FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 September 2019

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Updated throughout day

Ottawa street mural at Ottawa climate strike 2019

CANADA) September 27, 2019 – In support of the youth-led Global Climate Strike happening in Canada and around the world today, more than 200 people in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria joined four participatory street art activities organized by Greenpeace Canada, coming together to design and paint street murals supporting youth’s call for more ambitious climate action.

These street art activities are part of the wave of the mass, youth-led global climate action week the world has witnessed since September 20th. In the face of the climate crisis, Greenpeace Canada is using art as a creative outlet to fight climate despair and help people remain hopeful, while still sending a clear message to politicians. Ordinary people — students, grandparents, parents — are taking courageous action to protect their families, homes, and future.

The murals were made with non-toxic water-soluble tempera paint. The designs were created through collaborative process representing the individuals involved and represent what climate action means to the collective of participants. Street art is a form of civil non-violent disobedience that helps send a big message to politicians who still have not fully grasped the gravity of the climate crisis.

“We are using art to fight the destruction fossil fuel companies are creating all around us. This election, we must make addressing the climate crisis our top priority and after the election we must come together to fight for it and build a better world for all of us. We have the power to rise together for a better future free from fossil fuels and the climate chaos they’re causing. We have the power to make the Green New Deal a reality,” said Greenpeace Canada local group leaders in a collective statement.

Today’s mobilization shows that people have the power to rise up together for a better future. Together, we can change the system from the ground up and build a better world for all of us.

The details for each mural are below:

Halifax

“We are creating a mural for the Youth Climate Strike rally to help show how passionate the youth strikers are about demanding climate justice. Artwork is a form of expression and we hope our mural can express that actions speak louder than words,” explains Eric Gould, Greenpeace Halifax Local Group Organizer.

The design of the myral was a collaboration between Greenpeace Canada volunteers in Halifax, as well as students of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, who also helped. “They are amazing artists who really made the mural as beautiful as it was,” said Gould.

Ottawa

“Art has the ability to move and inspire. And there is nothing more important than motivating leaders to act on climate change. As our mural says: we have the choice, and we must act now to protect all future generations.” explains Reykia Fick, Greenpeace Canada organizer.

The mural was designed by Greenpeace local group member Dave Beddoe. It represents the fires and destruction happening in the Amazon and in forests around the world, as well as the harmful consequences of burning fossil fuels — and the choice we have to choose to invest in healthy forests and clean energy instead.

Toronto

“Art has a profound ability to inspire people to action! I love street murals because they are a way to show our collective vision and power, and a way to beautify public spaces for the common good! People have the power to rise up together for a better future. We can change the system from the ground up and build a better world for all of us.” explains Aspa Tzaras, local group coordinator with Greenpeace Canada.

The designs of the three murals in Toronto were created by Toronto based designer, Joaquin Varela, with direction through a collaborative process representing a group of concerned climate strikers in Toronto. In Toronto, there are three murals in the design, each measuring about 12 feet in diameter. Each one depicts solutions to the climate crisis as stated by Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot in their short film on the climate crisis: Protect, Restore and Fund.

Victoria

“Art has always been an essential part of every protest movement; it serves as a direct link to spread awareness of a vital message from one person’s consciousness to another – often with no words needed. Art is also accessible. It speaks a language that is understood by all cultures, ages and education level and will be remembered long after speeches are forgotten. Protest art is shared, not owned, and so it is a collective expression of unity — of community — which makes it essentially democratic and inclusive.” explains Sue Andrews, local mural organizer.

The design of the mural, which will measure 9 metres in diameter, expresses the urgency of the climate crisis based on the IPCC’s recent reports.

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Contact:

Jesse Firempong

Communications Officer, Greenpeace Canada

778-996-6549

jesse.firempong@greenpeace.org