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Calgary artists showcase work at U.N. climate change conference in Dubai

Some talented Calgary artists are looking forward to sharing their work with a large international audience.

It’s a chance to get their voices heard on a crisis that’s having a big impact all over the world.

Artists who create their work at the National accessArts Centre (NaAC) in southeast Calgary have been invited to be part of COP28, the U.N. Climate Change Conference, in Dubai.

“A lot of our artists have developmental disabilities, intellectual or learning disabilities,” NaAC’s Karly Mortimer said. “We also have folks with acquired disabilities, which could be from traumatic brain injuries, strokes, things like that.”

Pieces by NaAC artists will be on display at COP28, running from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, and a documentary on the centre will screen at the event.

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“This is a major platform, a huge international event,” Mortimer said. “To have the Centre represented there is big for disability arts.”

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NaAC artist David Oppong will be traveling to the Dubai conference and will have his work on display there.

“The reason why it’s important is that people can learn from it,” Oppong said.

The documentary on NaAC focuses on the organization’s growing concern for the environment.

“People with disabilities are much more vulnerable than other communities to climate change: it’s more difficult to evacuate them during forest fires, they’re more vulnerable to extreme heat,” Mortimer said. “This is an urgent issue and it’s affecting this community moreso that others, and we see that coming out in their artwork.”

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