conversation covered a lot of ground, however, we only touched the surface of Tracey’s vast experience and network of collaborators in the cultural industries, so I hope that another conversation is in order down the road!

Tracey has over 30 years’ experience in Canada’s cultural sector. She spent more than a decade at the National Film Board in Vancouver, where she earned producer or executive credits on dozens of documentary film, animation and digital projects. She’s also held contracts with organizations like Inspirit Foundation, Mindset Foundation, DOC, Roundhouse Radio, and the David Suzuki Foundation. Tracey is author and founder of Story Money Impact, the charitable society that brought us Good Pitch Vancouver and Story to Action, plus other initiatives to advance education around media impact. In 2013 she was named ‘Woman of the Year’ by Women in Film & TV Vancouver. She is currently Managing Vice-President, BC Branch, at the Canadian Media Producers Association, where she passionately represents and supports BC-based independent film and television producers.  

I was touched by this quote from Tracey near the end of the conversation:

I’m mindful that with the climate emergency, it’s so existential that it’s captured my attention perhaps most strongly because I really hope that in the kind of complicated dynamic of the wonderful, wild world that we’re in right now, that it’s one thing that will impact all of us. Not the same way, certainly, there are those of us living in different parts of the world that will be affected in different ways, but it’s such a global community, it has to come together in all the ways that they can. So, we do need the scientists and we do need all of the work being done across all of the important social issues that are happening right now. And we really do need the storytellers to validate that their story driven, narrative driven, emotionally driven pieces of work will help to touch people now to change their behaviour or will help to soothe or reassure or be with them in the world post transition.

Tracey mentioned the following links during our conversation:


Ma conversation #baladoconscient avec la productrice de médias et leader dans le domaine de l'impact culturel Tracey Friesen de Vancouver sur l'augmentation du pouvoir des médias pour affecter le changement social, son livre et l’organisation Story Money Impact et le bon travail de Good Pitch.

J’ai rencontré Tracey pour la première fois le 21 septembre 2021 lors de l’événement sur Zoom, Comment comprendre l’élection fédérale sur l’urgence climatique, organisé par la Climate Emergency Unit. Depuis lors, nous sommes restées en contact grâce à notre participation à LeSAUT (Leadership Sectoriel des Arts pour l’urgence de la transition écologique). 

Notre conversation de 30 minutes a couvert beaucoup de terrain, mais nous n’avons fait qu’effleurer la vaste expérience de Tracey et son réseau de collaborateurs dans les industries culturelles, alors j’espère qu’une autre conversation s’imposera un jour !

Tracey a plus de 30 ans d’expérience dans le secteur culturel canadien. Elle a passé plus de dix ans à l’Office national du film à Vancouver, où elle a obtenu des crédits de production ou de direction pour des dizaines de films documentaires, d’animation et de projets numériques. Elle a également eu des contrats avec des organisations comme Inspirit Foundation, Mindset Foundation, DOC, Roundhouse Radio et la David Suzuki Foundation. Tracey est l’auteure et la fondatrice de Story Money Impact, la société caritative qui nous a donné Good Pitch Vancouver et Story to Action, ainsi que d’autres initiatives visant à faire progresser l’éducation sur l’impact des médias. En 2013, elle a été nommée “Femme de l’année” par Women in Film & TV Vancouver. Elle est actuellement vice-présidente directrice de la branche de la Colombie-Britannique de l’Association canadienne des producteurs de médias, où elle représente et soutient avec passion les producteurs indépendants de films et de télévision de la Colombie-Britannique.  

J’ai été touché par cette citation de Stacey vers la fin de la conversation :

Je suis consciente qu’avec l’urgence climatique, c’est tellement existentiel que cela a capté mon attention peut-être plus fortement parce que j’espère vraiment que dans le genre de dynamique compliquée du monde merveilleux et sauvage dans lequel nous sommes en ce moment, c’est une chose qui aura un impact sur nous tous. Pas de la même manière, certes, certains d’entre nous vivant dans différentes parties du monde seront affectés de différentes manières, mais il s’agit d’une communauté tellement mondiale qu’elle doit se rassembler de toutes les manières possibles. Nous avons donc besoin des scientifiques, nous avons besoin de tous les travaux réalisés sur toutes les questions sociales importantes qui se posent actuellement, et nous avons vraiment besoin que les conteurs valident le fait que leurs travaux axés sur l’histoire, la narration et l’émotion contribueront à toucher les gens et à modifier leur comportement, ou à les apaiser, les rassurer ou les accompagner dans le monde de l’après-transition.

Tracey a mentionné les liens suivants au cours de notre conversation :

The post e85 tracey friesen – narratives of resilience for a post carbon world appeared first on conscient podcast / balado conscient. conscient is a bilingual blog and podcast (French or English) by audio artist Claude Schryer that explores how arts and culture contribute to environmental awareness and action.


About the Concient Podcast from Claude Schryer

The conscient podcast / balado conscient is a series of conversations about art, conscience and the ecological crisis. This podcast is bilingual (in either English or French). The language of the guest determines the language of the podcast. Episode notes are translated but not individual interviews.

I started the conscient project in 2020 as a personal learning journey and knowledge sharing exercise. It has been rewarding, and sometimes surprising.

The term ‘conscient’ is defined as ‘being aware of one’s surroundings, thoughts and motivations’. My touchstone for the podcast is episode 1, e01 terrified, based on an essay I wrote in May 2019, where I share my anxiety about the climate crisis and my belief that arts and culture can play a critical role in raising public awareness about environmental issues. The conscient podcast / balado conscient follows up on my (2016–2019) project: 175, 3-minute audio and video field recordings that explore mindful listening.

Season 1 (May to October 2020) explored how the arts contribute to environmental awareness and action. I produced 3 episodes in French and 15 in English. The episodes cover a wide range of content, including activism, impact measurement, gaming, arts funding, cross-sectoral collaborations, social justice, artistic practices, etc. Episodes 8 to 17 were recorded while I was at the Creative Climate Leadership USA course in Arizona in March 2020 (led by Julie’s Bicycle). Episode 18 is a compilation of highlights from these conversations.

Season 2 (March 2021 – ) explores the concept of reality and is about accepting reality, working through ecological grief and charting a path forward. The first episode of season 2 (e19 reality) mixes quotations from 28 authors with field recordings from simplesoundscapes and from my 1998 soundscape composition, Au dernier vivant les biens. One of my findings from this episode is that ‘I now see, and more importantly, I now feel in my bones, ‘the state of things as they actually exist’, without social filters or unsustainable stories blocking the way’. e19 reality touches upon 7 topics: our perception of reality, the possibility of human extinction, ecological anxiety and ecological grief, hope, arts, storytelling and the wisdom of indigenous cultures. The rest of season 2 features interviews with thought leaders about their responses and reactions to e19 reality.

my professional services

I’ve been retired from the Canada Council for the Arts since September 15, 2020 where I served as a senior strategic advisor in arts granting (2016-2020) and manager of the Inter-Arts Office (1999-2015). My focus in (quasi) retirement is environmental issues within my area of expertise in arts and culture, in particular in acoustic ecology. I’m open to become involved in projects that align with my values and that move forward environmental concerns. Feel free to email me for a conversation :

acknowledgement of eco-responsibility

I acknowledge that the production of the conscient podcast / balado conscient produces carbon. I try to minimize this carbon footprint by being as efficient as possible, including using GreenGeeks as my web server and acquiring carbon offsets for my equipment and travel activities from BullFrog Power and Less.

a word about privilege and bias

While recording episode 19 ‘reality’, I heard elements of ‘privilege’ in my voice that I had not noticed before. It sounded a bit like ‘ecological mansplaining’. I realize that, in spite of good intentions, I need to work my way through issues of privilege (of all kinds) and unconscious bias the way I did through ecological anxiety and grief during the fall of 2020. My re-education is ongoing.

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