Tree recognized as “Most Sustainable” at the event

Amongst the glow of the trees lining the gallery at the Museum at Campbell River, you will find one created in the spirit of unity.

Called Namwiyutola, which means “To Become One” in Kwakwala, the tree is decorated with ornaments with designs created by the Campbell River Art Gallery’s Art Hive and and engraved by the team at Campbell River’s The UPS Store, owned by Sebastian Saez and Yumey Cuan.

“We wanted to showcase our newest service, laser engraving, by giving back to the people in our community who need it most,” said Saez. “We hope that the tree and beautiful ornaments will serve as a reminder that people from all walks of life, who may be struggling, possess amazing talents.”

Saez called the project a team effort, with UPS’ graphic designer Nigel Neufeld digitizing the Art Hive’s designs for the laser printer and the Art Hive cleaning the ornaments of residue and adding the finishing touches.

Members of The Art Hive put the final touches on laser-cut Christmas ornaments.

“Any opportunity to facilitate positive conversations around homelessness and substance use is one we value. This is part of our work to reduce stigma and misinformation, and to bring people together around art and our shared humanity,” said Lopez-Assu. “When we uplift each other, we succeed as a whole. We’re so grateful to the UPS Store for their help in bringing these values forward.”

Namwiyutola was recognized as the “Most Sustainable Tree” by the Festival of Trees judging committee. The festival is on at The Museum at Campbell River until Dec. 30. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday 12pm – 5pm. Attendees are encouraged to vote for their favourite tree, which will be recognized with the “People’s Choice” award at the end of December.

The ornaments created by the UPS Team and the Art Hive are available for sale at the festival as well as at the Campbell River Art Gallery’s Holiday Faire. The proceeds are shared between the contributing artists and the Gallery, supporting further Art Hive programming.

The Campbell River Art Gallery’s Holiday Faire is open until Dec. 23, Wednesday to Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm.

A supportive space for art, the Art Hive is also a place of connection for the unhoused community here in Campbell River. Once a week artist Nadine Bariteau facilitates an open studio at the gallery, focused on art-making workshops for people with experience of mental health and substance use and people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

Art Hive artists whose designs are featured on these ornaments are: John A. Sharkey, Charles Jules, Alex Mark Junior, Lisa Langlais, Jen, and Shawn Decaire.