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Living on Gabriola Island sparked idea

December 8, 2014

What started as an idea on Gabriola Island grew into a project that took writer Phillip Vannini and filmmaker Jonathan Taggart on a cross-country journey to some of the most remote areas of Canada.

Two years and more than 100,000 kilometres later, the result is Life Off Grid, a new book, film and website that explore what it means to aspire towards energy self-sufficiency in Canada today.

The concept first began to take shape when Vannini, an ethnographer and professor at Royal Roads University, moved to Gabriola Island from Ladysmith several years ago.

"For the first time in my life, I was dealing with my own water," he said. "I had always lived in cities where you just turn on a tap and there's water, you don't think about it. But when you live on a Gulf Island you've got take care to conserve water, and within 24 hours I felt a shift in my mind about what conserving means, when it's something that belongs to you."