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Learn about prehistoric P.E.I. with first Island Studies Lecture

Will Beckett
Will Beckett - Submitted

“Prehistoric PEI” will be held at the faculty lounge of UPEI’s SDU Main building on Feb. 13

CHARLOTTETOWN – Ever wonder what P.E.I. looked like 290 millions years ago? Well, an Island filmmaker and photographer is set to provide insight on prehistoric P.E.I. as the first speaker in the 2018 Island Studies Lecture Series.

Will Beckett will bring his childhood fascination with prehistoric life to the faculty lounge of UPEI’s SDU Main building on Feb. 13. He will discuss the behind the scenes adventures of making his forthcoming documentary series, “Prehistoric PEI.”

Beckett spent the past three years making the first documentary about the Islands little-know prehistoric past; researching it has taken him as far as Philadephia, PA, in his quest to answer the question: where have all of P.E.I.’s fossils gone?

In 1845, a farmer unearthed one of Canada’s very first fossils in New London, P.E.I. Islanders still find fossils of plants and animals embedded in cliffs, lying openly on the beaches, and buried under the soil.

The public seldom hears about these discoveries and even more rarely do they get a chance to see them, unless they visit museums in Ontario or Nova Scotia.

The Island’s fossils paint a fascinating picture of a time long before dinosaurs when the land teemed with a variety of life.

Beckett’s lecture covers the inspiration for, and the information around, the documentary and the discoveries he’s made along the way. He’ll also offer a sneak peek of some of the documentary footage, along with a glimpse of what P.E.I. looked like 290 million years ago.

Originally from St. Margaret’s Bay, N.S., Beckett now lives in Charlottetown. He’s worked as a crewmember on TV projects such as CBC’s The Songs of Gene MacLellan and The Stats of Life. He’s also acted in commercials and appeared in the Island-produced feature film Kooperman.

Admission to the Feb. 13 lecture is free. It begins at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Watch for another lecture about islands, near and far, on March 20.

For more information, contact Laurie at iis@upei.ca or 902-894-2881.

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