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POLL: City hall art exhibit creates controversy

CALGARY – An art exhibit at city hall mounted by a B.C.-based conservation group has some local politicians questioning why it was allowed.

“Arts for an Oil-Free Coast” features works by more than 40 well-known Canadian artists, and is part of a campaign by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation to raise awareness, and money, to fight the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

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Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart has publically questioned why the city approved an art exhibit that is not only politically motivated, but opposes a pipeline project that would benefit Alberta’s economy.

The exhibit also violates a bylaw that prohibits political displays on city property.

But the Raincoast Conservation Foundation says it is simply starting a conversation through art.

“A lot of people here get their information from a specific point of view, which is an industry point of view,” says the group’s Brian Falconer.

“There are other points of view so having that ability through these very well-known artists and having them be able to express their emotional concern is important.”

The city considered asking the foundation to remove the exhibit but has decided to allow it to stay until its scheduled closing Wednesday night.

It says it wasn’t aware of the group’s agenda and if it had been, it would not have approved the exhibit.
Art exhibit mounted by Rainforest Conservation Foundation in atrium at city hall. Global News
Art exhibit mounted by Rainforest Conservation Foundation in atrium at city hall. Global News
Art exhibit mounted by Rainforest Conservation Foundation in atrium at city hall. Global News
Art exhibit mounted by Rainforest Conservation Foundation in atrium at city hall. Global News
Art exhibit mounted by Rainforest Conservation Foundation in atrium at city hall. Global News