News / Calgary

Alberta civic election campaigns get creative

Scott McKeen, a Ward 6 candidate in Edmonton’s upcoming municipal election, doesn’t have a campaign office.

Instead, he has a campaign gallery.

Earlier this summer, McKeen and his team took over the former space of Agnes Bugera Gallery on Jasper Avenue and 123 Street.

“What I said to the campaign team was, ‘It’s great, I love it, I want it, but if we’re going to do it we have to make sure we really use it well,’” said McKeen.

Using the space well meant displaying photographs and paintings from Edmonton artists on the gallery’s walls.

McKeen is looking for more artwork from Edmonton artists and said he would especially love to display the work of Ward 6 artists.

In addition to hosting events in the space, McKeen plans to open his campaign gallery’s doors to the public during the noon hour starting in September.

“People can drop by,” he said. “They can just have a look at the art. They don’t have to look at the candidate if they don’t want to.”

McKeen isn’t the only Albertan seeking municipal office who is creatively using art to engage voters. Gian-Carlo Carra, a Calgary alderman who is seeking re-election in Ward 9, has added an artist-in-residence to his campaign team.

Cartoons by Calgary artist Sam Hester are being posted on her website and Carra’s site throughout the election.

“Using the medium of the cartoon strip creates a level of accessibility that I think is really important,” said Carra.

In her first comic strip as Carra’s artist-in-residence, Hester said the position would be “a cool opportunity to use art to get Calgarians more interested in the civic process.”

“We have to be creative, even in civic politics.” –Scott McKeen, Ward 6 candidate

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