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Hobson Champions Protection of Canada’s West Coast Wilderness

Mark Hobson

AFC Signature Member, Mark Hobson from Tofino, Vancouver Island is the visionary and driving force behind a new project for fifty artists to portray Canada’s fragile raincoast – one they feel is threatened by the Northern Gateway project proposed by Enbridge and their international partners.

A network of coastal lodges, tour boat operators and water taxis have donated travel and accommodation so that the artists can explore some of the most spectacular, yet remote locations of the B.C. coast.  Over a two-week period in June 2012 they will depict the rich biodiversity and ecological elements of the forest, intertidal and ocean zones, and the people, flora and fauna that have lived there for thousands of years.

Their goal is to bring attention to the dramatic beauty and fragile diversity of the remote coastal wilderness of northern and central B.C. that will be at risk if tankers are permitted to ship tar sands oil through their narrow and dangerous channels.

The resulting works, combined with prose and poetry, will be published as an art book entitled Canada’s Raincoast at Risk: Art for an Oil-Free Coast, scheduled for publication this fall. The original artworks, donated by the artists, will become part of a traveling art show to raise public awareness of what is at stake on this spectacular coast and why it needs to be kept oil-free.

The art-for-conservation idea is a recurring brainchild of Tofino artist Mark Hobson, who helped coordinate a similar venture twenty years ago. That project, in association with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, produced the book Carmanah: Artistic Visions of an Ancient Rainforest, which drew international attention to the Carmanah Valley and led to its protection as a B.C. provincial park.

“Since the call went out inviting artists to participate the response has been overwhelming,” said Hobson. “ Many feel as I do, it is only a matter of time before incidents like the Exxon Valdez and Nestucca oil spills repeat themselves in this incredible coastal wilderness”.

The project is being coordinated by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, a group who have been using scientific research and public education to further conservation in coastal British Columbia for 15 years. The artists are united in the conclusion that an oil spill resulting from the collision or grounding of a supertanker will have an impact whose magnitude will far exceed anything ever experienced on Canada’s shorelines.

For further information:

Mark Hobson
Phone: 250-725-3120
Email : hobson@island.net

Raincoast Conservation Foundation
Brian Falconer
Phone: 250-715-6024
Email address: brian@raincoast.org

Reference: Raincoast Conservation Foundation Website. http://www.raincoast.org/get-involved/oil-free-coast/artists-for-an-oil-free-coast/

 

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