Lights out to climate change

By Lissa Alexander – Parksville Qualicum Beach News
Published: April 22, 2011 8:00 AM

Over 380 schools shut out their lights on Thursday during an annual nationwide event started by a Ballenas Secondary student seven years ago. The project is called Lights Out Canada, and involves schools across the country turning off their lights and providing students with information about climate change. The idea was hatched by Keleigh Annau when she was in Grade 10 following a conference she attended on climate change. “I remember coming home from the conference, hopping in the car, and saying ‘Mom I have an idea for a national project,’ and she just said ‘go for it.’” With encouragement from a mentor she met at the conference, and teachers at Ballenas, Annau created a pilot project in 2005 that included schools throughout the district. Since then she has continued to nurture the project and it has continued to spread, aiming to engage youth around the country in reducing their ecological footprint. Currently attending University in Nova Scotia, Annau and her volunteers have now launched a provincial ambassadors program to help youth spread the word in their own provinces. Although Annau is surprised the project has become this large, she thinks they can do better. “I think it can grow even more,” she said. For more information on the project visit

TJ Tudball, Justice Price, Thomas Franks and Chance Grant use a headlamp to light up their books at Ballenas during Lights Out Canada on Thursday.