Know I'm Here on Absolutely Manitoba

Polar bear artist Kal Barteski launches a massive art project in the subarctic town of Churchill, Manitoba in the midst of an unexpected crisis.

Artist Kal Barteski launches a massive art project in Churchill, Manitoba in the midst of an unexpected crisis

Artist Kal Barteski stands in front of her Churchill mural, painted on the side of the polar bear holding facility. (Handcraft Creative)

Know I'm Here
September 1, 2018
7 p.m. on CBC Manitoba

Polar bear artist Kal Barteski 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 the 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 and the Canadian government are in a stand-off. The remote community becomes trapped and more isolated than ever.

As townspeople deal with stresses and look for solutions, Kal and the artists work to create and do what all 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.

Directed by Elbert Bakker of Handcraft Creative

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