The LoveisLoveisLove Campaign Transforms Ottawa City Hall For Pride
There’s a new queer art installation coming to the nation’s capital…
Coinciding with Capital Pride, Ottawa City Hall is hosting a large-scale art installation produced by the Toronto-based LoveisLoveisLove campaign. The installation is a combination of several large-scale banners, which feature sentimental images of the queer community, and a 20-foot “Marvellous Mobile Mural.” The mural includes educational material about basic LGBTQ+ issues, such as the distinction between sex and gender or what it means for gender to be fluid. The installation, which is sponsored by Meridian Credit Union, will launch at Capital Pride’s street festival before living in City Hall for several weeks.
The project is part of an effort to foster empathy for LGBTQ+ rights among greater society, says LoveisLoveisLove’s founder, Adam Zivo. “We’re seeing a global backslide on public opinion on LGBTQ+ rights, and so engaging the public with friendly, educational material is more critical than ever,” Zivo says, adding, “While Canada is a global leader on human rights, a recent survey showed that only two thirds of Canadians support gay marriage, from which we can infer that there’re major segments of society still to be won over. Entrenching and expanding support for our rights requires persistent, strategic engagement.”
LoveisLoveisLove’s past installations have also taken this approach, whether through similarly transforming Toronto’s City Hall, or launching a “Big Gay Bus “as a mobile educational centre, or putting travelling art installations in Toronto’smore socially-conservative suburbs. The campaign is, if anything, consistent with its messaging.
If fostering empathy is the goal, then it’s good news that the project enjoys the support of the city’s local politicians and business leaders. Ottawa’s Mayor, Jim Watson, who recently made headlines for coming out of the closet himself, believes that “This is an opportunity, particularly during Pride week, to celebrate the unsung heroes who have fought for equality and respect for same-sex couples, and to thank those pioneers that came before us.” Councillor Catherine McKenney, who for years was the only openly-LGBTQ+ representative on Ottawa City Council, added, “As a queer woman, I bring my family here and I work here every day, and it’s really nice to see ourselves, our types of families, reflected in art in such a public space.”
When asked where the campaign will grow from here, Zivo responded, “Honestly, who knows? Each year is a bit of a surprise, and new opportunities come up all the time. We’re launching a scholarship very soon, but, beyond that and a commitment to getting inclusive content to broad audiences, it’s a blank slate. That kind of flexibility has helped us in the past, and it’s exciting to know that anything could happen next year.”