Beautiful Earth

In all its beauty

© 2013 Grant Finlayson & Adrian Green CONTACT US

July interview: Paul Grant and Laurie Dickson

Hello again everyone. What an eventful month July is turning out to be. There seems to be so much going on and each and every day we seem to be gathering more and more attention, it’s absolutely wonderful!

As most of you know we released a small teaser trailer earlier this month to give everyone an idea of the direction we’re heading in. We try hard to describe in words what we see with this project but it’s not until we show it in the form of a trailer that others can really get a good idea. It seems to have worked as the feedback has been tremendous and it has given us that well-needed boost to continue down the road we’re on. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and encouragement, we really are extremely grateful and always keen to know what you all think. We will be making another trailer in the near future which will include more detail on the subjects we’re covering in the documentary and we’ll keep you posted both here and on our
Facebook and Twitter pages.

As I write this it is a glorious sunny July afternoon and we have just returned from another interview. As I’m sure we’ve mentioned before, we really do love filming these interviews and meeting such wonderful people. Today was no exception as we had the joy of meeting with the authors of ‘The Stanley Park Companion’ book, Paul Grant and Laurie Dickson.


Paul Grant and Laurie Dickson: Authors of the book ‘The Stanley Park Companion’

It was when we were just beginning this project that I bought their book and I knew right away that we had to include them in some way. The book itself is an absolute must for anyone that loves the park. I cannot think of a more engaging or informative book on Stanley Park, or anywhere else for that matter. It’s packed full of just the right kind of information and photographs that you feel you know the park intimately, even if you’ve never been. The book is now becoming increasingly hard to find so if you do find one then be sure to pick it up right away.

There are times when meeting great people that a ‘thank you’ is never enough and it is certainly true in this case. Paul and Laurie were so lovely to chat with and so generous with their time and the stories they had to tell. It was a huge pleasure indeed and I feel honoured to have finally met you both after admiring ‘The Stanley Park Companion’ for so long. Thank you!

check out the book here:

Well, for now I shall sign off but stay tuned as later this week we are interviewing a Vancouver legend!

Take care everyone and thanks again for reading.

Busy times for Beautiful Earth

It’s hard to believe that April is upon us already and the park is very much in bloom! This past weekend saw people flocking to the seawall and just about everyone partaking in summer fun, even if it is springtime.

We’ve spent a bit of time down by the Park Board offices lately observing the Heron nests, which is now a very busy place, both with the birds and with lots of people. If you pass by this way you’ll lots of faces gazing skyward and it’s not hard to see why. These magnificent birds are a joy to watch as they swoop in and land. So graceful in flight and so impressive up close. More often than not, if you get yourself down to Lost Lagoon you’ll see one just a few feet from the shore; it’s a wonderful experience to be that close.


Heron nests

We’ve had two more interviews lately and both went extremely well. We feel very fortunate to have met these two amazing people and to hear the great things they shared with us.

The first was Bruce MacDonald, a local historian and a man who is a seemingly endless fountain of knowledge. One conversation with him will teach you more about the local area than you ever thought you could know. We once attended a talk he gave that lasted for more than two hours. It was so interesting and had us so enthralled that we felt only twenty minutes had passed. He is very much the go-to person for anything in Vancouver’s history. Incidentally, Bruce is the author of ‘Vancouver A Visual History’, which is a fascinating insight on how Vancouver was shaped decade-to-decade. If you have even a passing interest in Vancouver’s history then this book is a must, you will not be disappointed. We were delighted to have met Bruce and to be invited to his home. Just seeing his house was an adventure itself! We could almost do a documentary on him alone. Now there’s an idea…


Bruce MacDonald: Historian and author of Vancouver a Visual History

Our other interview was with the delightful Stuart Mackinnon. Stuart is one of those people that has an infectious, sunny personality and from the first meeting we had with him we knew we would be in for a real treat when the interview day rolled around. He’s a person that makes you happy just to be in his company and has a genuine passion for nature and for Stanley Park so we knew we had to include him in our project!
Stuart has a great website which we would encourage everyone to have a look at: and please check out his Blog too at:


Stuart Mackinnon

We have done interviews with lots of people who are knowledgeable in various areas which have added a degree of expertise to our project in telling the story and history of the park, but it was Stuart who delved into that heavenly area between the facts and gave us that uplifting emotional ingredient that we love so much. That’s not to say he isn’t knowledgeable because he clearly is in many areas, but he also has that heartfelt passion for nature that came across so beautifully on camera.

We would like to thank both Bruce and Stuart for generously giving their time and their insight to us. It is a constant joy that people like this are willing to do so simply because they believe in our vision and it is that most of all that gives us the drive to continue.

Beautiful Earth in May part3

Hello and welcome to yet another blog from your favourite guys at Beautiful Earth! We have more news on interviews and it really does seem to be all that’s happening lately but it is keeping us very busy!
We had a special interview lately and this was another one I really didn’t think we’d get. I’m not sure why I think such things. Lack of confidence I suppose.

Anyway, we were overjoyed when Ian Robertson not only said yes to an interview but that he was flattered that we asked him. Mr. Robertson was an important figure within the Park Board, especially as he held the position of Commissioner from 2005 to 2011, which of course meant he was there when the windstorm hit Stanley Park. It was this subject that made me contact him in the first place, although he gave us so much more during the interview, including some very special memories he has of the park during his childhood. Considering he must be a very busy man we would like to give Ian our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the time he gave to us to make this a very special addition to our documentary.
Ian also has a website


Ian Robertson

One of the subjects we are including in our documentary is on Pauline Johnson. As with a lot of other people here in Vancouver, I had heard the name but really didn’t know much else. Because she gave the name to Lost Lagoon in one of her poems and because her grave is in Stanley Park, we began to research her life and her work. This started something, which I must admit became extremely addictive. I have heard since that this is the kind of effect Pauline has on people. Once she gets into your mind and into your heart there is no letting go! It was a labour of love to write a short article on Pauline for this website and if you haven’t looked at it already then I hope you’ll check it out:

I do find it a great injustice that she isn’t talked about more as she really was a Canadian national treasure and someone we should be proud to have in our history. It is with this in mind that we are doing a feature on Pauline to include in our film. One of the names that kept cropping up when looking at various things written about Pauline Johnson was Carole Gerson. Carole, along with Veronica Strong-Boag, has worked on a couple of books on Pauline and we were very keen to talk to someone who could help give the story more substance. Carole certainly did this and more when we interviewed her at her home. It was at times quite moving to hear what Pauline Johnson must have been like, the things she did in her short but full life, and to learn much more about her from someone like Carole who obviously is far more knowledgeable than we are about this amazing woman.


Carole Gerson: book author and professor of English Simon Fraser University

Our interview with Carole also did something quite unexpected. Listening to her speak about Pauline with fondness and admiration brought her alive in a way. It’s one thing to read about a person’s life on a page but to hear about it from someone who clearly has a passion for her life’s history makes it more tangible and it was a wonderful moment that almost took us back in time to when Pauline was alive. If only that were really possible! Many thanks to you Carole for giving us such a lovely insight to her life and her work, you were more help than you know!
Thanks again for reading, we’ll be keeping you as up to date as we possibly can with everything that’s going on and we hope you keep checking in with us as we have new things to share all the time.

Keep well and keep smiling.


Welcome to our very first blog entry!

With this blog we aim to keep you all up to date, not just with us and what we’re up to but also things relevant to our current project, which at the moment is our Stanley Park documentary.

Things have been extremely busy here at Beautiful Earth lately what with meeting new people for interviews and getting our website ready and it seems like there are hardly enough hours in the day. But it has been worth all the hard work and it really does seem like we’re on the right road with the whole thing. Anyone who has ever tried anything out of the ordinary will know that one of the hardest things to do is convincing yourself that you’re doing the right thing. Almost every step we’ve taken on this journey has been met with encouragement and meeting exactly the right people, often quite by chance, so we feel a growing sense of excitement as we continue with our work towards the completion of this DVD.

We have already interviewed some truly wonderful and fascinating people including Terri Clark (formerly of the Park Board), William Nahanee (of the Squamish Nation),
Vickie Jensen (author of Totem Poles of Stanley Park) and we have lots more lined up so it’s shaping up to be a very interesting couple of months ahead.


Terri Clark formerly of the Park Board


Vickie Jensen: Westcoast words and author of Totem Poles of Stanley Park

We are always looking for people who feel they might have something to say about Stanley Park or have an interesting story to tell. Perhaps you have a relative who always talks about their youth in the park or maybe you simply feel very passionate about the place; whatever it may be, we’d love to hear from you so head over to our contact page and send us an email.

We hope you keep checking in with us and following our story and we’ll be doing our best to add to this page as often as we can.

Thanks for stopping by! -A