I dropped by Dundas Square on Saturday night to see the Earth Hour celebrations in Toronto. They had a few performers there. I missed the first performer Justin Nozuka, but I arrived in time to catch part of Jarvis Church's act. He's a Jamaican born Canadian R&B singer. His band played until about 8:15 p.m.
Co-hosts Kevin Frankish and Dina Pugliese from Citytv's Breakfast Television took up the slack after that. With 15 minutes to kill before the "dimming of the lights" they called upon Toronto mayor, David Miller, and WWF Canada president, Gerald Butts, to say a few words. They only managed to speak a few minutes each. So being sort of desperate they appealed to a group of performers who were at the back of the crowd of 10,000 to make their way up to the stage to perform. They didn't quite make it through. Instead a fellow dressed in clown garb went up and pulled one of those long, skinny balloons through his right nostril and out his mouth. That seemed to both thrill and gross the audience out at the same time and took us to 8:30 where mayor Miller pulled the switch and somewhat plunged Dundas Square into darkness.
Unfortunately not everyone in the area got the Earth Hour memo. They had to leave a few street lights on for safety purposes the organizers explained. But, a few buildings surrounding the square failed to turn their lights off for the one hour period. Now we all know the amount of electricity being saved is marginal. But, it's the spirit of Earth Hour that we want to honour.
Canadian songstress Chantal Kreviazuk performed next with a couple of her bandmates. She's a pretty funny girl. She explained how she was quite happy that evening due to the fact that her husband, Raine Maida, from Our Lady Peace was returning home after being on the road with his band for a month. She couldn't wait to see him for obvious reasons. Please, Chantal... there are young children in the audience ;-)
All in all Torontonians saved 10% in power usage. That was down from 15% last year. The 5% increase in energy usage could have been due to the fact it was much colder this year than last. Or, perhaps, people are more blasé about Earth Hour and energy conservation now. Let's hope not. We still have a long way to go towards reducing our carbon footprint and restoring our planet to its former glory.