‘People on the path’ aims to show not everyone is pro-pipeline, group says

A non-profit group is using art to send a message to politicians and the oil and gas industry that not everyone supports more pipelines in Alberta and Canada.

Climate Justice Edmonton put up eight-foot high portraits in Whitemud Park at Fox Drive Sunday in a collective art installation called “People on the Path.”

The portraits will be placed along part of the pipeline’s path in Alberta, from Edmonton to west of Jasper, the group said. (CBC)

Hannah Gelderman, an organizer with the non-profit, said the provincial government consistently sends out the message that all Albertans are in favour of expanding pipelines.

“That everyone wants more pipelines, that everyone wants investment in oil and gas and that’s absolutely not true,” she said. “There are so many people here who want investments in renewables instead.” 

Hannah Gelderman, an organizer with Climate Justice Edmonton, said the group is trying to raise awareness about the risks the pipeline poses. (CBC)

For the collective art installation, Climate Justice Edmonton asked people to submit photos and statements outlining their hopes and visions for the province’s future. The group then painted the “larger than life” portraits.

The project is meant “for them to put forward new ideas and alternatives and advocate for that,” Gelderman said.

The National Energy Board has approved most of the pipeline’s route, from the Edmonton terminal to a pump station near Kamloops, B.C., and has given the go-ahead for Kinder Morgan to start construction.

The art installation will be exhibited around the city and then placed along the route of the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion — through Edmonton, under the river and west to Jasper.

“To raise awareness about the risks that the pipeline poses locally, where it’s going through our own backyards and our own River Valley,” Gelderman said.  

A statement submitted to Climate Justice Edmonton from a member of the public. (CBC)

“It’s a way to bring people together into a hopeful message and work towards what we do want.”

She said protesting the pipeline is also important to show respect to Indigenous communities, and help protect the region’s land and water.

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