Orca Chief hits book stands

Roy Henry Vickers provides artwork for book by Victoria author Robert (Lucky) Budd

Roy Henry Vickers depicts the warriors being sucked into the Orca Chief’s whirlpool after he discovers the hunters have damaged the sea floor.

Victoria author Robert (Lucky) Budd is gearing up for a reading at Sir James Douglas elementary school this week. It’s all part of the launch of his third collaboration with artist and fellow storyteller Roy Henry Vickers.

“That’s important to us, the kids love it when we read to them,” said Budd. He also recently read Cloudwalker to students at Willows elementary. Before that, a visit at Juan de Fuca library sparks the memory of an ideal response for the author.

“One kid put up his hand and said, ‘Why is that story so awesome?’ That pretty much made my day,” Budd said.

Vickers, an Oak Bay High grad and inductee to the school’s Distinguished Fine Arts Alumni program, tells the tale of Orca Chief as told to him through traditional oral history. That tale, crafted into the final tale in partnership with Budd, features 19 original artworks.

“[Vickers] always says these books are for kids 1 to 100. When you read it as a five-year-old it will be very different from what you get when you’re 10 or 30. There are so many layers of stories … there’s so much depth.”

Orca Chief shares an ancient fable about respect. Thousands of years ago in the village of Kitkatla, four hunters leave home in the spring to harvest seaweed and sockeye salmon. When Orca Chief discovers the hunters have damaged the sea floor with their anchor, he sends his brave orca warriors to fetch the men. Miles beneath the waves the hunters ask the ancient leader for forgiveness, apologizing for their lack of respect for Orca’s shining kingdom of sea stars, silvery schools of fish and vibrant coral reefs.

“I’m so proud of that book. When the idea first hit me we were going to do these books, that’s the one I was most excited about. I  knew it was going to be underwater and I knew the imagery would be so powerful,” Budd said. “My expectations for this particular With the first in the series, Raven Brings the Light released in 2013, they sold the entire first edition in three weeks.

Last year they added Cloudwaker. Orca Chief is the third in the series and Storyteller, the art of Roy Henry Vickers 2004 to 2014, rounds out their partnership of four books over the past three years.

“Forty years ago there’s no way we would be able to put out these stories. Now there’s an acceptance to the knowledge of First Nations people – the popularity of these books really speaks to that,” Budd said.

Vickers and Budd offer an evening of storytelling and art, to celebrate the third instalment in the bestselling Northwest Coast Legends series on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. at the Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates St. in Victoria.

“We’ve had a couple innovations in this book,” Budd said, noting a hidden baby orca in each image of the tale and online content outlined in the back of the book, including the oral histories as told by storyteller Vickers at his Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino.  “They’re oral histories, they’re meant to be heard.”

Orca Chief is available at Ivy’s Books in Oak Bay, where there happen to be a few signed copies on hand.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island dance classes billed as female empowerment tool

New Comox Valley business focuses on ‘promoting positive body image’

Duncan’s Big Stick lights up red to signal COVID’s devastation of the arts

“COVID-19 has been truly devastating to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre”

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

From Nanoose Bay to the bookshelf, Howard the Gnome now a children’s book

Vancouver Island author explores Howard’s move down-Island

Nanaimo country singer releases new music video

‘Adrenaline’ is the second single from Joel Lee’s upcoming debut EP

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Hospice worker and patient butt heads in upcoming Nanaimo theatre production

Yellow Point Drama Group presents ‘Grace and Glorie’ at Cedar Community Hall

Art+Earth Festival gets growing this weekend

Find out what events are in-person and what’s happening online

Film about missing and murdered indigenous women makes Nanaimo debut

A mother and daughter search for answers in Sonia Bonspille Boileau’s ‘Rustic Oracle’

Nanaimo’s Harbour City Photography Club goes virtual to adapt to COVID-19

Club’s exhibitions, meetings and presentations are now occurring online

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Three Nanaimo-area writers up for CBC non-fiction prize

Sheila Brooke, Vicki McLeod and Rachael Preston make 35-person longlist

Most Read