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Edmonton artist raising money for Fort McMurray first responders

WATCH ABOVE: Canadian artist Karen Haugen created “Hope Tree." The artwork honours first responders in the Fort McMurray area.

An Edmonton artist is hoping to raise money for those who fought the Fort McMurray wildfire.

Karen Haugen drew “Hope Tree,” and honours first responders in the Fort McMurray area.

“I wanted to highlight the importance of what first responders bring to us as a community,” Haugen said. “They’re battling trauma and tragedy on a daily basis.”

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READ MORE: Edmonton artist who battles depression uses camera to put a face to mental illness

Haugen partnered with Legacy Place Society, a provincial organization that provides support for first responder and military families, to allocate the funds raised to the appropriate sources in Fort McMurray.

The piece, created using charcoal and acrylic painting, features a firefighter planting a tree in a forest decimated by fire.

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“First responders are there to support us when we need them the most, and I think it’s important that we support them,” Haugen said.

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Haugen was inspired by six-year-old Sofia Anderson. She donated a tree to Fort McMurray, where it was planted by her father, who is a firefighter from Strathcona County.

READ MORE: ‘Hope tree’ a gift to Fort McMurray from a 6- year-old Edmonton girl

Haugen was selling prints of the artwork at the Whyte Avenue Art Walk, which features hundreds of local artists showcasing their work in Old Strathcona.

“Hope Tree” is also available to be purchased online on Haugen’s Etsy page.

WATCH: When they’ve lost everything, it’s hard to image what people in Fort McMurray need the most. A gift of hope from a little Edmonton girl is a start. Kendra Slugoski filed this report in 2016. 

Fort McMurray wildfire: 6-year-old Edmonton girl gives evacuees ‘hope tree’
Fort McMurray wildfire: 6-year-old Edmonton girl gives evacuees ‘hope tree’
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