‘Why Is This Happening?’


By Heather White

The Wild Oat Café in the Glebe is hosting an eclectic art exhibit from July 1 to 31. The show asks: Why is this happening? Why, without our consent, is environmental devastation of local communities ongoing?

This question comes to mind when a thousand trees and 53 acres of Ottawa’s greenspace are being destroyed at the Central Experimental Farm, when 25,000 trees were mown down for the Tewin development project in Carlsbad Springs and when the Hunt Club Forest is under continuous threat. At every turn, nature is being threatened, crowded or destroyed for profit.

In this small group show, you will see appreciative images of natural beauty reflecting earth’s richness and mystery. You’ll also be reminded of how it is being destroyed.

Eleven Ottawa artists from Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia have come together to create this exhibit. Our artworks express a range of emotions: reverence for the wonder of nature, acknowledgement of our need to protect what remains, grief over what’s lost and anger about how it continues to be stolen. Some pieces are rebellious art while others express love and a need to protect.

It is brave and necessary to face the climate crisis. We are attempting to do this through art. Our collective effort encourages us to reflect again on the state of the environment and to do what we can in our day-to-day lives to make a difference.

We invite you to drop by the Wild Oat Café at 819 Bank Street in July and take a look.


Heather White is one of a group of local artists expressing concern about climate change and ensuing environmental issues through artistic expression. She is a long-time Glebe resident who taught school and raised her family here.

Tangled Canoes, by Maria Gomez Umana

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