“If They Blow a Hole in The Backbone”: Sarah Harmer’s Campaign to Protect The Niagara Escarpment

Jada Watson


In October 2004, Nelson Aggregate submitted an application to expand Mount Nemo’s Burlington Quarry operations. Local singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer led initiatives to protect the region, using her musical platform as a vehicle for environmental advocacy. This essay examines Harmer’s activist campaign within the broader geographic and geologic contexts of the public debate that unfolded throughout the region. More specifically, it interrogates how her music and musical practice articulate a strong sense of regional identity and connection to local environmental issues, while also envoicing the symbiotic relationship between human and natural life cycles.

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