MEET BARB ALLARD
I think globally and work locally.
I produce independent media. In 1996, I founded Rainbow Bridge Communications Company (RBCC), an owner-operated video production and marketing company with a mission to provide affordable, professional media services for promoting an environmentally sustainable, peaceful and technologically advanced society. I produce, direct and write videos.
I am an environmental communications specialist. I have been studying environmental problems and solutions for 22 years. My strong suits are problem solving, dedication to seeing a project through to completion, a background in activism, and being ultra-creative on any budget. I write educational and promotional materials, create and conduct live presentations, organize events and organize video coverage of events.
I have been fortunate to learn through collaboration with many talented people. My network includes those working at the forefront of renewable energy, sustainable lifestyle advocacy, boreal forest conservation, electronic media, community-based media and economic diversification. I’m proud to have been part of the leading edge in such areas as video webcasting (since 2000) and promoting “Made-in-Alberta” new energy solutions (2004).
Being a mom has been my greatest learning experience.
Current NGO affiliations
Velofest Edmonton League & Organization (VELO), founding director
Alberta Council of Technology Society (ABCtech), environmental communications
Past NGO affiliations
Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA), board of directors
Scouts Canada (Local Group), environmental communications advisor
Film and Video Arts Society, Alberta (FAVA), producer member
Edmonton Small Press Association (ESPA), board member
Alberta Indymedia, event documentation organizer
(Elementary School) Parent Advisory Council Society, board member
Concerned Citizen’s Coalition (boreal forest), founder, event organizer
Women’s Action for Peace In the Gulf, event organizer
2011 Edmonton Bike Shorts DVD Compilation
A new direction for Bikeology: Movie Mondays supports the rising interest in, and selection of, locally produced, short movies about cycling in Edmonton. I curated a diverse selection and directed the creation of this stylish DVD for theatrical screenings and WebTV.
2011 ETS Centennial Garage - Our Path to LEED® Silver
I co-produced, directed and wrote this educational short for Edmonton Transit System (ETS) in celebration of their opening of the largest bus garage in Edmonton, and possibly the greenest in Canada. Interviews with proud ETS personnel support factual information about LEED® initiatives, such as water-saving, solar heat collection and indoor air quality.
2011 Small Changes Add Up
I co-produced, directed and wrote this educational documentary to provide behind-the-scenes and how-to information about the groundbreaking project, LocalMotion: Parkallen 2009. LocalMotion is now part of an educational tool-kit on the application of community-based social marketing to transportation-demand management. “Small Changes Add Up” has been screened for transportation and urban planners throughout Canada and internationally
2009 LocalMotion: Parkallen 2009
The challenge: how many people from one Edmonton community can leave their personal automobiles at home and get eco-mobile for the month of June 2009? Several City of Edmonton branches partnered with the Community of Parkallen to provide assistance, with the international ICLEI organization watching and encouraging. Between March and July 2009, my RBCC team and I documented and shared the progress in a series of four-minute short movies, aired on Shaw Community Television, webcast on several sites, and screened at a live event.
2008 Moving Edmonton - Celebrating 100 Years of Edmonton Transit System (ETS)
ETS hired me to document some of their centennial celebrations, interview current and retired personnel and create a video to commemorate the occasion. I was pleased to provide them a stylish and engaging, fifteen-minute tribute to this important public service that has moved us through Edmonton's evolving society for a century. I also created a five-minute short version for the web. ETS produced copies of "Moving Edmonton" as gifts for all their employees.
2006-2010 Barb’s Bike Shorts
I produced a yearly series of 22-minute compilations of local short movies - bike news, bike art, bike activism, bike-lectica - to screen at Metro Cinema on Bikeology: Movie Mondays. I adapt bike shorts from RBCC’s extensive archive, as well as producing some new ones each year to showcase Edmonton’s Bike Month and our partner cycling organizations.
2007 Green Monday (Pilot)
I produced a ten-minute pilot for a national series to highlight Canadian new energy initiatives. Based on the success of Made-in-Alberta and my 22-years experience as an environmental communicator, "Green Monday" is an innovative model that allows for ongoing, regionally based coverage, shared through a national network of independent producers, and ready to go whenever Canadians want to document our transition out of the fossil-fuel age.
2006 Interactive Voice Response Training Video for DATS
I produced this instructional video for Edmonton Transit’s Disabled Adult Transportation System (DATS) to use in training their operators on a computerized system. In creating this video, I scripted and directed a fictional sequence, merging clearly defined technical information with human drama.
2004-2010 Made-in-Alberta – New Energy Stories
Energy, water and climate – these are hot topics for the 21st century! In this weekly series of four-minute programs, I investigated and documented the new energy future being built right here in Alberta. I produced a total of 100 Made-in-Alberta episodes, each broadcast at least 96 times by my partner, Shaw TV. Sponsors included the Solar Energy Society of Alberta and many local businesses and government agencies.
2005 The Pipes and Drums of ETS
This eight-minute promotional video was commissioned by Edmonton Transit System (ETS), Community Relations to celebrate the achievements of their pipes and drums band and to help drum up new members. For a reasonable price, I produced a sharp looking video for viewing at public events and on-line.
2003-2004 Is Edmonton Growing Smart?
This seven-minute video was commissioned by the Sierra Club of Canada
- Prairie Chapter to teach about urban sprawl and its antithesis: a
collection of urban planning initiatives called Smart Growth. Fast paced
and informative, “Is Edmonton Growing Smart?” grabs the average viewer
and hands them the information they need to make smart choices for urban
2003 Watching, Listening and Understanding Changes in the
Community Based Monitoring in Northern Canada
A group of researchers at the University of Manitoba, Natural Resources Institute, Centre for Community-based Resource Management had collected several hours of amateur footage, including interviews and community monitoring activities, and written a draft script. They hired me to adapt the script, direct the narration and post-production, and create a 30-minute educational video that showcases three aboriginal monitoring programs in Canada’s Arctic.
1997/2000 Winter Cycling Basics - All You Need to Know and Then Some
This is an entertaining and informative, half-hour guide to winter bicycle commuting. The Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society commissioned me to create a video to enhance their cycling education programs. Although we had to shelve it for two years due to a shortage of funds, I stuck by the project and secured more funding to complete the editing in 2000.
1996 Poisoning Paradise - A Native View of the Swan Hills
Waste Treatment Centre
This 42-minute documentary tells the story of the Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council’s battle to save their traditional hunting, trapping, medicine gathering and spiritual quest territory from contamination by the Swan Hills Waste Treatment Centre. The video was used as a communications tool when the operators of the treatment centre sought to cooperate with the Woodland Cree in the creation of an aboriginal environmental monitoring program.
1994 Protection Force
This award-winning documentary series, produced by the National Film Board and CBC, chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Canadian peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. There was 100-odd hours of raw footage and new non-linear editing programs to contend with. I helped the producers work out protocols for handling the data, reviewed and logged the tapes, and prepared reports for the editors.
I produced, wrote lyrics, and directed this four-minute music video. One of the more artistic pieces I’ve done, January was an early step in my quest to understand how the broadcast media is used to persuade public opinion. The lyrics, “We watch a war on TV, but are we really learning?” is a question about the power and responsibility of modern communications and media that keeps me seeking an answer while improving my skills to this day.
1993 A New Leaf - A Sustainable Direction for Boreal
I co-wrote and assisted in the editing of this 55-minute educational environmental video. Produced by the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Boreal Forest Office, "A New Leaf" makes a persuasive case that small scale and selective logging, value-added manufacturing, and enhanced tourism are viable economic models for Alberta’s forests, preferable to the widespread clear cutting that is going on.
ENVIRONMENTAL EVENT PLANNING, DOCUMENTING & MARKETING
- Rainbow Bridge Communications Company (RBCC)
I took a year off from new projects in order to develop a new business plan for RBCC. We grew rather suddenly from an ad-hoc coalition of media activists to a full-time video production and marketing business. My marketing efforts resulted in over a dozen titles being authorized for use in Canadian schools. I’m also taking this time to find replacements for current volunteer positions in order to clear my schedule and forge new affiliations.
2010 Alberta Council of Technologies Society
I provided educational communications services at three separate events, which led to the founding of the Alberta Clean Technologies Industry Association, under the umbrella of the Alberta Council of Technologies. I sat on a panel and provided connections between lifestyle, energy technologies and sustainable development. I organized a table display and conducted a two-hour seminar to further reveal these connections. I participated in writing resolutions at the conference where the new industry association was created.
2008-2010 Speaker Series/Solar Seminars
I directed video documentation of several lectures in Edmonton on topics related to sustainable energy production. I directed the editing, expert review and release of four of these lectures on DVD and YouTube. I helped promote the Solar Energy Society of Alberta’s seminar series by interviewing the speakers and releasing short teasers on the Made-in-Alberta show.
Partners: Grant MacEwan University, Sierra Club of Canada-Prairie Chapter, Solar Energy Society of Alberta
2008-2011 Bikeology: Movie Mondays in June
I coordinated our film selection committee and worked with Metro Cinema Society and Velofest Edmonton to create Edmonton’s premiere bike film event - classic bike movies preceded by local bike shorts - every Monday in June. I directed the live portions of the evenings, inviting local bike advocates and celebrities to introduce each film.
2001- Bikeology Festival/ Edmonton’s Bike Month in June
I coordinated an event called Future Fair alongside the North American Cycle Courier Championships on the U of A campus in July 2001. This unique event morphed into Bikeology Festival, with a growing selection of cyclist-oriented events in the month of June. “Edmonton’s Wild Ride Festival” increasingly raises the profile of people-powered transportation and sustainable urban living. In 2006 Edmonton’s City Council declared, “June is Bike Month!” In 2012 we hired a festival director, and I now act as part of Velofest’s board of directors. Our partners include the Edmonton Bicycle Commuters Society, Alberta Bicycling Association & City of Edmonton Transportation Department.
Sustainable Communities for Mill Creek Project
I helped recruit 150 participants for this yearlong project that was based on Community-based Social Marketing principles. I was the liaison between the participants and the project manager, securing their attendance and volunteer help when needed, and communicating their feedback to the project manager. I co-organized the Mill Creek Eco-fair, a one day event featuring many speakers, displays and workshops on sustainable living. At the end of the project, I designed, implemented, and reported the Mill Creek Sustainable Living Survey. Green Communities Edmonton Association organized the project.
Group of Six Billion Peoples’ Summit - Video Archiving Project
I co-organized video coverage of this four-day summit at the University of Calgary as an independent media organizer with enough experience to handle 60-odd hours of highly sensitive material. We coordinated the set-up of a media centre on campus, complete with video equipment, dubbing and editing facilities, craft services and a list of protocols for Indymedia volunteer videographers. We then made copies of the archive and sent them to speakers all around the world.
Partners: International Society for Peace and Human Rights, Alberta Indymedia
2001-2003 Green Communities Edmonton Association (GCEA)
I assisted in the planning and implementation of promotional strategies for GCEA’s environmental and energy audit programs, the Green Home Visit and the first Energuide for Houses being done in Edmonton. I organized a low-budget, high-impact display at the Edmonton Home Show, with photovoltaic equipment, a pedal powered light bulb display, a video of our work, and all sorts of energy saving products. This event was key in meeting our sales target.
Partners: City of Edmonton, Natural Resources Canada, Solar Energy Society of Canada, Inc. - Northern Alberta Chapter
1990-1991 Greenpeace Canada & Concerned Citizens Coalition
My first experience with the environmental movement was as a door-to-door canvasser for Greenpeace Canada. I learned about nuclear testing, endangered wilderness, industrial pollutants, and the first scientific warnings about global warming. I worked with local activists to protest forestry mega-projects in Alberta. Although an end to widespread clear-cut logging was not achieved, we did raise the bar for Alberta forestry companies by making them acutely aware of the need for environmental management of their operations.
environmental communications and independent media didn’t always provide
a steady paycheque...
2000-2006 (Apartment Building) Manager
Along with the usual management responsibilities, I oversee what became an ongoing project to improve the energy efficiency and structural integrity of an 80-year old, 12-suite apartment building in central Edmonton. This experience added a whole new dimension to my work in advocating for energy efficiency and environmental “retrofitting” of our built environment.
1993-2006 Part-time Assistant to Dr. Michael J. Allard, Urologist
As assistant to my father’s executive secretary, I transcribed letters, booked appointments, managed files, and helped with numerous other jobs to make her life easier. Earlier in my life I worked as a temp at many different clerical jobs, from data entry to accounts payable to reception. This experience has proven invaluable in the management of my own business.