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Shaw Pride Marches On: LGBTQ2SIA+ and BIPOC Artists Unveil Public Art Murals to Celebrate Calgary Pride Where it Began 30 Years Ago

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CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Shaw Communications Inc. today announced the launch of Shaw Pride Marches On — a public art experience created by LGBTQ2SIA+ and BIPOC artists who applied their talents and creativity to install temporary art murals at the four corner entrances to Central Memorial Park in recognition of Calgary Pride.

Thirty years ago, in a very different environment, 100 brave members of Calgary’s LGBTQ2SIA+ community gathered in the park to protest discrimination and fight for equality in what would later become acknowledged as the city’s first Pride rally.

With Pride celebrations around the world cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shaw and its partners — Calgary Pride, Calgary Arts Development, and The City of Calgary — are helping to bridge this void in their home city with public art installations at the landmark Beltline location. Shaw provided each individual artist or team with $2,500 to create their murals.

Today, the completed murals were revealed to mark the first day of Calgary Pride 2020.

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“In this extraordinary year, we weren’t able to join Calgarians en masse to celebrate Calgary Pride as we normally would. But we can still partner with Calgary Pride, The City of Calgary, Calgary Arts Development and the amazing artists in our community to create something that everyone can enjoy safely, on their own time and terms,” said Katherine Emberly, President, Business, Brand and Communications, Shaw Communications.

“These murals tell a story. And it’s storytelling that helps the community share experiences, struggles, and the challenges overcome. Our hope is that the stories told through these murals provide a chance to connect, emphasize, and inspire,” Emberly said.

Over the past five years, the number of Shaw employees and leaders participating in the Calgary Pride Parade has continued to increase, reflecting a work environment where people feel they can be their authentic selves.

“Authentic allyship is when we take action to not only recognize, but to also celebrate the breadth of diversity and voice that is reflected in the Pride movement. This collaboration very purposefully does just that,” said Parker Chapple, Executive Director, Calgary Pride. “We are especially grateful for the support of our friends at Shaw for their continued commitment to exemplifying allyship in this project, and every single day, all year round.”

“It’s a wonderful thing when arts organizations and corporate partners like Shaw join forces to enable the power of art, to bring our diverse community together and celebrate, even at a time when we have to keep a bit of distance between us,” said Patti Pon, President and CEO, Calgary Arts Development. “We are still able to share unity in celebration, and that’s what really matters.”

“The City of Calgary is proud to partner with Shaw, Calgary Pride and Calgary Arts Development in giving these artists such a powerful and appropriate way to celebrate our city’s Pride amid truly unprecedented circumstances,” said Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor for Ward 9.

The following is a description of each piece, provided by the artists:

  • These Boots Are Made For Struttin’ by Cory Bugden (He/Him) and Sarah Lamoureux (She/Her): “If you’re familiar with the movie/musical smash-hit Kinky Boots then you know that shoes are one of the ultimate forms of expression. From eight-inch glittering platform heels to a pair of tennis shoes that are one hole away from falling apart, we wear our heart on our heels. The concept uses drawing of all different kinds of footwear in motion, in all colours of the rainbow. These boots are made for struttin’ — towards social change, towards a better world, towards safe places for humans in the LGBTQ2SIA+ and BIPOC communities, towards acceptance, towards true expression of oneself.”
  • Signal Grounder by AJA Louden (He/Him) and Nicole Wolf (She/Her): “Our work centres around advocacy, inclusion, and aiding systemic change. This work is inspired by a quote from the self-described ‘black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,’ Audre Lorde. Lorde spoke and wrote potently about the meaning of ‘difference’ and the power of listening. In expressive type, we’ve drawn on her timeless words, ‘I learned so much from listening to people. And all I knew was, the only thing I had was honesty and openness.’ Her quote is a declaration of welcome to every visitor to Memorial Park, as it acknowledges the bravery of the LGBTQ2SIA+ and BIPOC communities and issues a challenge to every Calgarian to listen to underrepresented and marginalized voices without pretense or judgement.”
  • Discípulos de Amor by Wilmer Aburto (He/Him) and Colin Menzies (He/Him): A collaboration between photographer (Aburto) and multi-disciplinarian artist (Menzies) focused on the representation of POC, Queer and Femme identities. These voices and experiences are so often erased, silenced, or pushed to the background, that the artists felt very strongly that the stories captured in their work provide a representation that has been missing in Calgary. “As public art, these images can reach an audience that can relate to the visuals,” Aburto says. “This is the reason that in my practice and career that I value art as an important tool for social change. I trust that these images have the potential to contribute to the experience of not just queer people of colour, but for everyone.”
  • Lone, United by Mike Hooves (They/Them): “Using an object that carries a Calgarian essence via its roots in cowboy culture and its symbolism in Calgary’s queer history, Lone, United places the Lone Ranger mask into a unique historical context. ‘To be present (at that 1990 gathering) but keep their identities safe, Lone Ranger masks were distributed amongst attendees. They served as a symbol for the lack of safety existing (at the time) for queer people legally, institutionally and culturally. Using all the colours from the Pride flag, I wanted to create a colourful depiction of the masks, intertwined with ribbon to represent the link shared amongst those who marched together, and the link shared by queer people to those who broke ground for Pride to exist.’”

Calgary Pride 2020 features over 200 LGBTQ2SIA+ artists, a free learning series with over 100 workshops, #OurPride community partner events, daily happy hour entertainment leading up to Parade Day, and 11 hours of jam-packed entertainment on Sept. 6, all reimagined to take place virtually.

Events will be live on Calgary Pride’s website at calgarypride.ca/live and streamed on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Twitch.

About Shaw
Shaw Communications Inc. is a leading Canadian connectivity company. The Wireline division consists of Consumer and Business services. Consumer serves residential customers with broadband Internet, Shaw Go WiFi, video and digital phone. Business provides business customers with Internet, data, WiFi, digital phone and video services. The Wireless division provides wireless voice and LTE data services through an expanding and improving mobile wireless network infrastructure.

Shaw is traded on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and is included in the S&P/TSX 60 Index (Symbol: TSX – SJR.B, SJR.PR.A, SJR.PR.B, NYSE – SJR, and TSXV – SJR.A). For more information, please visit www.shaw.ca

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shaw Communications Inc.
Chethan Lakshman, VP, External Affairs
(403) 930-8448
chethan.lakshman@sjrb.ca

 

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Criss Bellini Art Fans Urge for Pop-Up Gallery – E! NEWS

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Since the brand’s launch in 2020, Bellini’s sales have skyrocketed, selling over $1 million in its first year and exceeding its sales in 2021, in 2022, with over 2 million sales in euros. Seeing this, it is clear that art sales are booming, and people want to see more of his unique pieces.

However, because Bellini’s website is the only place to view and purchase his art, the public has begun to request a gallery or a pop-up gallery where they can go visit Bellinis’ work and see it for themselves.

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Wish you could set fire to the last 3 years? A huge flaming art installation is coming to Toronto – CBC.ca

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3D digital rendering of The Burn, an art installation. Visible is a brassy dodecahedron adorned with perforated patterns. It appears to glow from within and floats above still dark water.
Rendering of The Burn, 2023. (Javid JAH)

What if you could just set fire to the past? Would you feel liberated — free to start fresh in 2023, flush with feelings of love and peace and other things you could file under positive vibes?

The City of Toronto launched an interactive art project last Thursday called The Burn, a seven-week initiative that aims to offer a moment of respite in the wake of COVID-19, and it comes to a climax on March 11 — the third anniversary of the pandemic. 

On that date, a monumental art installation will go up at Nathan Phillips Square, and the centrepiece involves three towering steel sculptures that’ll be set aflame for 24 hours — fires that will keep on burning with a little help from the public, who’ll be invited to add bits of (supplied) wood to the blaze.

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It’s a scenario that sounds significantly more thoughtful and controlled to hear Roger Mooking describe it. Mooking is the lead creative on the project, and he talks about The Burn as a chance to heal and grow as a collective. In short, it’s bigger than an all-day bonfire. 

Mooking says he began thinking about the work in 2021, prompted by the “overwhelming melancholy” of lockdown. “I recognized that I was not the only one, that we were in this kind of collective consciousness globally, and we all needed to heal,” he tells CBC Arts. And with The Burn, he’s inviting Torontonians to actively begin that healing process. 

The first phase of the project is already underway, and involves a series of interactive sculptures — significantly smaller vessels than the ones that’ll go up at Nathan Phillips Square. They’re being stationed at public sites around the GTA as part of a tour that launched Jan. 19 in three locations: Fort York National Historic Site, the Toronto Zoo and Twist — Mooking’s restaurant at Toronto Pearson International Airport. 

Here he is, testing it out in Terminal 1.

As of writing, people can find The Burn at three new sites through Feb. 1: Spadina Museum, Native Canadian Centre and the Market Gallery at St. Lawrence Market.

“We want to make sure that we’re hitting every corner of the GTA: north, east, south, west, central — all the nooks and crannies,” says Mooking. Twenty-one locations are currently scheduled for the tour, and a full map and schedule can be found through the city’s website. 

Through March 11, visitors will find metallic dodecahedrons at different destinations — sculptures created by local artist Javid JAH. And under each sculpture is a bowl of wooden balls: spheres the size of marbles that have been carved out of cedar. 

Photo of a brassy dodecahedron adorned with perforated ornate designs. It's mounted on a wooden stick. A wood bowl full of small wooden spheres rests below the polyhedron. In the background, two step-and-repeats printed with extensive instructions for how to engage with the artwork, are visible.
Find vessels like this one throughout the GTA. This shot was taken during The Burn’s install at Fort York National Historic Site. (CBC Arts)

Take a ball, and you’ll be asked to stop and think — to sit with your feelings, really. In the language of The Burn, you’ll be “setting an intention.” Is there something weighing on you: an emotion you wish you could change or simply set free? Once you’ve identified that feeling, you’re asked to drop your ball inside the sculpture. It’s a moment for “letting go,” so to speak. 

“People are carrying so many things, especially coming through this COVID time,” says Mooking. “It’s a very simple thing … that can be very, very emotional.”

A multihyphenate known for his success as a chef, TV personality (Man Fire Food), and musician (Bass is Base), Mooking’s presented participatory art projects for the city before. Just last August, to coincide with Emancipation Month programming at Toronto history museums, he launched Read(In), an interactive installation that also appeared in multiple locations throughout the GTA. 

To bring The Burn to life, project curator Umbereen Inayet connected him with collaborators JAH (who designed and produced the installation’s ornate sculptural elements) and artist Catherine Tammaro, a Wyandot Elder who served as an advisor, particularly concerning the project’s spiritual bent. Says Mooking: “There’s a deep history of Indigenous cultures using fire and water for cleansing and preservation and healing, so we needed that guidance to make sure that we were respecting that tradition.”

The wooden balls collected at each tour site will eventually fuel the fire on March 11, and Mooking says those attending the activation at Nathan Phillips Square will also have the opportunity to set an intention. At the big event, visitors will send their cedar spheres down a chute, directly into the flames. And when the fire’s extinguished, all the ash that’s left behind will be collected for use in city gardens. “We’re really trying to emulate the cycle of life: from the spark to the ash,” says Mooking. “We’re looking to carry the spiritual intentions from everybody in the city to fortify our Earth.”

The city says it will be announcing more public projects that respond to COVID’s impact on residents. Like The Burn, they’re part of a program called Stronger Together that launched in late November. More programming is expected to be revealed in February.

In the first few days of The Burn’s cross-city tour, Mooking says he was receiving reports from the participating venues. Folks are interacting with the sculptures already, he says. “It’s been cathartic, I hope. … I can’t wait to see how much healing we’re able to do when we really roll out the full scale of this at Nathan Phillips Square.”

Full event details, including a map of The Burn’s tour locations, can be found on the project’s website.

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Art is everywhere this weekend

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Saturday, Jan. 28

2023 ArtsEverywhere Festival

Multiple locations; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

From film screenings to drag brunches and book fairs, the free annual festival has something for everyone. Learn more here.

Winterstock

Royal City Studios; 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Join Royal City Studios for a live music tribute to Woodstock 1969; attendees are encouraged to wear their best 60s style clothes. Get tickets here.

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Music Weekends

Western Burgers & Steaks; 2:00 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The genre-bouncing Probable Cause will perform live at The Western, pay-by-donation. Doors open at 2 p.m., show starts at 2:30.

Sunday, Jan. 29

2023 ArtsEverywhere Festival

River Run Centre; 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The last day of the free festival features a lecture and a film screening, both at the River Run Centre. Learn more here.

Music Weekends

Onyx Nightclub; 2p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join SHEBAD for their live concert at Onyx. It’s family-friendly and pay-by-donation. Doors open at 2 p.m., show starts at 2:45.

OHL Hockey

2 p.m.: Guelph Storm vs. Sudbury Wolves, Sleeman Centre

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