A unique art show is coming to the Saanich Peninsula.
The Community Arts Council is hosting the fourth-annual invitational First Nations and Metis Art Show and Sale, an art show that represents all the First Peoples designated by the government of Canada.
Held on traditional Coast Salish territory, the show will also host artists from the Mohawk, Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibway, Navajo, Inuit and Chickasaw Nations. This is the first time all of these groups will be represented in a continuous show, instead of a one-day exhibition.
More than 40 new and returning artists are expected to show their art, interact with the public and demonstrate their work. The diversity of art expressions will include: carving, weaving, prints, fabric art, drums, rattles, pottery, beading, leather work, painting, jewelry and more.
The show will include work from Charles Elliott and his son Chas, Chris Paul, Doug Lafortune, Frank Lewis, Charlene George, Robyn Kruger, Selena Aurica Bondoc, Virgil Sampson, Brian Clark, Rachel McFarland, Rande Cook, Carolyn Memnook, Victoria Pruden, Selena Aurica, Lynn Hemry, Carol Grenier, Jessica Bekker, Gloria Valencia, Stephanie Papik, and Kevin Brophy among others.
Order of B.C. recipient Charles Elliott’s studio on West Saanich Road is on the very land he was born and raised on. He built the studio seven years ago and now employs other carvers who help with his commissions.
Charles started making traditional Coast Salish art at just 11 years old, building tiny canoes out of cottonwood bark he found on the beaches around his family home. Now, with 48 years in the marketplace, Charles is as busy as ever — his shop is overflowing with commissions, from a 28-foot canoe destined for UVic to four “House Posts” custom-designed for the new Tsartlip Health Centre outside Brentwood Bay.
“These shows give exposure to artists, bring the community together and help to bridge cultures because people want to know the stories behind these pieces,” says Charles.
Charles has been coaching his son, Chas, in traditional Coast Salish artforms for the last three years. “I’ve always loved art. I’ve been surrounded by it,” says Chas, who carves small plaques and poles and paints “prints, lots and lots of prints.”
“It’s important for me to stay attached to the culture so we can teach others in the future, like my own kids,” says Chas. M
First Nations and Metis Art Show and Sale
Sept. 28 to Oct. 21
Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 4pm
Community Arts Council Gallery at Tulista Park (9565 Fifth, Sidney)