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Toad People


Un documentaire pour la sauvegarde des crapauds de l’Ouest, en nomination au Wildscreen Panda Awards

Écoutez maintenant Isabelle Groc, co-réalisatrice du documentaire Toad People   Photo : Radio-Canada / Caroline Cloutier Isabelle Groc, coréalisatrice du documentaire Toad People se réjouit d'être la seule production canadienne en nomination au Wildscreen Panda Awards, à Bristol, en Angleterre. Le documentaire, entièrement tourné en Colombie-britannique, rend compte de...

Islanders’ Film Gets Wildscreen Panda Nomination

By Marc Kittingeringham, Gulf Islands Driftwood   A Salt Spring Island-based filmmaker has been nominated for this year’s Wildscreen Panda Awards for her film entitled Toad People.   The awards are held every year in Bristol, U.K. and are considered the “Academy Awards of wildlife films.” Isabelle Groc, the...

Toad pond transfer a Chilliwack community project

by Jennifer Feinberg, Chilliwack Progress The water level of the amphibian pond was dropping quickly during the early spring heat wave.   So Steve Clegg of Ryder Lake, along with family and friends, pulled off a somewhat tricky transfer.   They gathered all the tadpoles they could find from the...

Thank you to all the Toad People on Indiegogo!

TP_Indiegogo_screenshot_finalWhat a wild ride!


The crowdfunding campaign for our new documentary, Toad People, has now come to an end.


With the help of the 248 contributors who supported our project, we raised a whopping $17,451 to complete the film and take it on tour across British Columbia!


We are thrilled with the result – thank you to everyone who participated and helped us spread the word!

Creative conservation

Artist and scientist Jean L Polfus donated this stunning caribou artwork as a perk for the Toad People crowdfunding campaign.

Artist and scientist Jean L Polfus donated this stunning caribou artwork as a perk for the Toad People crowdfunding campaign.

By Chloe Speakman, Wilderness Committee Campaign Assistant


Jean Lieppert Polfus is a scientist and an artist – a somewhat rare combination in academia.


She grew up in northern Wisconsin, skiing, canoeing, camping and hiking in the surrounding hardwood forests. She was raised with the understanding that there are a multitude of unique beings in the world, each perceiving the world in unique ways. Her mom is an artist, so she and her sister were always encouraged to express themselves through drawing and painting.


Jean’s commitment to wildlife, wild places and the people who depend on them comes from a series of experiences she’s had over the course of her life. She’s always found witnessing animals in wild landscapes hugely impactful.


Jean continues to find value in the diversity of life, and she also values the opportunity to make a difference for species at risk in her career.

Our collective dilemma

Q + A with John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce


John Vaillant is an award-winning author – and a Toad Person! (Photo: John Sinal)

John Vaillant is an award-winning author – and a Toad Person! (Photo: John Sinal)

The environmental activist inside critically acclaimed author John Vaillant was awakened through his journey of writing The Golden Spruce. The book tells the story of a spiritually significant tree and a troubled, misguided individual named Grant Hadwin, who cut it down in 1997.


Visiting Haida Gwaii on assignment in 2000, Vaillant heard the story of the felling of this special tree and felt compelled to write a book. He crafted the story into a must-read for the environmentally-minded, weaving in Haida legend as well as the actualities of the BC logging industry, past and present.


When he was later inspired to write a book based on the film Conflict Tiger, he sent a copy of The Golden Spruce to British filmmaker Sasha Snow in 2006 to prove that he was “a real writer.” Two weeks later, Snow called him back and said that he wanted to make a film inspired by The Golden Spruce, too. What a beautifully symmetrical exchange of ideas.


The resulting film, Hadwin’s Judgement, was released in 2015 in Canada and the UK.


Our co-director, Isabelle Groc, interviewed John Vaillant before a special screening of the film this month at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF), where the Toad People trailer was shown before the feature presentation. We were very happy to share the evening with John, who graciously contributed the proceeds from his book sales at the event to our Toad People crowdfunding campaign.

The Gems of the Swamp: Looking for amphibians with Monica Pearson

By Isabelle Groc, Toad People Co-Director / Wilderness Committee BC Species at Risk Project Coordinator


Join Monica Pearson on a wetland field trip to see Oregon spotted frogs and other amphibians. (Photo: Isabelle Groc)

Join Monica Pearson on an exclusive wetland field trip to see Oregon spotted frogs and other endangered BC amphibians. (Photo: Isabelle Groc)

When she was two years old, Monica Pearson lived close to Camosun Bog in Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park. She spent most of her time outside sitting on a trail and playing with plants.


Her fascination for all things wild never faded, and as an adult she became a conservation biologist specializing in at-risk amphibians and wetland habitat restoration in British Columbia. Her favourite part of her work is designing and building habitat – a task she compares to sculpting with an excavator.


For the last eight years, Monica has been studying the secret life of one of the most beautiful and cryptic gems of the wetland, the Oregon spotted frog.

Turtle power

By Chloe Speakman, Wilderness Committee Campaign Assistant 


Andrea Gielens releasing turtles

Become a Toad Person to join Andrea Gielens for a 1-on-1 field trip to see painted turtles in their habitat! (Photo: Wildlife Preservation Canada)

Andrea Gielens grew up in Aldergrove, BC, next door to a prime habitat area for Oregon spotted frogs. She’s always been interested in animals – from hatching frogs in buckets in her backyard to saving birds and shrews from the neighbourhood cats.


“Like most kids, I thought I was going to be a vet or a marine biologist,” Andrea recalls. “It wasn’t until my last semester of university that I got to be involved in direct conservation work with a local conservation centre.”