Blooms: A Documentary About Cobalt, Ontario

Followed by a Filmmaker Q&A

Saturday, November 18th at 4:00pm

78 mins | 2022 | Canada
Dir: Jordan Vandenberg
Language: English

Blooms: A documentary about Cobalt, Ontario

During the summer of 1903, while the railway was being built throughout Northern Ontario, the first silver discovery was made in Cobalt. Within a few years, Cobalt turned from a few shacks to a full-fledged boomtown to one of the biggest producers of silver in the entire world! The silver rush in Cobalt continued at this rate until a slow decline in the 1930s. Mining in the Cobalt area continued until the last mine was forced to close its doors in the 1990s, This was due to the price drop of silver and the decline of minerals in the area.

With the town’s only trade taken away, Cobalt faced a tremendous blow. Many businesses and schools closed as the population decreased rapidly. Soon after, Cobalt was described by many as a Ghost Town yet a strong group of people remained with no plans of ever leaving.

Today, Cobalt is a quiet place. The scars of mining remain after decades; The town is littered with tunnels, holes, and severe environmental damage from the mining operations of the past. Cobalt was named a national historic site and a self-guided tour of the old mines was developed, although lack of support and funding has left these sites falling into disrepair.

Recently the world has had a demand for the mineral Cobalt to make batteries for electric vehicles. Cobalt is a byproduct of silver; due to the history of silver mining in the area, there’s plenty of Cobalt that remains there today. Some people are excited for new mining to potentially begin again; however, is it a good long-term solution for the town? Historically, mining in Cobalt has only taken from the town without proper return.

The future of Cobalt relies on its people and their willingness to create new ways to keep the town afloat. Towns need to grow just like we as people do, and with more young families moving to the area along with new small businesses beginning to find success there, it seems like Cobalt’s starting to begin that journey.

Q&A with Filmmakers Jordan Vandenberg and Alec Jordan

Jordan Vandenberg:
Jordan Vandenberg is a filmmaker and animator born and raised in Haileybury, Ontario. He is passionate about documentary filmmaking and loves creating 2D animations to complement his projects. Jordan has directed 4 films, The Tri Town Ski & Snowboard Village – Short Documentary (Official Selection – X Games Aspen Shorts Block 2019), Happily Off Track – Short Film (Best Student Film – CTV Best in Shorts 2018) Blooms – Feature Length Documentary and Bodyshop – Short Documentary. Jordan also created animations for the Documentary Five Bucks at the Door: The Story of Crocks N Rolls By Kirsten Kosloski and the animated short film First Snow By Kirsten Kosloski. Jordan is a graduate of the TV/Broadcasting and Video Production program and Post Production from Canadore College. Jordan lives in Orillia, Ontario.

Alec Jordan:
Alec Jordan is a cinematography, director, editor and film photographer. He graduated top of the class in Broadcasting – TV & Video Production as well as Digital Cinematography at Canadore College. Alec’s had his short documentaries and music video’s screen in festivals across Canada, winning a few. He does freelance projects and self funded work. Alec loves his career path and always tries to reach the highest quality possible. Being in the arts seems surreal and Alec plans to continue to pursue his passion for storytelling by working with other artists, to help visualize his thoughts and share the way he see’s the world.

Screening With:

Shitty Little

Canadian Short Showcase

This playful, poignant & very memorable 7 min live action-animation shadow play, where humans take from forests whatever they desire – leaving nothing.

In western culture there is no value attributed to nature. It must be taken and shaped into a product for sale to have worth.

A prevalent societal attitude: How a meadow, a marsh, or a small wood “Isn’t doing anything”, and should be, “Made into something”.

6 mins 41 secs
Canada, 2023
Dir. Jeff McKay & Takashi Iwasaki
Language: English

Starlight Sojourn

Canadian Short Showcase

Starlight Sojourn is a collaborative animation project by artists Darcy Tara McDiarmid and Chantal Rousseau. Created from watercolours, fluid acrylic paintings, and digital imagery, it features local fish, birds, and animals traversing a dreamlike night-time landscape in the Yukon.

3 mins 54 secs
Canada, 2023
Dir. Chantal Rousseau, Darcy Tara McDiarmid
Language: English

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