Energy mega-project expected to draw multiple perspectives and responses

A group of artists at UBC’s Okanagan campus is launching a contest for people to have their say about the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The contest is open to everyone – throughout BC, across Canada or anywhere in the world – to enter the People on the Pipeline Contest with a video (maximum three minutes long) expressing their view of the proposed mega-project in northern BC. The winner of the best video will win $1,000 and there are categories for teens and kids as well.

“We have been watching the communication strategy around the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline with interest,” says Nancy Holmes, associate professor in creative writing in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS).

“Enbridge’s ads are everywhere and the amount of money being spent to present one side of the debate is scary,” Holmes says of the company behind the $6.5-billion energy project.  “So we decided to give others a chance to express their points of view. A contest is a great way for people to do this.”

Along with the launch of the contest, UBC Okanagan’s Eco Art Incubator is unveiling a gallery on the People on the Pipeline website,  that provides details and links to a variety of artworks that have been created in response to the pipeline.

The website gallery is an intrinsic part of the project. “We are displaying all the artworks that we can find that have addressed the Northern Gateway pipeline – gathering these grassroots’ expressions in one place,” says Denise Kenney, assistant professor of performance and one of the leads on the project.  Research for the gallery was done by master of fine arts graduate student Emily Nilsen.

Kenney also directed and appears in We Can’t Hear You! a two-minute video that announces the contest on the People on the Pipeline website.  The video was created in collaboration with Holmes, Creative Studies staff member and videographer, Joanne Gervais, and other FCCS faculty members.

Entries can focus on any aspect of the Northern Gateway pipeline. Researchers are inviting multiple perspectives to create an opportunity for responses that go beyond mainstream messaging and advertising.

Along with a $1,000 first prize, there will be a $500 people’s choice award – so people can vote for their favorite video.  There is also a $250 award for best teen entry, and a $250 award for best kid’s entry. Deadline for entries is July 15, 2014.

This contest is organized under the auspices of The Eco Art Incubator and is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research initiative at UBC’s Okanagan campus. More information: