Archive for September, 2011

Art with a Conscience (No Comments)

Hieram Weintraub’s “Art with a Conscience”, 988 Queen Street West

Hieram Weintraub, an artist and children’s book illustrator, has brought the Shark Fin Soup controversy to TORONTO’s West QueenWest Art Village.  “LV Whale Shark”, in the front window of Studio Lighting, is accompanied by some startling info on the wholesale slaughter of the ocean’s #1 predator.

– Shark Fin Soup can sell for $400 a bowl
– an estimated 100 million sharks are slaughtered annually
– shark fins have no flavour and no nutritional value
-”finning” is when fishermen hack off a shark’s fins and dump the still living animal back into the sea to drown
– removing the apex predator from the ocean’s ecological chain will have global consequences



September 1, 2011 – Muskoka, Ontario Canada

When 7-year-old Kassidy heard that over 100,000,000 sharks a year were being killed just for their fins, she jumped into action. For this 1st grade student from Barrie, asking her family and friends to sign the petition to save sharks simply wasn’t enough. In three short days she gave a presentation in every classroom at Algonquin Ridge Elementary in Barrie, collecting over 600 signatures to support shark fin ban legislation in Toronto.

Rob Stewart, the award-winning filmmaker behind SHARKWATER was blown away when he received her petitions. “Kassidy has done more to save sharks than most adults have. Kids have the power to change the future of our planet; we’ve seen it happen in Saipan, Guam and now it’s happening here in Ontario. We can all learn something important from her.

To thank her personally, Stewart invited Kassidy to the recent “Making Waves for Wildlife” fundraising event for the Muskoka Wildlife Centre where Stewart gave a keynote address about species and ecosystem conservation.

I feel that this experience has profoundly affected Kassidy.” Said Kassidy’s mom, Suzanne, “I was so surprised to see her tongue tied – that is a very rare occasion.” Kassidy, who aspires to become a veterinarian, learned that even though she is young, she can make a difference.

And, Kassidy’s efforts continue to grow; the Muskoka Wildlife Centre has placed her petition at their facility and is collecting even more signatures. Stewart continues his mission to save sharks worldwide, hosting a fundraising event in his hometown of Toronto to help support the Fin Free Toronto campaign launched by his non-profit organization, United Conservationists on September 14th.


Rob Stewart is a wildlife photographer, filmmaker and passionate speaker who travels the globe to share his message of conservation. His groundbreaking film SHARKWATER has earned over 35 international awards and inspired a shark conservation movement that has helped change government policy worldwide. For more information visit

ABOUT UNITED CONSERVATIONISTS: United Conservationists (UC) is a revolutionary not-for-profit organization that uses cutting edge media to engage and inspire grassroots movements towards conservation, like we did with the movie SHARKWATER. Through media, we are building awareness and creating a community of advocacy. Most importantly, we are inspiring hard-hitting, unified environmental activism all over the world to create real, lasting, scalable change.  For more information please visit

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Jennifer Zabawa