Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 2/2/2011 (3481 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SOME local artists are not boycotting a major prairie arts showcase despite signing a petition protesting the festival's major partner, Enbridge.
More than 40 local musicians, writers, filmmakers, dancers and performance artists signed a petition decrying the involvement of the Canadian oil and gas pipeline company as a major sponsor for Canada's National Arts Centre's upcoming Prairie Scene event, but the words of protest don't necessarily mean signees will boycott the event. The Winnipeg Free Press printed incorrect information earlier this week.
"The artists who signed the petition are NOT boycotting Prairie Scene, we are asking NAC to consider their funding partnerships. The undersigned artists have environmental concerns regarding pipelines, but are nonetheless participating in the festival," wrote artist Shawna Dempsey, who signed the petition.
The Prairie Scene event being held April 26 to May 8 will showcase 500 artists in 80 events encompassing music, theatre, dance, visual and media arts, literature, film and culinary arts. A local group calling itself Prairie Artists Against Enbridge has sent a letter to the NAC asking it to reconsider partnering with Enbridge due to concerns about its environmental record, including an incident last July when its 6B pipeline ruptured in Michigan, spilling an estimated one-million gallons of tar sands crude into the Kalamazoo River.
"By associating with Enbridge, The National Arts Centre associates itself with the company's irresponsible corporate behavior. For the sake of the Centre's good reputation and for the sake of our environment, we urge you to reconsider partnering with Enbridge as a 2011 Prairie Scene festival sponsor," states the letter signed by artists such as dancer Susie Burpee, artists Dempsey and Lorri Milan, novelist Miriam Toews, filmmaker Noam Gonick and musicians the Weakerthans, Propagandhi, Christine Fellows, Greg MacPherson and Comeback Kid.
Sixty per cent of the event's $2.8-million budget comes from private fundraising, donors and ticket sales, and the rest from the federal, Manitoba and Saskatchewan governments.
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