Media release – Calgary artists with disabilities launch art exhibit on basic income

For Immediate Release

September 17, 2020


Calgary artists with disabilities launch art exhibit on basic income

Calgary – Ten artists representing the Disabled, Deaf, and Mad are sharing their perspectives on basic income through drawings, paintings, and photographs during International Basic Income Week. 

The artists’ work will debut on Friday Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in an online exhibit titled Basic Income Through The Lens of the Disabled, Deaf and Mad, that will be accompanied by a virtual evening discussion with the artists. The diverse exhibit brings together talented Calgary artists who each created a piece of artwork inspired by the principles of basic income in addition to a limited edition collaborative print to be unveiled during the gallery opening.  

“COVID-19 has more people than ever before thinking and talking about a basic income,” says  Colleen Huston, Co-ordinator and artist from the Disability Action Hall and member of Basic Income Calgary. “This includes more than 75,000 artists, who have signed an open letter calling on Canada’s government to create a national basic income strategy. We knew it was important for Calgary artists with disabilities to be a part of this conversation, a population who have yet to benefit from federal and most provincial emergency COVID-19 responses. We felt art was a logical way to draw attention to a basic income that includes everyone.”

The exhibit was spearheaded by Basic Income Calgary, which has advocated for a basic income since 2017. Full biographies for all the artists involved can be found online. After the artwork is unveiled on Friday evening, it can be viewed on the Basic Income Calgary website and copies of the pieces will be sent to federal and provincial politicians in an effort to continue making the case for a national, universal basic income.



“CERB will soon be discontinued and a basic income would be a broad safety net for many people allowing them to live with dignity, less stress and to be able to contribute to their communities.” – Penny Gunderson, artist

“Even if all of the other sources of income disappear, chances are basic income would stay. It’s like a safety net for the economy and a safety net for people who feel uncertain about their future.” –  Mary Salvani, artist

“Study after study has shown that a basic income works, it makes sound economic sense. Research and testimonies indicate that a basic income is the step-up that people need, it gives people the freedom to build better lives for themselves and their families,” says Lee Stevens, Policy and Research Specialist at Vibrant Communities Calgary. “With CERB coming to an end, it’s time Canada moves beyond pilots and builds on the lessons learned. It’s now, more important than ever, that Canada take action and develop a national basic income strategy that works for everyone.”


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