Earth Hour honoured in a mysterious way

Last Saturday, a dimly lit dining room at Dalhousie’s University Club became the scene of an Earth Hour themed murder mystery party.

Organizers Brittany Maguire and Trish Dempsey were looking for a creative way to celebrate Earth Hour, an annual event which asks people to turn out their lights for an hour in order to raise awareness about climate change.

Trish Dempsey lights a candle to kick off Earth Hour (Theresa Ketterling Photo)

By Theresa Ketterling

On Saturday, March 26, a dimly lit dining room at Dalhousie’s University Club became the scene of an Earth Hour themed murder mystery party.

Organizers Brittany Maguire and Trish Dempsey were looking for a creative way to celebrate Earth Hour, an annual event which asks people to turn off their lights for an hour in order to raise awareness about climate change.

“Usually there’s a concert or an open-mic,” Maguire says.”We wanted to do something different.”

Dempsey says the idea for the murder mystery party came when she found Shot In The Dark Mysteries online.

Shot In The Dark Mysteries is owned by Toronto resident Leigh Clements, who writes the mysteries and sells them online.

Each scenario includes characters and a list of clues they can reveal. It is up to the participants to talk to the characters and decide which suspect is guilty. There are five suspects and the game was designed especially for Earth Hour.

“There’s a city having an Earth Hour party, the lights get turned off and someone dies,” Maguire says. There were about 25 people in attendance. The characters were played by Maguire’s friends.

Dempsey says they chose the company in part because of its environmental practices. Clements promises on her website to plant a tree for each Earth Hour mystery sold to help offset the costs of printing and paper.

Maguire says it is important to draw people together to celebrate Earth Hour.

“It’s a significant environmental movement because so many people participate in it every year. Participation shows your support for clean energy, conserving energy, fighting climate change and all the environmental degradation that comes from the way we produce our energy. It’s not only a symbol of hope and support but a way to reflect on the way that you use energy in your own lifestyle.”