Nelson Forest, 24, of Saanich, wrote an EP of songs inspired by his time in the Canadian Conservation Corps. (Courtesy of Nelson Forest)

Nelson Forest, 24, of Saanich, wrote an EP of songs inspired by his time in the Canadian Conservation Corps. (Courtesy of Nelson Forest)

Canadian wilderness inspires Saanich man’s first EP

Nelson Forest writes songs after time in Canadian Conservation Corps

For some, experiencing nature is a lot like experiencing art.

Such is the case for one Saanich man, who was inspired to write his first EP after spending nine months experiencing the rugged beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

Nelson Forest, who grew up making music on his guitar, joined the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s (CWF) Canadian Conservation Corps (CCC) in August 2019. With an honours biology degree from the University of Victoria and experience in research, Forest wanted to see, feel and experience the wilderness he studied.

The CCC initiative is a three-stage program designed to engage young Canadians in their natural environment through travel, education and conservation and field work. The program took Forest to Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and the shores of Prince Edward Island, where he studied invasive species removal and the conservation of Atlantic salmon. In the final stage of the program, Forest worked for an organization in northern Quebec.

“I got to travel coast to coast and up north, which influenced all of the songs and created a cool story along with it,” he said.

READ ALSO: Sketch outside, connect with nature through Bateman Foundation program

It was a culmination of his experiences – some of them taking place during the restrictions of COVID-19 – that inspired and provided time for the creation of the album, For the Wild.

“I was in these really wild regions … I was starting to see some really beautiful wildlife and geography,” he said. “I got naturally inspired from those places, I found it a really gradual process.”

Songs such as For You a Song for the West Coast or Without You a Song for the North, were created in homage to Canada’s natural landscapes and the impacts climate change is having on them.

“I hope people take away that we live in such a beautiful part of the world and its such a privilege to be here. It can be a lot of fun to get out there and really enjoy it and make the most of it, but also we have this awesome opportunity to respect it and take care of it.”

Greater Victoria’s Garry Oak Meadows and Douglas Firs partly inspire the lyrics of Forest’s melody for the West Coast, of which a series of yet-to-be-completed education videos will soon accompany the melody.

“How did the salt get under our skin?” he sings in a YouTube performance of the song, recorded from a cabin in Strathcona Park.

“This place is older than you and me.”

Forest’s music can be found on Spotify, iTunes or YouTube. All funds from the streams will be donated to the CWF.

READ ALSO: Canadian Conservation Corp offers free nine-month adventure


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ArtMusicVictoriaWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A senior official with Victoria International Airport says the airport is still researching COVID-19 testing regimes but predicts testing and screening will remain part of the aviation industry even after vaccines have rolled out. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria International Airport researching COVID-19 testing options

Senior official predicts ‘screening and testing will be around long after the vaccination rollout’

Construction in Oak Bay is nearly all focused on rebuilding new single-family homes and without secondary suites. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay nears regulation of secondary suites

Preliminary report hints there’s no preferred option

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open to Jan. 15

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read