In a moment of crisis for the subarctic town of Churchill, Manitoba, Kal Barteski brings together artists from around the world to paint massive murals on the town’s neglected buildings, to bring hope and awareness.
Know I’m Here is documentary that follows artist Kal Barteski as she organizes a massive art project in the subarctic town of Churchill, Manitoba. Motivated by the closing of the town’s port, the loss of jobs, and effects of climate change, Kal invites 18 artists from around the world to paint murals as a way of helping the community.
But, those goals become tested.
Just days before the art festival, an unexpected crisis strikes. Spring floods wash out the rail line and cut off Churchill’s lifeline to the south. Getting food and supplies becomes a daily challenge. The American company that owns the rail is in a stand off with the Canadian government. The remote community becomes trapped and more isolated than ever.
As the town deals with stresses and looks for solutions, Kal and the artists work to create and do what great art does: offer recognition and reflect a particular moment in time. These massive works of art transform the landscape and bring hope and recognition to a community feeling forgotten.
You can learn more about the festival organizers and find the full list of the artists involved on the SeaWalls Churchill website.
The SeaWalls Churchill festival was a massive volunteer effort, coordinated and curated by Kal Barteski, in cooperation with PangeaSeed Foundation, a large community of talented artists, generous partners, dedicated volunteers, and of course the Town of Churchill itself.
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The town of Churchill has a long history in the story of Canada, including scientific research, military training, the Hudson's Bay Company. Polar bears and beluga whales visit every year in the unique ecology where the boreal forest meets the Arctic tundra and the Hudson Bay. The Hudson Bay railway was built between the two world wars, connecting Churchill to the rest of the province and opening new possibilities with Canada's only mainland deepwater Arctic port.
KAL BARTESKI is a Canadian artist with a love for Churchill, Manitoba. Passionate about polar bears, sea ice and environmental health, she is the coordinator and curator of SeaWalls CHURCHILL. The creator of the POLAR BEAR FUND, she likes her coffee black and her projects meaningful.
"SeaWalls Churchill was created with the intention to educate and inspire a community to protect the oceans, but what transpired was more powerful than that. It was the story of a devastated small town on the edge of the Arctic being reminded of their own value and worthiness in this world."
Closure of Canada's only deepwater mainland Arctic port may pose a problem
The fallout of the massive storm that dumped several feet of snow in northern Manitoba continues to disrupt services in Churchill.
OmniTrax says the future of the track could be in jeopardy, suspension could last until next spring
Train to Churchill, Man. suspended ‘indefinitely’ after flooding damage
Federal government says airport, seaport will pick up slack
Murals by international artists in Churchill festival offer welcome relief for anxious, exhausted residents of battered, bruised northern town
Repairs would cost up to $10M and enable supplies to get to northern Manitoba community over the winter
Ottawa, Omnitrax accuse each other of stall tactics
The case between Omnitrax and the federal government comes as negotiations to buy the line continue
Churchill a Unique, Valuable Asset: Friesen
One year after the rail line wash out was announced, the documentary had a special home-town premier in the Churchill Theatre.
One year after the SeaWalls Churchill festival began, the documentary had a Winnipeg premier showing to a sold-out crowd at CMHR.
Churchill residents gave standing ovation for company owners during meeting on Tuesday
'Our hearts are just filled with joy':
1st train in over a year arrives in Churchill
Community's lifeline had been severed by flood damage in May 2017
1st rail cars in over a year arrived in northern community Wednesday night