Big Ideas: $100,000


It takes a community to rebuild a community. The Beast is an animated disaster documentary turned story of inspiration that will make you laugh and has the power to heal. This is an animated reimagining of the story of the largest natural disaster in Canadian history. Inspired by the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire disaster, the lessons in the film apply to any natural disaster around the world. The Beast takes real interviews of real survivors of the Fort McMurray wildfire and injects them into the world of animals in the Boreal Forest. Through a series of animal interviews, we hear the first-hand accounts of those who first escaped the fire, were then forced out of their homes for more than a month and finally had to adjust and re-acclimate to life when returning to a very different looking home.

The objective of the short-animated film, The Beast (and associated resources), is to engage as many people as possible in a manner that gets them to reflect and discuss their emotional experiences created by recent Wildfire disasters. The broader the film audience, the greater the probability of creating dialogue between residents on the impact of the event, and their own journey with the healing process. By including widely recognized actors in this production we will be able to dramatically broaden the number of avenues for promoting the importance of resiliency after a disaster, thereby increasing the size of the audience. Many people having not experienced a Wildfire will also engage and hopefully have a better understanding of the emotional effects of his human experience.

The Beast is a wellness, resilience and mental health tool to help children, families and communities who have experienced a disaster. The BIG IDEA is to create supportive resources that complement the film. The resources include: classroom/family/parent discussion guides & activities, resources on disaster preparedness/coping with grief & loss, and to complete the gap when First Responders leave.

This project is grounded in collaboration and partnership such as: collaborations/partnerships with mental health organizations, service clubs, government departments, community development organizations, media, schools, disaster recovery organizations, businesses and sponsors. By building connections/partnering alongside a diverse group of stakeholders, this will deepen the number of people/communities impacted by this project, foster sustainability in the project and inspire community change. The resource materials will ensure sustainability and legacy building through sharing lessons learned and through the partnerships, there will be a number of leaders (such as service clubs, schools, youth organizations, workplaces) that continue to show the film and utilize the resource materials.

This project will span across Canada, with keen focus first on communities that have been impacted by disaster. We created a private Facebook Group as a forum for people who have experienced disaster to connect with each other and organizations, share resources and support one another. The film and supportive program materials will be shared with schools, home schooling associations and youth organizations. This BIG IDEA includes viewings/premieres of the film supported by presentations on resilience, recovery and rebuilding after disaster. This BIG IDEA is accessible to communities across Canada and beyond, and to people or communities of any faith, diverse backgrounds, and, a variety of ages. We anticipate that more 25,000 + people in the Wood Buffalo Region and 500,000+ people across Canada will be impacted by this project before December 2019. This will continue to increase after January 1, 2020.

Your Vote Can...
• Create classroom & family discussion guides
• Teach coping and resilience skills to children, families and communities
• Provide the film, discussion guides & presentations to schools
• Help communities build awareness and resilience

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Team Toby Foundation

Location: Alberta, Canada