Between Breaths highlights the unusual life story of Jon Lien (1939-2010), a pioneer of whale research in Canada. It is being staged this month at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre. Originally from South Dakota, Jon Lien moved to Newfoundland in 1968 to teach animal behaviour at Memorial University. It was in 1978 that a fisherman contacted him to request his help with a humpback whale entangled in his gear. Jon Lien would go on to develop a technique for disentanglement operations and succeeded in releasing approximately 500 whales from fishing ropes and nets. Over the years, he formed a team – Newfoundland and Labrador Whale Release and Strandings – which still exists today.

Written by Robert Chafe and produced by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, the play features Jon Lien near the time of his death. Through echoes of his life and his relationship with whales and fishermen, the play pays tribute to Jon Lien’s dedication to environmental protection, the fishing community and especially cetaceans.

Where: Ottawa, National Arts Centre

When: Through May 18

News - 9/5/2019

Marie-Ève Muller

Marie-Ève Muller is responsible for GREMM's communications and spokeperson for the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergencies Response Network (QMMERN). As Editor-in-Chief for Whales Online, she devours research and has an insatiable thirst for the stories of scientists and observers. Drawing from her background in literature and journalism, Marie-Ève strives to put the fragile reality of cetaceans into words and images.

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