Anti-pipeline art exhibit stirs controversy at Calgary City Hall

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The Globe and Mail

Published 

DAWN WALTON AND NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE

Serene images of sea lions, spirit bears and cormorants are hardly cause for controversy, but they have created quite a stir in the oil and gas capital of Canada where they have been deemed too “political” as part of an anti-pipeline art exhibit.

The show, titled Art for an Oil-Free Coast, which features dozens of artists, including venerable Canadian wildlife painter Robert Bateman, landed this week inside Calgary City Hall targeting the proposed $6.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline, which could carry Alberta oil to British Columbia for export.

The B.C.-based Raincoast Conservation Foundation, which is behind the exhibit that has been on tour for months, is auctioning the items (most have already been sold) to raise money for its ongoing anti-pipeline campaign.

On Tuesday, city officials told organizers that the atrium “will not be used for political events,” but nonetheless allowed the show to stay until Wednesday – its planned end date after a three-day visit…

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