This Article is part of the Tar Sands Reporting Project special report See the full report

Grimes rocks Tar Sands Reporting Project T-shirt at FYF fest concert

Photo from FYF Fest Facebook

Acclaimed musician and visual artist Grimes was seen sporting the Vancouver Observer's Tar Sands Reporting Kickstarter Project at the FYF Fest in Los Angeles yesterday. VO editors were thrilled.

The grey T-shirt was a reward for backing the crowd-funded project for one year of reporting on Canada's tar sands. The shirt was produced by Fairware, a Vancouver-based company for ethically sourced clothing and promotional products.

The shirts were individually folded and mailed out by the Vancouver Observer team this spring.

Grimes posted on her Tumblr blog that she'd received hers in Vancouver. 

Photo from Grimes' Tumblr

As a result of the Kickstarter project backed by Grimes and many others, the Vancouver Observer is reporting extensively on the human and social impact of Canada's rapid push for tar sands expansion. Recently, the Vancouver Observer was able to travel to Fort McMurray, Fort McKay and Fort Chipewyan to capture the voices of people whose lives are directly affected by oil and gas development. The stories were not black and white, and showed the complexity of an industry that has given much to nearby communities, while exacting a heavy toll on the air, land and water that people depend on and, thus, on public health.

Feather McDonald, a teenager and granddaughter of late chief Dorothy McDonald, in Fort McKay. Photo by Andrew S. Wright 

Jessie St. Laurant, a nurse with the Nunee Health Board in Fort Chipewyan. Photo by Andrew S. Wright. 

The Vancouver Observer has also, thanks to the Kickstarter funding, travelled  to Kitimat, where residents voted on the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Senior Reporter Mychaylo Prystupa reported on the door-knocking canvassers hired by Enbridge to persuade people to vote "Yes", and interviewed the town's mayor, who supported the project due to the promise of jobs and economic prosperity in her community. He also spoke to residents who felt the onslaught of oil tankers from the pipeline would threaten their way of life on the northern coast, which was teeming with whales, dolphins and sea lions.

The Vancouver Observer was one of the only media on the ground to cover the Kitimat vote result.

When the federal government's decision on the pipeline was announced in June, reporters were there to document the reaction on Vancouver's streets: 

A big thank you to Grimes and all supporters of the Tar Sands Reporting Project on behalf of everyone at the Vancouver Observer, and stay tuned for more to come. 

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