Island Lecture Series – February 2018 – “Unearthing the mysteries of Prehistoric PEI” with Will Beckett

Unearthing the mysteries of Prehistoric PEI
with Will Beckett
Tuesday February 13, 2018 | 7 p.m. | Main Building Faculty Lounge

On Tuesday, February 13, Island filmmaker/photographer Will Beckett brought his childhood fascination with prehistoric life to the Main Building Faculty Lounge on the UPEI campus. He spoke about the adventures behind his upcoming Web documentary series, Prehistoric PEI.

Will has spent the past three years making the first ever documentary about Prince Edward Island’s little-known prehistoric past — a journey that’s taken him as far as Philadelphia, PA, in his quest for an answer to the question: where have all of PEI’s fossils gone?!

In 1845, a farmer unearthed one of Canada’s very first fossils in New London, PEI. 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. PEI’s fossils paint a fascinating picture of a time long before the dinosaurs when the land teemed with a variety of life — echoes of which remain with us even today. Will’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 footage, along with a brief, tantalizing glimpse of what Prince Edward Island looked like around 290 million years ago.

Originally from St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia, Will Beckett now lives in Charlottetown. He’s worked as a crew member on TV projects like CBC’s The Songs of Gene MacLellan and The Stats of Life. He’s also acted in commercials, and appeared in a hilarious bit part in the Island-produced feature film, Kooperman.

Watch for another lecture about islands – near and far – March 20. For more information, please contact Laurie at or (902) 894-2881.


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