If you happened to drive or walk down Burrard street, you may have noticed a crowd of people, a bagpipe player, and yes, a huge 25-foot white whale. That white whale is “Hope”, created by First Nations, artists, and conservation group. “Hope” was created to bear witness to the growing opposition of the Enbridge pipeline and tanker traffic, and to bring together the people of British Columbia to express their hope for an oil free coast. The launch event was on Monday January 14th, 3PM – 8PM at Burrard and Nelson, right outside of the Enbridge hearings. “Hope” will continue to be exhibited at Burrard and Nelson from January 15-18, 8AM – 8PM (Jan 15th 12PM-8PM).
Pens are passed around as Vancouverites write little messages of hope. “We wanted to ensure that people had the opportunity to convey what they are fighting for – be it salmon, clean water, green jobs, a livable climate, or whatever else motivates them – not just what they are opposing,” says artist Kim Cooper. “Hope the Whale grew out of a desire to create a fun, positive experience that everyone can participate in.”
Hope the Whale gives the public the opportunity to collaborate due to the rights they have been denied to take part in the community hearings. Unlike in other parts of BC where the hearings were open for all to attend, in Vancouver and Victoria the National Energy Board has closed the community hearings to the public. Speakers at the hearing must wait outside of the hearing room for their turn, and are forced to leave when they are done. “Tankers on our coast would impact us all, and yet First Nations and the public are being denied the right to bear witness to the hearings,” say Brenda Belak of West Coast Environmental Law. “Hope the Whale provides a space outside the hearings for us to demonstrate our united support for an oil-free coast.”
If you want to show your support for an oil-free coast and protecting our natural environment, stop by Burrard and Nelson to write your message of hope anytime from January 15 -18, 8AM – 8PM (Jan 15th 12PM-8PM). Hope the whale is quite a site, and the ambiance of this peaceful approach to supporting a healthy environment is very welcoming. If you don’t have time to stop by, you can also send your thoughts on Twitter and instagram using #hopethewhale. You can also send your message by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once it gets dark, these electronically sent messages will be projected onto Hope the Whale.
What: HOPE IN THE PARK
When: January 15 -18, 8AM – 8PM (Jan 15th 12PM-8PM) *Projections will begin at 4:30 pm.
Where: Burrard and Nelson
How: Can also send your messages of hope on Twitter and instagram using #hopethewhale. You can also send your message by email at email@example.com.
Credit: Pipe Up Against Enbridge