Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Fire and Rain art project by Doug Brinkman

Alberta Air Quality 
Worse than Beijing and New Delhi 
August 26, 2015: Alberta Health Services has issued air quality advisories for areas from the U.S. border north to the Edmonton region because of smoke from wildfires in Washington state. The agency warns even healthy people may experience irritated eyes and throat and possibly shortness of breath. AHS says people with respiratory conditions may notice a worsening of symptoms and that children and the elderly are at higher risk of smoke-related illness. An air quality official says the smoke in the Calgary area is worse than cities with serious pollution problems such as Beijing and New Delhi. 
Globe and Mail

The Fire and Rain art project by Doug Brinkman

The 2016 Fire and Rain art project that began in early January was inspired by news stories on wildfires that burned throughout Western Canada in 2015. Paintings were displayed outdoors publicly throughout Edmonton and their stories shared on YouTube. Some of the YouTubes published shared how the wildfires and flooding that followed affected Albertans, their communities and the environment. I hope my art and the stories shared will inspire us to contemplate the calamities in Alberta of 2016 as a collective and together help each other find ways and better solutions to save our planet and our children's future. 

This art project was shown 160 times outdoors in public from January 25 to December 31, 2016. While painting and showing this art project I was verbally banned three times throughout the year by Legislature officials including by the Sargent-of-Arms and threatened with police action by a City of Edmonton employee during it's final 160th. art showing New Year Eve. Pickets protests defending freedom of expression with art followed. Doug Brinkman

Blog Note: Posts on this blog has been set up chronologically with the final March 2017 post first and the first January 2016 post at the end of this blog. The artist's bio and special thanks are also located at the end of this blog... Enjoy!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Aaron's Watch - Wildfire aftermath west of Grand Prarie

March 3, 2017: Day 2 painting my new oil painting untitled - inspired by my son Aaron's photo depicting the aftermath from a wildfire that swept through an area close to Grand Prairie in 2016. YouTube: March 2, 2017 painting on the Legislature grounds

"Albertans came together in a time of extraordinary danger. As the Wood Buffalo wildfires tore through communities, we stood as one – as fellow citizens with a shared responsibility to each other. When called upon, ordinary women and men from all walks of life do extraordinary things. Therein lies hope for the future, not only here in Alberta, but throughout the world. Of course, the wildfires were one of the most significant events in what has been a very challenging time in Alberta’s history." Speech delivered Her Honour, Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor Thursday, March 2, 2017 Alberta legislature. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Seven Matches - Another Early 2017 Wildfire Season

Seven Matches February 15, 2017 #1

February 15, 2017: Today I completed Seven Matches by Edmonton's City Hall's ice rink. The Alberta Government's Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier announced today this years wildfire season will begin March 1, 2017. News media in Edmonton reported today our balmy temperatures in Edmonton broke a 100-year-old record. Gord Downie, Secret Path is played during outdoor art shows.

Last year, 1,338 wildfires burned more than 611,000 hectares, including the Horse River wildfire that spread into Fort McMurray.
The March 1 beginning of wildfire season is also a reminder to Albertans to be extra careful to help prevent wildfires in forested areas. More than 60 per cent of the wildfires last year were caused by human activity. “Protecting Albertans from the threat of wildfire is one of our highest priorities. That’s why we legislated March 1 as the start of fire season, recognizing that recent trends show wildfires are starting earlier in the spring. The wildfire that burned into Fort McMurray last year serves as a reminder of how important it is for us to be ready to respond to wildfires at a moment’s notice.” Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry continued...

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Outdoor Art Shows -Threatened With Police Action!

 December 8, 2016 Outdoor Art Show - 102nd. Street and Jasper Avenue

December 3, 2016 Today's 150th art show: on the Alberta Legislature grounds. With frigid cold temperatures forecast for the coming week this might be my last outdoor art show this year. Today's guests included from Toronto Ezra Levant of TheRebel media who also gave me an interview about his protest rally he planned for later today. Conservative leadership hopeful Chris Alexander who I found to be a good listener.

December 8, 2016 Wind chill minus -36 C Wind Chill: Good Day for an outdoor art show and Civil Information Actions promoting The 2016 Fire and Rain art project during its last 14 days in 2016. Photo : This brave gal who had no hat was giving out chocolates for a Make A Wish Christmas campaign on Jasper Avenue and 102nd street.

December 13, 2016 The 911 call: Minus -19C wind chill allowed me to continue my outdoor leafleting and promoting the 2016 Fire and Rain art project in front of the Alberta Legislature. During the start of my show a man came up to me and asked where he could find the river. I pointed in the direction and asked why the river? He replied "to jump into it." Right then a strong gust of wind toppled over my easel. I quickly gathered my easel, painting and backpack off the ground and made chase after the guy while dialing 911. He got away from me under the High Level bridge. The EPS later called back to say they found the man and got him to a place for help - Edmonton cops are the best!

December 20, 2016: Today is the last day of The 2016 Fire and Rain art project. It ended today as the 153rd outdoor art show on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature grounds. It was a good day, meeting so many who stopped to look at my paintings and hear some of the stories behind the paintings. This young Venezuelan woman who took interest in my show had this to say.

Art is made for people to react. Having a position means what you are doing is needed and it is creating change... In the long term a lot of people are going to appreciate it." - Unnamed Venezuelan woman

Fort McMurray wildfire named Canadian Press news story of 2016 
'Not even a Hollywood script could match the terror, uncertainty, and heroism' 

 December 20, 2016: The ferocious wildfire that forced nearly 90,000 to flee Canada's oilsands region and reduced thousands of homes to rubble has been picked as the top news story of 2016 in an annual survey of newsrooms across Canada by The Canadian Press. Dubbed "the beast" for its merciless unpredictability, the Fort McMurray wildfire garnered 39 of the 67 votes cast by senior editors. It was followed by Canada's ongoing resettlement of Syrian refugees with 11 votes, the fentanyl crisis with six and the Tragically Hip's farewell tour with five. Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control after city evacuated "Not even a Hollywood script could match the terror, uncertainty, and heroism to come out of what seemed to be a surreal event," wrote Dave Barry, news director of CKPG TV in Prince George, B.C. The fire began in a remote forested area southwest of the city on May 1 during a spell of unusually hot and dry spring weather. By suppertime on May 3 the flames were inside the city and all of Fort McMurray was under a mandatory evacuation order."

City of Edmonton Employee Spoils Final 
160th Art Show with Threat of Police Action
December 31, 2016, 160th free outdoor art show featuring Escape from Fort McMurray

Freely expressing art by Edmonton City Hall New Years Eve 2016, during my 160th outdoor art show in Edmonton. Featuring the 2016 Fire and Rain art project collection that focused my canvases and camera on the wildfires and the rains that followed in Alberta last year. Photo : Two stilt walkers stand next to and pose with my painting titled Escape From Fort McMurray

December 31, 2016 New Years Eve Celebrations: A City of Edmonton employee approached me during New Years Eve celebrations next to the City Hall's ice rink where I had set up my painting Escape from Fort McMurray, part of the 2016 Fire and Rain art project that focused my canvases and camera on the wildfires and rains of Alberta. She said "you were not invited" and demanded I leave. I refused and said "I'm staying for another 30 minutes before I pack up and leave" She said "we know who you are and I'm going to inform security and police (EPS) that we expect you to leave soon." I continued displaying my art and distributing information leaflets for another hour and nothing happened. Later I informed two Edmonton Police officers how the City official had threatened me with police action if I didn’t leave from the City Hall grounds. They said I needed to send a complaint to the City of Edmonton. I responded with a picket protest called Art is Freedom - Picket against the City of Edmonton
December 31, 2016: YouTube: Art Show - 2016 Fire and Rain art collection

Happy New Years 2017!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November News Stories - Is the Beast still burning?

November 1, 2016: Is the Beast still burning? Fort McMurray wildfire may smoulder through winter 'Once that snow starts to melt ... everything has an opportunity to heat up' The fire which devastated much of Fort McMurray in May may still be smouldering, deep underground. At its peak, the fire was moving 30 to 40 metres per minute, creating its own weather pattern of wind and lighting. It crowned high in the trees, raining down ash and cinders as it raced north, jumping the Athabasca River, and wrapping itself around the northern Alberta city like a noose. Even then, smouldering ash underground grew into powerful infernos, making the fire an unpredictable foe for firefighters. In the end the Beast covered 589,552 hectares and devoured 2,400 structures. Extinguished on the surface, the fire may continue burning undetected throughout the winter, feeding on peat and dead vegetation.

November 15, 2016: $5.3B to be spent rebuilding Fort McMurray, boosting GDP, Conference Board says: The Fort McMurray wildfire will shave about 0.1 per cent from Alberta's real GDP in 2016, but reconstruction efforts will reverse that trend over the next few years, according to a Conference Board of Canada report released Tuesday. The costliest natural disaster in Canadian history will result in $5.3-billion being injected into the province, with the bulk of those funds — approximately $3.6-billion — coming from insurance payouts. But the report warns that "the funds put toward replacing lost capital will leave the provincial and federal governments with more debt, and the insurance industry with the challenge of absorbing what has become the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history."

Sunday, October 2, 2016

October Outdoor Art Shows - Reptiles Rescued

October 2, 2016 YouTube: Fort McMurray Reptiles Rescued
During yesterday's 119th outdoor art show on the Alberta Legislature grounds I shot some video footage adding it later to bits and pieces of interviews I collected since May relating to reptiles being rescued from the Fort McMurray wildfires. Heart warming stories shared by Albertans about these beautiful creatures.

130th outdoor art show next to the Alberta Legislature

Meeting Oiler fans along 104th Street during my 134th outdoor art showing
of the Fire and Rain art project a block away from Rogers Place