A slightly frenetic trip to Canada in the wake of their election, where Justin Trudeau managed to squeak back in. First north of Montréal to a QG100 strategic retreat at the Estérel Resort. Beautiful weather outside, though belting down with rain when I headed back to Montréal. My car didn’t arrive, so I hitched a lift south with some delightful Mexicans: Emilio Cadena, Yoelle Rojas Quintero and Alejandro Mendoza of Grupo Prodensa. Had met – and liked – them already at the QG100 event, which made it easier – but very much enjoyed their company as we sped back citywards.
While in Montréal, Lorraine (Smith) took me to a fascinating exhibition of Haida art at the McCord Museum, after which we walked through the library of McGill University, where Elaine’s father, Stanley, studied before WWII.
Then I flew to Edmonton, where there was snow and the signs by the road showed a temperature of -11 degrees C. Was speaking at a major event, SPARK 2019, organised by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), exploring ways for the fossil fuels driven province to migrate towards new forms of energy. ERA are a major funder of clean technology. But as I had arrived at Edmonton airport, I got an email from one of the CEOs I had met the QG100 event, asking if (1) I had arrived in Alberta yet, and if so, (2), whether I had been lynched yet? Actually enjoyed myself, even if part of the process was a bit like telling turkeys about incoming Christmas, and learned a lot.
Then back to Montréal, where I stayed overnight, then walked across to Lorraine’s apartment via the waterfront. There I spotted both Moshe Safdie’s ‘Habitat’ complex across the water (which I was fascinated by in the late 1960s/early 1970s, particularly when doing my M. Phil. At UCL in city planning. And then, also across the water, I spotted Buckminster Fuller’s dome (now called The Biosphère) – which I had forgotten was in the city. Stunning.
Fascinating brunch with a range of Lorraine’s friends, including at least one Mohawk, before heading out to see a hydroponics farm, La Boîte Maraîchère) in driving rain (luckily it is indoors), and then on to airport.