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
May 3, 2016 Noon: A Wildrose MLA took my picture with the honourable NDP MLA Anam Kazim of Calgary-Glenmore. Anam, who graciously accepted my painting as a gift, took a keen interest in my art project and promised she would share my leaflets inside the Legislature with her colleagues. Hours later wildfire broke out in Fort McMurray...
May 28, 2016 Annual Walk For Values, Old Strathcona would become one of my favorite locations for doing my outdoor art shows. Next to Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo, in front of the Old Strathcona farmers market or along the popular Whyte Avenue.
March 3 2016 V for Victory: I completed The 3 trees by Rachel Notley's office, after picketing the Government 8 days for my right to freely express art on the grounds.
Freedom of Expression verbally banned by Alberta Legislature officials
I began to plan my 2016 Fire and Rain project back in December 2015 after completing over 120 outdoor art shows on the Alberta Legislature grounds and various locations in Edmonton. Early February I approached an official with the Ministry of Infrastructure who was in charge of the Legislature grounds. I requested a permit to continue showing my art inside the grounds but was told that I would no longer be allowed to paint nor show my art on the grounds because of liability concerns. I accepted this and went on my way, thinking that the joy of sharing art on the grounds was over.
Freedom of the Press banned: My loss of joy soon turned to anger and frustration with Government officials when I learned that a news corespondent with the The Rebel Media was banned by a Sheriff the same month that I was verbally banned from painting and showing art. I saw the similarities between my ban and that of the reporter, who had published the same news stories I did on YouTube relating to rallies staged by Alberta farmers (see Bill 6 Protests), ranchers and out of work oil patch workers. (see a year of protests against the Alberta Government) This prompted me to stage my one-man picket against the Alberta Government with demands my verbal ban be put into writing by the same official with the Ministry of Infrastructure. "Free the little man /ART" (see poster) My picket lasted 8 days, ending March 1, 2016.
March 1, 2016 my picket ends: I received a letter from the official who first verbally banned my art that read "while we cannot give you a permit to paint on the Legislature Grounds, you are welcome to continue painting on site on a casual basis as long as your painting area is safe, you are not impeding or restricting the access to the grounds of other visitors and you aren’t selling paintings on the grounds as we also do not allow the sale of “goods” on the grounds." I was thrilled by this victory and promised that I would obey her instructions. All seemed well for a time until I was verbally banned again, by the Alberta Legislative Seargent-of-arms later this spring. Continued...
May 10, 2016 Alberta Legislature: Wildfires in Fort McMurray had halted oil production. An NBC news crew from New York set up cameras and lighting next to my easel where I had already begun painting this morning. They would interview executives in the oil industry who were here to meet with Government officials inside the Legislature. The crew allowed me to film some of their interviews anchored by a reporter who came in from Vancouver. The news director thanked me for asking for permission first before I filmed. It was the natural thing to do after I completed my painting later in June to title it NBC News Covers Fort McMurray's Wildfire.
May 19, 2016 Today my fiance Sarah and I were married under a big tree that I had painted behind the Alberta Legislature. All day it threatened rain for our wedding ceremony but instead we were shrouded in wildfire smoke. On a clear day the High Level Bridge in the background of this photo my daughter took would have easily been seen on a clear day. YouTube: Painting the big tree
Photo by Demi Brinkman
May 3, 2016 4 PM MST : When wildfires surrounded the city of Fort McMurray I began to take in and absorb the urgency and seriousness of the moment and paint what I would later title Fort McMurray Wildfire - The Beast. The YouTube I uploaded that night received many views with many thumbs down from my viewers who probably thought I was exploiting the tragedies of the day for financial gain. Later this week the editor of the Edmonton Journal did not take kindly to my YouTube uploaded and shared on their reader comment section of their on-line newspaper. They removed my video and all my comments relating to the wildfires in Fort McMurray. I later cancelled my reader subscription as a result. Later this summer an Edmonton Journal would do a story on the Fire and Rain project that was featured on the front pages of thier print edition. This YouTube has since reversed its thumbs down trend to thumbs up. I was a former employee with the Journal 27 years.
Second Verbal Ban this time by the Sergeant-at-Arms - Art on the Alberta Legislature grounds is inappropriate!
June 14, 2016 - After today’s noon hour outdoor art show at the Legislature I was confronted by the Sergeant-at-Arms who said my showing art on the Alberta Legislature grounds was inappropriate and that I would have to stop. He also criticized the work I do as a citizen news reporter publishing news stories on YouTube. For a second time this year, I was told by an official of the Alberta Legislature that I could not freely express my art on the grounds of the Alberta Legislature. I launched my second picket.
June 15, 2016 : Sheriff welcome Syrians new to Canada and later witness their first picket for freedom of expression by the Legislature.
March 28, 2016 Alberta Legislature grounds: First coat of paint applied over an older painting that depicted a part of Millcreek Creek Ravine, Edmonton.
June 24, 2016 - Today's 47th early morning outdoor art show took place outside the WORKS art festival on the corner of Sir Winston Churchill Square, 100 Street and 102 Avenue.
June 24, 2016 - Alberta Legislature grounds next to Prospect Point.
The Poet & Judge, We First Nations, Métis and Inuit, March 30, 2015
This painting was briefly added to the Fire and Rain art project in February and later in June and July to picket the Alberta Government. I defended my right to freely express art on the Alberta Legislature grounds. The July picket only lasted 3 days and ended when a Sheriff intervened during my picket on the steps of the Alberta Legislature and said that I already had a written agreement that allows me to freely paint and show art on the grounds, from a Ministry of Infrastructure official in March of this year. I ended my picket and returned to doing art shows on the grounds. The sheriffs, to whom I am grateful, had intervened twice during the 3 times I picketed the Alberta Government and have been friendly and courteous each time I'm around painting or showing my art freely.
The 3 trees by Rachel Notley's office,
March 3, 2016 #2
The tree on the right
was later cut down this year.
Queen Elizabeth Park Wildfire
6 weeks later, May 2016 #8
Partially completed:Wildfire Practice Painting,
March 2016, Gift to MLA Anam Kazim #4
Fire and Rain, January 25, 2016 #1
Painted by Edmonton City Hall
Millcreek Ravine Wildfire,
March 2016 - Painted over Millcreek Path #3
Escape from Fort McMurray,
Completed May 25, 2016 #6
NBC News covers the Fort McMurray's Wildfire, June 2016, #7
June 19, 2016 Edmonton: First strokes of paint are added to my 8th. Fire and Rain painting titled Queen Elizabeth Park Wildfire, 6 weeks after fire burned through the park. Today I hiked 10 kilometers carrying my easel and backpack through a thunderstorm, then later during hot windy conditions. The thick layers of compost leaves had completely burned away leaving a rich top soil with new saplings already poking through the ground. The bark along the trunks of the trees were blackened but not enough to kill the trees.
May 13, 2016: Edmonton Fire Rescue continues to tackle small brush fires in and around the city. The latest was called in at 5:45 Thursday evening in the wooded area between Kinsmen and Queen Elizabeth parks in the river valley. Spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Shani Gwin describes the response. Fresh Radio 95.3
May 15, 2016 Syrian refugees in Edmonton step up to help Fort McMurray fire evacuees: “I know the pain,” said Morhaf Aldiri, who is leading the fundraising campaign. Syrian refugees living in Canada for a matter of months are among those raising funds to support victims of the Fort McMurray fire. Morhaf Aldiri, who arrived in Edmonton in February, said Albertans have been so kind to him that he simply had to do something to give back. "When I came it was very difficult," said Aldiri. "Another country, I don't know anything, any people, but lots of people help and help me, so it's very nice." Alidiri, 25, knows what it's like to lose everything. He and his family had to run for their lives when their house was hit by a bomb in their home city of Daraa, Syria, in 2013. CBC.ca
Thunder Cloud, June 2016 #9
March 1, 2016: Wildfire season handed a start date, and it's extra early.
Alberta will officially start the season on March 1, a month earlier than usual. On that day, all burning activities in forested areas will require a burning permit, except for campfires, and training will begin for firefighters.
Oneil Carlier, the province's agriculture and forestry minister, said though there may be snow on the ground in some areas, spring isn't far off, bringing with it warmer temperatures.
"While it's difficult to predict what the weather conditions will be like in the weeks and months ahead, we know right now that there has been below average snow and rainfall over much of Alberta over the past few months," Carlier said.
May 10, 2016 Fort McMurray Fire: Stunned Alberta Leaders Get First Look at Devastation
Regional leaders and journalists got their first close-up look Monday at the cataclysmic landscape left behind by the raging wildfire in Alberta. Authorities raised the number of structures reported lost in the half-million-acre inferno near Fort McMurray to 2,400, up by 50 percent from Sunday. But Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said after Monday's bus tour of the area that "we've saved almost 25,000 [structures], including the hospital, municipal buildings and every functioning school." The tour revealed a blackened, charred moonscape of smoky ruins, damage so stark that Intact Financial, Canada's largest insurer, called "unprecedented." Charles Brindamour, Intact's chief executive officer, said in a statement that the company has sent more than 1,000 claims workers to the city to help customers who've lost their homes, cars and businesses. Notley acknowledged, "It was quite overwhelming in some spots." But she said, "It reinforced to me how much work and how much success was achieved over the last few days by those heroic firefighters." Notley promised that Fort McMurray would emerge "with real structural resilience, with most of its critical infrastructure preserved." They will be rebuilt," she promised. USA/ NBC News
July 15, 2015: Mother Nature tempers raging wildfire in Maligne Valley. Rain and cooler temperatures continue to help fire crews fight the Excelsior Wildfire burning out of control in the Maligne Valley, about 15 kilometres south east of Jasper. The fire, suspected to be caused by a lightning strike, was first reported on July 9 around 3:30 p.m. and forced more than 1,000 people to flee the picturesque valley over the course of two days. With the more recent rain and continued cooler temperatures it’s definitely helped to continue to slow the Excelsior Wildfire,” said Kim Weir, fire communications officer for Jasper National Park. "It certainly isn’t as intense as last Thursday or Friday. This has provided us an opportunity to attack the fire directly.” Initially, the fire was too intense to allow firefighters on the ground and bucketing water from the air proved pointless because the fire was too powerful to control with small amounts of water. After overnight rainfall on Friday, Parks Canada was finally able to put people on the ground on Saturday. The fire runs along the flanks of Medicine Lake and extends along its southwest side toward Excelsior Creek, explained Weir. It crossed Maligne Lake Road at the north end of the lake and burned the slopes along part of the road, near the Medicine Lake lookout. In a rare bit of good news, an eagle’s nest at Medicine Lake appears to have survived the fire, despite the tree it’s perched on being partially burned. "I heard from at least two folks that the eaglet was on the nest,” said Weir.
June 30, 2016 Ponoka Alberta: Rob, who was with his family at the Ponoka Stampede, says he noticed the dangerous looking clouds coming in, as his family was on a ride at the time. My children were pretty frightened, but they were extremely brave, so we were really proud of them and tried to keep them calm. Once we got into the car and started heading towards Edmonton then we definitely felt much more relieved. It’s the first time we’ve had that close an encounter.” 630CHED
July 1, 2016 Canada Day: Today visitors enjoyed Canada Day celebrations on the Alberta Legislature grounds put on by the staff and management of the Alberta Legislature. During my 54th. outdoor art show I met with many friendly Canadians and visitors from afar and shared stories about freedom of expression and the wildfires of Alberta. YouTube: Canada Day 54 Th. Outdoor Art Show
Provincial state of emergency due to Fort McMurray wildfire now ended!
July 2, 2016 Alberta: For the first time since May 4th, Alberta isn’t under a provincial state of emergency. It was declared the day after a raging wildfire forced 90,000 people from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, completely emptying Fort McMurray. The declaration was put in place so the Province could spearhead efforts to get that massive wildfire under control. The provincial state of emergency ended as of midnight on Friday, with a local state of emergency taking its place. Residents have since returned to the area after the evacuation order was lifted a month ago. They returned to the community to find that 2,400 homes and buildings had been lost. It was 2013 the last time a state of emergency was declared province-wide. That was for the southern Alberta floods that devastated several communities including High River and Calgary. 630CHED
'They went through one of the most significant events that any firefighter could ever go through'!
July 3, 2016: The man who led the battle against The Beast says many Fort McMurray firefighters are now wrestling a different set of demons. Fire Chief Darby Allen says the emotional toll is hitting home for the crews who worked non-stop for days to beat back the ferocious wildfire that breached the northeastern Alberta city two months ago. Counselling services have been offered from the beginning, but Allen said it's important that help is available for the long haul. CBC.ca
May 18, 2016 Fort McMurray evacuees could return home starting June 1
More than 80,000 residents displaced by wildfire living at evacuation centres or with friends, family. For a few moments Wednesday, political differences were set aside, when Wildrose Opposition leader Brian Jean — who lost his own house to the flames — thanked the NDP government for its efforts on behalf of his constituents.Jean took over the podium for a few minutes and spoke of the anguish and grief shared by the people he represents in the legislature. "I know that every morning I've been receiving messages from my family," said Jean, who paused briefly, the words caught in his throat, "my friends, and my neighbours. They are tired, stressed, and waiting to hear this news." CBC
Wildlife returns as forest regenerates after Fort McMurray wildfire
July 7, 2016 Fort McMurray: University of Alberta researchers are studying the first animals to return to the charred forest. Standing in a burned-out bog near Fort McMurray, University of Alberta researcher Hedwig Lankau is surrounded by small signs of life. The damp bog is one of her favourite places to explore, after a wildfire changes its ecosystem. "I find that after the fire it's different, but it's beautiful and it represents that new beginning," Lankau says. CBC.ca
July 22, 2016: During today's 67th outdoor art show I was verbally banned for the 3rd time this year. I was told by another Alberta Legislature official with Visitors Services that I could no longer distribute leaflets on the Alberta Legislature grounds. The leaflets play an important part in this 2016 Fire and Rain art project. Without them, this project cannot continue. Picketing the Alberta Government for freedom of expression using art will begin Tuesday, July 26, 2016, in place of the #FireAndRain art shows. I'm still going to paint freely and show my art in public and continue the Fire and Rain art project.
Alberta Legislature Visitors Services Official verbally bans distributing this leaflet during art shows
Heavy rain causing localized flooding in Fort McMurray
'I really wish Mother Nature would have sent the rain before the fires'
Fort McMurray flooding a 'bad dream' after wildfire 'It's just not our year,' city councillor says after flooding damages homes that escaped wildfire' People in Fort McMurray are taking stock of water damage after torrential rain flooded parts of the city over the weekend, including some areas that escaped devastation from the wildfire that forced tens of thousands out of the northern Alberta community in May. Rising water prompted the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to reopen its emergency operations centre for the first time since the wildfire, which has come to be known as the Beast. CBC.ca
I have a White Rose to Give
#11, #12, #13, #14, #15 #16
Fort McMurray Wildfire Surreal
Inspired from Jack Bush's Doors #10
August 23, 2016: Alberta is now $10.9 Billion in debt after Fort McMurray wildfires 630CHED
August 22, 2016: Central and northern Alberta rocked by extreme weather. Severe thunderstorm warnings and rainfall warnings were issued for various parts of Alberta throughout Monday evening. All rainfall warnings for Alberta were dropped by noon Tuesday. CTV News
January 25, 2016 Edmonton City Hall: The day was mild enough for me to take advantage of painting outdoors while kick-starting this art project next to the ice rink full of skaters by City Hall. This is where I would begin my year-long art project focusing my canvases and cameras on the wildfires and rains of Alberta. I enjoy painting outdoors and learning from the challenges weather can have on my paints, equipment, spirit, body and soul. I compare this to the years of training leading up to hiking the West Coast trail 3 times as I did in my forties. Things you can't learn in a classroom or from a book but only from life experiences.
The North Saskatchewan Rising
August, 2016 #18
August 25, 2016: In the past 24 hours, water levels in the river have risen by more than three metres, and the flow is four times as fast as usual. The high water is a result of heavy rainfall in the mountains over the last few days. The water has now reached Edmonton carrying debris from upstream. CBC.CA
Much Appreciated Help Defending Freedom of Expression
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms encouraged me to continue exercising my freedom of expression, be it displaying art, handing out leaflets, or peaceful protest/picketing. Regarding the locations where freedom of expression is protected they said legislature grounds are actually one of the most closely guarded by the Supreme Court. Political expression at or near inherently political public spaces is at the "core" of what is protected by freedom of expression. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
May 8, 2016, 5 days of wildfire in Fort McMurray: During today's Fire and Rain outdoor art show held just inside Sir Winston Churchill square a white haired, weather faced First Nations man told me he wanted to see Fort McMurray and all the oil sands industries destroyed by the wildfires for poisoning the water, the animals and his people living downstream from the oil-sands. Another man who once worked up in Fort McMurray recited a poem by José Julián Martí Pérez for the people of Fort McMurray Cultivo Una Blanca
August 31, 2016 Canada's economy shrinks 1.6% in 2nd quarter, worst since 2009 financial crisis
Statistics Canada left no doubt about the reason for the contraction in the April-to-June quarter. In large part, it blamed a 4.5 per cent drop in exports — especially energy products — as the Alberta fires caused many oilsands operations to curtail production in May. CBC.CA
The Legislature Fire Hydrant
August, 2016 #19
September 1, 2016: Downtown business owners of Orbits and Baba Finks Canteen on Jasper Ave and 100 A St. received the 6th painting I have white roses to Give for their generous help in promoting the arts and the 2016 Fire and Rain art project. The food truck The Crooked Fork that parks each noon hour by the Alberta Legislature grounds also helped me promote my art project with posters.
The Crumpling Umbrella
August, 2016 #17
September 9, 2016: Today during my 101st Fire and Rain outdoor art show I donated my painting Hidden from sight to the Alberta Government's Treasury Board and Finance department's Belinda Mack who will put this painting up for auction to help raise money for the United Way this fall. I staged a second show, my 102nd, on the corner of 100 Ave. and 104th street for Daryl and his neighbour. Daryl is holding Fort McMurray Wildfire- The Beast, which I painted during the Fort McMurray evacuations on the afternoon of May 3, 2016.
September 10, 2016: A little splash of colour added by today's outdoor art show. Fire and Rain lightens up an overcast fall day inside Beaver Hills House Park (Amiskwaskahegan) The annual corn-fest was also featured in the park.
Fire, Rain, Circle and Square
September, 2016 #20
August 27, 2016: Disasters on Canvas Doug Brinkman paints the North Saskatchewan River's high waters near the Alberta Legislature Friday for his 2016 Fire and Rain art series project depicting moments of natural disasters in Alberta. Ian Kucerak. Edmonton Journal
I think it’s a responsibility for any artist to protect freedom of expression and to use any way to extend this power.
Chinese Contemporary artist and activist
Ai Weiwei 艾未未
He noticed the dangerous looking clouds coming in ...
September 21, 2016: 5 AM this morning I prepared a canvas using a projector and sketch study I drew last week during one of my outdoor art shows in front of the Alberta Legislature. Titled Stand on guard for thee, this painting will become the new signature image and the last painting to be added to the Fire and Rain art collection. It best represents the spirit of ordinary Albertans as a whole coming together defending, protecting and providing for others during times of sorrow, tribulations and calamities such as the wildfires, storms and flooding this year in Alberta. The spirit of Albertans during times of trouble became a beacon of light and hope for others in need. The Alberta Sheriffs have been very supportive of my efforts to express art on the Legislature grounds.
Click on Images to Expand and Enjoy!
Fort McMurray wildfire-The Beast, #5
Stand on guard for thee - 22nd. Final painting a tribute to the Alberta Sheriffs
Pencil sketch study of a lone sheriff standing on guard.
5 AM this morning preparing my canvas for a painting
Preparing to paint on the Legislature grounds
September 22, 2016: Day 2 of painting the final Fire and Rain painting #22 On guard for thee is slowly coming together after 2 hours working in gusty winds and falling leaves covering my paint palette. This whole year has been a learning curve by painting outdoors during all 4 seasons and dealing with different weather conditions. My easel toppled over once from a gust while stuff was flying all over the place on the Alberta Legislature steps such as ladders and tour guide signs. One sheriff who stopped by to look was thrilled to see that my final painting uses the image of a lone Sheriff hidden behind a pillar of the Legislature. I got to share my story with several parents and their kids about how important it is to defend freedom of expression in Canada.
September, 25: Accomplished Edmonton graphic artist Wei Yew encourages Alberta artists to pass on what they've learned over a lifetime to others. During the Provincial Police and Peace Officer Memorial Day Ceremony held across the street, I had lots of visitors stop by to watch me paint and hear the stories about the Fire and Rain project. Several families, MLA Dr. Bob Turner and the award winning graphic designer Wei Yew stopped by and shared stories about the Provincial Police & Peace Officer Memorial Monument that he designed in 2006. Wei Yew's Website
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.
First it was Fire, then came the Water
August 1, 2016: Less than two months after Fort McMurray, Alta. residents returned home after wildfires devastated the city, the oilsands town has been inundated with floodwaters."We couldn't mop up or anything because it was flowing in through the doors," said Matt Voigt, the owner of a Harley Davidson dealership on Monday. According to Environment Canada, more thunderstorms are expected late Monday afternoon and evening. "You have to feel for the people there," David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada, told CTV News Channel on Monday. After having next to no rain as wildfires swept through the region in May, Phillips says the city experienced more than a month’s worth of precipitation in just two hours on Sunday. "It’s almost biblical," he said. "From drought to fires to floods to -- where are the locusts? It really has been topsy-turvy." For homeowners whose possessions and homes survived the massive wildfire that surrounded and burned part of the community, the flooding is a bitter pill to swallow.CTV News
No Photos Please: September, 30: What an exciting day it was for me when I displayed my 14 paintings from the 22 completed this year using the Alberta Legislature building as a background. These 14 will continue to represent The 2016 Fire and Rain art project and be shown outdoors for the rest of the year and into 2017, God willing. What was even more thrilling for me today was a graduation class of about 10 students along with their instructor asking if they could pose with my paintings for a photo. "Absolutely" I said, "it would be an honour" as we snapped away a few pictures of the class including one photo where each student along with their instructor held my paintings up high over their heads. Later that day my phone rang and the voice of that same instructor on the other end sadly said “Would you delete all those photos you took of us today, as my supervisor said I should not have done that and he wants them all deleted” Of course I deleted the photos, but that moment of joy we all shared together as strangers can never be deleted from our hearts as we all had a sense of accomplishment this day. Not everyone likes to see other people happy just as I experienced several times this year by unwelcoming Legislature officials including the Alberta Legislature's unapologetic Sergeant-at-Arms who verbally banned the Fire and Rain art project last spring from being shared with others on the Alberta Legislature grounds.
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
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. CBC.ca
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.
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." CBC.ca
The 2016 Fire and Rain art project: Under an hour/ 19 YouTube Playlist Link
Artist selected YouTubes from the 65 published from January to December 2016.
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.
160Outdoor Shows and Pickets Freely Expressing Art, January 25 to December 31, 2016
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!
Civil Information Leaflet
Civil Information Leaflet
Civil Information Leaflet
Civil Information Leaflet
In 2015 Passersby on the Alberta Legislature Grounds were invited to add flowers to my painting titled Community Flower Bed.
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." CBC.ca
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.
The 2016 Fire and Rain art collection
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. I used art from the beginning to defend freedom of expression on the Alberta Legislature grounds when it was verbally banned 3 times by Legislature officials. 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. Doug Brinkman
“Artists, by their free expressions, encourage others to be free. This is the quality that makes works of art enduring.”
― Marty Rubin
“Two things form the bedrock of any open society — freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a free country."
― Salman Rushdie
“In a democratic society freedom of expression and information are protected and government lack of concern in protecting them is a serious issue.”
― Arzak Khane
"Mother Earth is ready to cleanse. The natural shape is a circle, our cells are a circle, stars are a circle, the sun, the moon, the earth. The mothers womb is a circle... I don't believe we should be living in these squares." - Chief No Tribe, September 13, 2016
I started expressing my creative self as a toddler with crayons on my parents' basement walls and inside the pages of my grandfather's leather-bound encyclopedia collection. So my parents began to supply me with a steady stream of paper and pencils with which to draw and expand my creativity. In secondary school I studied commercial art and printing, and took extra courses to learn photography and produce short video features. In my twenties I learned to fly, earning a private pilot's licence, and moved to Edmonton from Toronto. In my 40s I hiked the West Coast Trail 3 times and one time to the Rose Spit on Haida Gwaii . In Edmonton I continued a career as a graphic arts craftsman, first for theEdmonton Sun (Photo) and finally with theEdmonton Journal for 27 years (Video). I was involved as a volunteer with community theatre, painting sets and doing public relations for Walterdale Playhouse Theatre. In 2007 I became a Civil Information Activist and began publishing Citizen Free News stories on YouTube, posters and leaflets. Today I keep myself active as a full-time artist, sometimes combining my art with the news stories I publish. Today I continue practicing social artistry as a full-time artist and citizen news activist combining art with the news stories I publish.
"There were houses going off like popcorn and we were like fish in a net because we knew none of us could get out"
- Dwaine Ronnie, Slave lake wildfire, February 9, 2016
By early February I would learn that defending freedom of expression would become the primary focus of this art project while I focused my cameras and canvases on the wildfires and the rains that will follow this year in Alberta. For lack of funding I could not travel to any of the wildfires that burned throughout the province. Instead I relied on the inspirations provided from the news stories that covered the wildfires. I also became the news media by interviewing in Edmonton folks who survived wildfires elsewhere in the province.
"Your best work, when you do it, will always upset the general public – they're always a few years behind you.
May 21, 2016 Jasper National Park: This Youtube was filmed by Excelsior Creek from the north end of Medicine Lake and later on a boat cruise to Spirit Island on Maligne lake. Last year's wildfire burned 966 hectares causing 1,000 tourists, hikers and campers to be evacuated. Our tour guide shared her experiences from the 2015 evacuation from Maligne lake. Later we stopped by the Jasper park visitor information center where we met a woman who works in forestry. She told us that just weeks after the wildfires at Excelsior Creek, grass had already begun to grow back in that area. Jasper National Park Visitor Information
May 22, 2016 Smoke clears over Fort McMurray wildfire and it's bigger than previously thought The latest estimates peg the wildfire at 522,894 hectares on the Alberta side, and 2,496 hectares across the border into Saskatchewan, Laura Stewart, an Alberta wildfire information officer, confirmed Sunday afternoon. While the fire was reported to be 504,443 hectares yesterday, Stewart said it hasn’t grown, rather the weather helped to clear smoke in the area allowing firefighters to better assess the size. "Firefighters are making really great progress, taking advantage, of course, of these cooler temperatures,” she said, noting more rain is expected in the Fort McMurray area. Fire conditions in northeastern Alberta remain extreme and the wildfire in Fort McMurray remains out of control, even with the cooler weather. But that cooler, wet weather has allowed firefighters to reclassify the fire near Janvier, which was also reported as out of control on Saturday. A lot more rain fell in the Janvier area and the 146-hectare fire is now being held, Stewart said, adding that it isn’t expected to grow any further.
May 24, 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘We expect weeks, if not months, fighting this fire: Despite much of the province seeing a cold, wet May long weekend, the Fort McMurray wildfire saw very little rain. The west edge of the fire received between three and five millimetres of rain while the northern edge – where the fire is most active – saw none at all. “Most of the growth is in those northern sections,” wildfire manager Chad Morrison said. “There was no rain received in the north or eastern portions. In the Fort McMurray area, there was very little rain.” As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the wildfire was 522,895 hectares in size. International crews helping: An additional 1,000 firefighters should be on the ground in the next two weeks from other parts of Canada, the United States and other parts of the world. There are currently 1,200 firefighters on scene, the majority of which are Alberta crews being rotated through. This week, firefighters from across parts of Canada, and the U.S., including Alaska, will arrive. Next week, international crews, including 280 firefighters from South Africa are expected to arrive. Global News
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.
2017 Art is Freedom - Picket Edmonton City Hall
Pickets Days January 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17,18 ...
3 Day Prayer Camp
Sir Winston Churchill Square
Inspired by a man who recited a poem for the wildfire victims of Fort McMurray
One downtown Edmonton business leader received I have a White Rose to Give for her free help at promoting The 2016 Fire and rain art project while 3 unknown passerby's who stopped and enjoyed my art show also received a painting. The Honourable MLA, Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Forestry Oneil Carlier received a painting for his encouragement and support during my February picket against his Alberta Government and finally the Honourable MP Linda Duncan to whom I forgave after holding a personal grudge against for 20 months.
"Just to give you a bit of size perception the wildfire by Medicine Lake was about about 900 hectares, the one in Fort McMurray has reached over 400,000 hectares right now. They definitely didn't call it the beast for nothing "
- Tour Guide Malory, Maligne Lake tour, Jasper National Park. May 20, 2016
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
Beginning January 3, 2017: I'll be exercising my democratic right to picket The City of Edmonton in front of City Hall on random days during the noon hour in defense of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. This protest was prompted after a City employee approached me New Years eve outside City Hall and said I that was not invited and threatened police actions when I refused to leave. My demands for the City of Edmonton is to put it in writing the reasons why I'm not allowed to freely express myself with art and distribute leaflets on public City property when its already guaranteed under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. YouTube: Picket Against The City of Edmonton January 10, 2017
New Years Eve 160th Fire and Rain Disrupted by City Hall Employee - Threatened Police Action...
Art is freedom, so our job as artists is to make ourselves free. That’s it, that’s the whole job description. There are no other bullet points. - Carsie Blanton, Art Is Freedom
292 outdoors art shows and pickets since March 30, 2015
January 14, 2017: A senior police officer, court house lawyer and one City of Edmonton Councilor I met with on my picket line yesterday have all said that I do have a right to freely express myself in public with art. Picketing will continue in front of City Hall in the coming days, weeks and months until my demands are met and the harassment by City employees stops. I plan to begin painting outdoors as I did last year in January painting my first 2016 Fire and Rain art project by the City Hall ice rink. YouTube: I began to focus my Canvas on the Wildfires of Alberta 2016
Civil Information Activism, Free News Sharing with one simple rule: Respect all people, property and the rule of law
Click on Images of Paintings for Corresponding YouTubes
"Art is freedom, so our job as artists is to make ourselves free." - Carsie Blanton
Social Artistry - Free News Sharing - Back Page Link
2007 Celebrating 10 years of Civil Information Activism 2017