Blacklisted by Harper? Get out the Noise-Makers!

by Franke James

Yes, because the best way to fight shadowy blacklisting is to get noisy, have fun, and tell lots of people. So, to help spread the word, I’m hosting a Blacklisting Party.

I’ve invited about 100 people to my Blacklisting Party (read the backstory at the end). And since the reason I’ve been blacklisted is for my environmental art, I’ve whipped up a few new pieces to illustrate my dilemma.

blacklisting giclee and who's the idiot poster

Oh — and remember that artwork that was destined to go to Europe to tour 20 cities, but got bannedWell, banned art is the perfect backdrop for my Blacklisting Party! Here are two canvases from my story, ‘What can one person do?’

Two canvases from 'What can one person do?' by Franke James at her home in Toronto

Below are three “contentious” canvases from Fat Cat Canada’s Giant Litter Box and my 2008 Dear Prime Minister essay. Who knew that asking for polluters to pay would get the Harper Government in such a fury?? I thought I lived in a free country, where people were allowed to criticize the government!

Three canvases by Franke James at her home in Toronto

Which is a great segue to announce that Jim Harris, author of Blindsided, and former leader of the Green Party of Canada, and Toby HeapsEditor-in-Chief at Corporate Knights Magazine, will join me in saying a few words about free speech, freedom of expression, and Harper’s growing Blacklist Club.

Jim Harris, Toby Heaps, Franke James

 And afterwards, guests can look at my art while enjoying Steam Whistle beer, or sipping Frog Pond Farm organic wine, and tasting Front Door Organics’ cheese and crackers. All local companies who stepped up to the plate to act as sponsors.  Delish! (Below are Dino, Deepak and Darwin giclees.)

Dino, Deepak and Darwin giclees by Franke James, hang at her home in Toronto

And if the guests are curious they can read my two books, and ponder the mystery of why a woman who wouldn’t even build a green driveway without getting permission from City Hall, could get on the Harper Government’s blacklist by asking for more pollution taxes!

Dear Prime Minister and Bothered By My Green Conscience by Franke James

Parker Brothers Clue, old game

And just like playing an old-fashioned game of “CLUE”, I hope the 100 guests can help me identify possible suspects… Who was the Canadian official who was so offended by my “Dear Prime Minister” essay that he exploded bombastically with…“Who’s the IDIOT who approved of an artshow by THAT woman, Franke James?” And ordered the Canadian Embassy in Croatia not to offer any support? Hmmmm…

Because that phrase, “Who’s the idiot?” has been very inspirational…

Bowl of buttons: Who's the idiot who blacklisted Franke James

Who was the idiot who blacklisted me???

blacklisting button

Thanks to everyone who is supporting my efforts to shed a bright light on this blacklisting. (Special thanks to Loudsauce and the 82 people who stepped forward and funded my art billboard in Ottawa. More on that later…)

Because it’s a slippery slope… Canadians as a rule are generally polite and don’t want to upset the status quo. But Canadian democracy is at risk if citizens are afraid to speak out. We all need to speak up for free speech and the right to actively engage — and even disagree — with our government.

Political apathy is the enemy. As the Irish statesman Edmund Burke said…

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I welcome your suggestions on how to best tackle this problem. You can email me: [franke at], follow me on Twitter, leave a comment below — or do all of the above.

“Blacklisted by Harper? Get out the Noise-Makers!” writing and images copyright 2011, Franke James.

Thanks to our sponsors:

sponsors: Steam Whistle, Front Door Organics, Frog Pond Farm

Steam Whistle Beer
Front Door Organics
Frog Pond Farm Winery

Related Blacklisting Posts by Franke James:

August 17th: Blacklisting Makes News in Ottawa (And beyond)
“More than 20 articles have appeared in major media, blogs and environmental websites since news of my blacklisting broke on July 25th. See some of the news articles.”

August 2nd: Silenced in Europe, Franke Gets Loud in Ottawa!
“My European show is cancelled, thanks to interference from Canada’s Harper Govt — which makes me mad. But I’m not going to let them silence me… I’ve decided some grassroots, guerilla tactics are in order…”

July 25th: Canadian Government Tries to Silence Franke James
“Who was the idiot who approved an art show by that woman, Franke James?”

34 Responses: 8 Comments and 26 Tweets

  • Daharja says:

    I just can’t believe that this can happen in a so-called free country. Oh, wait a minute….[checks which countries border Canada]…yes I can :-(


    Fight on, Franke!

  • Steve Caunce says:

    I overheard two workmen talking while they moved out the Gagnon paintings, and I think I may have found your culprit thanks to a PSAC whistleblower:
    (the link goes to my Facebook gallery)

  • Franke James says:


    You may have solved it…. that’s pretty strong evidence.


  • Pam Allard says:

    Dear Franke,
    Way to go! I’m so pleased and so very proud of you! Do you think that the billboard will be up in time for the Ottawa tar sands action?

  • Franke James says:

    Thanks! I really appreciate your comment. That would be ideal — but it’s so soon (end of Sept). Working with the billboard companies and getting just the right spot is going to take some time and shopping around.

  • Ben McCammon says:

    Hi Franke – Chris Chopik has invited me along to your blacklisting party. We met a couple years ago, the photoshoot for Green Living magazine. Looking forward to seeing you again!

  • Franke James says:


    Terrific! That was a terrific article. So glad to hear you’re coming (I invited a couple of people from Green Living Magazine.)

    Lots of literary, arts, and green people will be coming — no doubt people you’ll know.

    Thanks for your support!


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