On the day before Alberta's provincial elections which take place on April 16th 2019, workers from Alberta's oil industry once again took to the streets to protest the Federal Governments lack action. It was a huge turnout that marched down Stephen Ave (8th St SW) and gathered outside city hall where speakers from CanadaAction.ca and other action groups called for further action to get the pipeline built and to protest Bill C-69. The large crowd was vocal and sang the now familiar "build that pipe, build that pipe" and waved banners demanding the federal government take action to protect Canada's future and to protect oil industry jobs. Mark Schultz, of the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, asked those in the crowd to make their voices heard in Tuesday’s provincial election. “Get out to vote, we need your support, because energy policy matters,” he said via a megaphone. The crowd responded with loud cheers and more cries of “build that pipe”. Tuesday’s election is going to be very interesting with a lot riding on the result for a lot of people.
Street photography in Calgary always delivers the unexpected and today (April 13 2019) was no different. Rabbits, fashion, homeless lovers and people with different political agendas were just a few of the things I captured during todays walkabout.
My first capture of the day we a guy called Haithem who stood out like a beacon dressed in his bright floresent Orange coat. It turns out that Libyan born, Toronto mentored, Haithem is a source of international style and creator of KaaDiki fashions. A graduate of the International Academy of Design in Toronto his collections focus on mixing traditional men's wear construction techniques with contemporary silhouettes that have a well-proportioned and fashionable appearance.
Next up and in total contrast to Haithem was David a homeless guy who was just passing through Calgary on his way back to his home city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. David had been wintering in Vancouver where its a lot warmer. He told me that he'll be hanging around in Calgary to make a few bucks off the spring tourists before heading home.
It's not every day you come across a man walking his rabbit but in Calgary anything is possible. Meet Stephen and Harriet Houdini his escapologist rabbit! Stephen told me that he had been performing his rabbit escape act for ten years. Harriet was now retired and was enjoying her new found freedom.
My final street portrait was of homeless lovers Tom and Lady Hawk who were laughing and joking with each other when I stopped and asked to take their portrait. They were sat on one of the many benches on 8th Ave the main tourist road that runs the length of the Downtown core. I noticed that Lady Hawk was wearing a leg cast and she explained that she had broken her leg after slipping on the ice while dancing with her partner Tom. She went on to say that maybe next winter she'd be more careful and not dance outside again.
Finally, I came across a few yellow vest protesters who were picketing a local venue where one of the NDP candidates in this months (April 2019) provincial elections was holding an event. The whole affair was noisy but friendly, with both sides chanting and shouting. On balance I think the yellow vests were the louder of the two groups but a heavy police presence was standing by to ensure nothing got out of hand.
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