On guard for thee: Artists for an oil-free coast

Notes from the Field - A conservation update from the Great Bear Rainforest
 A Conservation Update from Raincoast

AuthorOn guard for thee: Artists for an oil-free coast

by Dorset Norwich-Young, AFCA

After the passage up to Bella Bella was complete, three more artists joined me on board Achiever and a whole new chapter began. Rather than the science based conversations I’d been enjoying with the Raincoast crew on the first leg of Achiever’s journey, we moved into the artist’s world of words and colours splashed with emotion.

Artists Linda Heslop, Dan Gray, Ian Reid and I each viewed our surroundings with respect and awe; each with our own perspective on what needs to be said. Ian Reid is a Heiltsuk carver, painter and dancer who is very connected to his culture.  He and I sat together on the bow often working side by side with his wood chips flying all over my sketch book. Linda Heslop, a delicate watercolourist with great attention to fine detail. Dan Gray, a passionate pastel artist with a quickly moving hand painting when and wherever he could. And me, normally a large format colourful acrylic studio painter, now outdoors with a small sketchbook.

And here we are….all from different backgrounds, all bound with the same passion of hope. Determined that with every ounce of talent and stroke of hand that our artwork will show the world what we have at stake and why the inevitable oil spill from these huge tankers is more than we will tolerate.  Inspired by this amazing territory we hope to portray the humbling beauty, to show the fragility and the vital force exuding from the sea and land. May those sea otters, grizzly bears, wolves, humpbacks that we saw forgive us if we let disaster fall upon the BC coast.

For the coast,


PS -The next leg of the journey is to show case our donated art works across BC, Alberta and the rest of Canada. Your support is invaluable to making this happen.



50 artists -including some of Canada’s most celebrated -have arrived on BC’s northern coast to paint, sketch, carve and bring attention to this remarkable place threatened by Northern Gateway.



Artist Dan Grey paints from the bow of Achiever near Camano Sound; a place where whales, their critical habitat and the proposed tanker route, all collide.

Raincoast PO Box 2429 Sidney, BC, Canada Photo Credits: Ben Fox http://www.benfox.ca
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Tofino artist and project organizer Mark Hobson with painter Robert Bateman.Linda Heslop on a west coast bay that lies along Enbridge’s proposed tanker route.Michael Svob at work on a calm June day in Hecate Strait.

Become a Raincoaster

Monthly giving enables you to protect what you love. For 25 years, Raincoast has been furthering biodiversity conservation in BC. We have big plans and with your help we will: 

  • End commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.
  • Acquire land in order to protect threatened Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems.
  • Support the recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales by restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and so much more.
Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Chris Genovali, Executive Director

Protecting biodiversity is the most important gift we can give the next generation. Join us as a Raincoaster today!