October 5th, 2019
Artists and activists use art to push for climate action
two days before leaders debate
BURNABY – The climate crisis is here. It requires immediate action and a crisis-level response from our politicians. In a time when more people are facing the direct effects of the climate crisis, Greenpeace Canada and allies are using artivism to fight climate despair and push for urgent action on the growing climate emergency.
Two days before the leaders’ debate and one week after the historic march that saw over 700,000 people strike across Canada, today’s street art mural gathers Indigenous groups, allies and volunteers around a common and strong message: act on the climate crisis, end the age of oil. It’s time to fight environmental, social and racial injustices at the same time with a Canadian Green New Deal.
This 50 by 25 feet mural is the fruit of collaboration between Ocean Hyland, member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Brandon Gabriel, member of the Kwantlen First Nation, with Greenpeace Canada in British Columbia. The choice of holding the street art mural in front of the main gateway entrance to the Westridge Marine Terminal is because the equipment serving the expansion of the widely controversial Trans Mountain pipeline is stocked here. This reflects the environmental and political realities of the region.
The message on the mural reads: Act on Climate, Stop Fossil Fuels. Like in Burnaby, Greenpeace also collaborated with Atikamewk artist Meky Ottawa on the East Coast in Montreal earlier today where the medicine wheel-shaped street art mural drawn on top of the Mont-Royal which respectively read in french and in Atikamewk Agissons pour le climat (Let’s act on climate) and Nakatoweritetan (Let’s protect it for all it holds, mother earth).
“ We are people of the inlet, our stories connect us to the water. We are painting a representation of some of those stories here today using art to stand against this pipeline and to welcome the orca back to our waters we’re fighting so hard to protect.”
Ocean Hyland, artist, activist and member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
“I am very excited to be working with Tsleil-Waututh artist Ocean Hyland and Greenpeace on this project! The writing is on the wall. The world is at a tipping point with the overuse of fossil fuels. I’m here because this is part of a global effort to send the message to say no to fossil fuels, and no to pipelines!”
Brandon Gabriel, contemporary artist and member of the Kwantlen First Nation
“After a strong and powerful message to fight for climate justice that millions of people around the world have voiced and heard during the global climate strike week, it’s important to keep the momentum going. I’m excited to join this Greenpeace action because the fight against the TMX expansion and other fossil fuel extractions is yet to be over. Collaborating and building art together is a beautiful and impactful way to say that we are here until we will win and that we demand real climate action now.”
Kate Potapova, Greenpeace Vancouver local group leader
“We have just a short window of time to do everything we can to give life on this planet its best shot of survival. The prescription is clear, the science says it’s time to implement the solutions already taking root all over the planet. Solutions that create jobs, reduce emissions, respect Indigenous rights and create a more equitable and just society for all of us. It’s time to get busy. There is no time to waste.”
Mike Hudema, Climate and Energy campaigner with Greenpeace Canada
For more information, please contact:
Loujain Kurdi, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada,