The door at the Maritime Heritage Centre with the Art Gala sign
A view of the Maritime Heritage Centre
Art on display for the auction
The Curtis Wilson Memorial Award
Fancy glasses and plates on a table set up for a party
Art on the wall at the Maritime Heritage Centre
A view of the bar at the Maritime Heritage Centre
Group posing on the red carpet at a gala
Group of six on the red carpet at the gala
A couple on the red carpet at a gala
Dancers performing at a dinner gala
Musicians playing piano and guitar
Group of 9 men on the red carpet at a gala
Three women posing at a table
People walking in parking lot with vintage cars
A could walking the red carpet at a gala
Two women posing on the red carpet at the gala
Plates of fancy food

For more photos of the event by Lime Soda Photography check out our Pixiset page.

Live Auction Artists

Curtis Wilson

Curtis was born, raised and lived in Campbell River. His family came from the four corners of the Kwakwaka’wakw territory. Mulidzas is the traditional name handed to Curtis Wilson during a family Potlatch held in 2001. 

Curtis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies from Malaspina University/College in 2002. He had been a part of the Laichwiltach Culture Group for many years and was very adamant about learning his culture and heritage. Curtis continued to teach the younger generations about the culture, songs and dances. Curtis was sketching and drawing in his teens, but never started learning how to carve until the late age of 18.  He learned to carve at a small shed built by his grandfather, Sam Henderson Sr., under the instruction of many of his uncles and cousins, from whom he adopted many of his techniques and styles. In the course of his artistic career, Curtis taught art at schools and got involved in many projects at the same time. In 2017, he was invited to the Nanaimo Art Gallery to feature his art in a show.

One of Curtis’ life goals was to learn as much about his culture and heritage, to expand his visions in art and also pass it on to the next generations.

Mulidzas – Curtis Wilson Award 
Curtis Wilson was an incredible artist and friend to all that knew him, he was well loved within the community and was on the CRAG’s Board of Directors for many years. Curtis was committed to his artistic practice and used his art and presence to uplift and bring together the community. In honour of, and to continue on this legacy, the CRAG will be introducing the Mulidzas – Curtis Wilson Award, a bi-annual award that will recognize a local artist who displays excellence in the arts and a distinct commitment to community service. This year at the 2022 Gala the CRAG will be auctioning off a set of Curtis’ prints donated to the gallery to fund the trust that will go along with the award, which will be presented for the first time at their 2024 Gala.

Auction items:
Sisiutl, print with certificate of authenticity, FMV $2,000

Curtis Wilson

Generations, limited edition 21/25 original signed print. $1,500

Curtis Wilson

Owl, print with certificate of authenticity. FMV $750.00

Curtis Wilson

The proceeds from these auction items will go toward the creation of the Mulidzas artist award  that will honour Wilson’s memory by supporting an artist that is deeply embedded in community and engaged in perpetuating culture and uplifting community.

Bill Henderson

Kwakwaka’wakw Master Carver Bill Henderson was born in 1950 and is a member of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation in Campbell River, BC. Bill is one of seventeen children born to the artist Sam Henderson and his wife, May Quocksister Henderson. Several of his siblings became artists, including his brothers Ernie, Dan, and Mark.  His father Sam was originally from Ba’as (Blunden Harbour), on the north coast, but after marrying May settled in Campbell River. Bill watched his father create carvings and other artworks from a young age and by the age of seven Bill had created his first piece, a small whale plaque for his first-grade teacher. When Bill reached his teen years he became more serious about his carving and at the age of nineteen he started to sell his work. Since then his skills have grown and he has kept his family’s traditional style of carving. Like his father Sam, Bill works directly on the wood. “I design from my head onto the log and carve.” Bill is also known for mixing his own signature acrylic colours that he uses for his masks, paddles, and carvings. Although Bill Henderson has carved many totem poles over the years, he is happiest working on masks. In 2008, after thirty-one years as a professional carver, Bill Henderson had his first solo exhibition at the Inuit Gallery in Vancouver.

Today Bill Henderson is a very respected Northwest Coast Master Carver that is passing his experience and skill on to the next generation of carvers. His masks, bowls, paddles, and other carvings are collected all over the world. We are very proud to represent Bill Henderson at Spirits of the West Coast Gallery.

Auction item:  Komokwa Mask: Guardian of the undersea world, red cedar, abalone inlay, 2022. FMV $8,800

Bill Henderson, 18” x 10”

Cole Speck

 (b. 1991) was raised on the Namgis reserve on Alert Bay, BC. Speck comes from a very strong cultural and artistic heritage. His great grandfather was the late Chief John Speck of the Tlowitsis, father of the late Henry Speck Sr. Cole is also the great grandson of the late Harry Hanuse of Mamalalaka.

As an apprentice of the late master carver Beau Dick, Speck continues to promote Kwakwaka’wakw culture through his practice and the knowledge gained from his mentor. He also apprenticed under master carver Wayne Alfred. Speck has a tremendous love and respect for his culture and he aspires to keep old traditions alive while allowing his contemporary style to emerge.

In 2010/11, Speck assisted in the making of the Pat Alfred Memorial pole, and in 2012, he was selected by Rande Cook to apprentice on a totem pole that was later installed in Holland as part of a Northwest Coast exhibit. He participated in “RezErect” at the Bill Reid Gallery in 2013, and in 2014 he took part in “Claiming Space” at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. Most recently, Speck performed and contextualized works on behalf of Beau Dick at Documenta 14.

Auction item: Portrait mask, wood, abalone, horsehair, 2022. FMV $5,000

Cole Speck, 32” x 17”

Sara Robichaud (née: McIntosh)

Sara Robichaud completed her Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Victoria in 2009 after receiving her BFA at Queen’s University in 1995.  She currently lives in Nanaimo, BC and teaches on Vancouver Island.

She has taught at the Surrey Art Gallery, the Vancouver Island School of Art and during her Masters, as a sessional instructor at the University of Victoria. Sara has been the Golden Certified Working Artist for Vancouver Mainland and Vancouver Island since 2006.

Robichaud’s work is rooted in formalist painting, engaging the viewer in an inquiry between the atmospheric and lyrical qualities of the form and the hard physicality of their material. Her process includes: staining, layering from chalky opaque paints to transparent saturated colours, taping / scraping viscous layers of heavy gel and using lace as a stencil. Enmeshed with personal life experiences, Sara explores generational feminine themes using an alluring and original visual language.

Sara is represented in Calgary at the Herringer Kiss Gallery and in Vancouver at Gallery Jones.

Sara’s work been exhibited nationally and at international art fairs in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles. It is also part of numerous private and public collections in North America and the Middle East.

Auction: Ossein 4, acrylic on large canvas FMV $18,800

Sara Robichaud, 6′ x 9′

Sonny Assu

Sonny Assu (Ligwiłda’xw of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 km away from his home ancestral home on Vancouver Island. Having been raised as your everyday average suburbanite, it wasn’t until he was eight years old that he discovered his Kwakwaka’wakw heritage. Later in life, this discovery would be the conceptual focal point that helped launch his unique art practice. 

Assu explores multiple mediums and materials to negotiate western and Kwakwaka’wakw principles of art-making. Often autobiographical, humorous, solemn and/or political, his diverse practice deals with the realities of being Indigenous in the colonial state of Canada.

Sonny received his BFA from the Emily Carr University in 2002 and was honoured with the University’s distinguished alumni award, the Emily Award, in 2006. In 2017 he successfully defended his MFA thesis exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery (We Come to Witness) for Concordia University. 

Assu received a BC Creative Achievement Award in First Nations Art in 2011, has been named a Laureate for the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL – Indigenous Art Awards in 2017, and is an Eiteljorg Contemporary Arts Fellowship recipient for 2021.

Sonny’s work has been accepted into The National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Eiteljorg Museum, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Guelph, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, The Seattle Art Museum, The Burke Museum, Audain Art Museum and in various other public and private collections across Canada, the United States and the UK.

 After living and working in Vancouver and Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal), he has settled with his family in ƛam̓atax̌ʷ (Campbell River, BC).

Auction item: Sonny Assu, Beachcomber 24” painted drum, FMV $4,000

Sonny Assu, 24″ diameter

Karver Everson

Karver Everson was born in Comox, BC in 1993 and named Gayustistalas – a name that once belonged to his father, Chief Rob Everson of the Gigal’gam Walas Kwagut from the Kwakwaka’wakw People. Influenced greatly by his family’s connection to their cultural heritage, Karver has always been eager to learn and uphold the cultural traditions of both his K’omoks and Kwakwaka’wakw ancestors. Karver’s passion for art began early in life and First Nations art forms made appearances in his drawings and pieces throughout his childhood and youth. It was when Karver decided to further his skills at art school that his First Nations paintings and drawings flourished.

As an artist in the early stages of his life and career, Karver’s history as a carver is relatively recent. In the Summer of 2013, Karver’s family was preparing to host a potlatch, and Karver was called on to create many ceremonial pieces for the family. He’s been carving almost every day since.

Karver has been blessed by the mentors in his life. He has worked under the tutelage of Kwakwaka’wakw master carvers Richard Hunt, Calvin Hunt, Mervyn Child, David Knox and Rande Cook. His uncle, Andy Everson, has also taught him to understand multiple facets of Northwest Coast art including rules of formline and design.

Karver has a Diploma of Fine Arts from North Island College. He recently completed his Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in 2020. He has recently completed his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Victoria.

Auction item: Perseverance, Yellow cedar, acrylic, 2020. FMV $1,500

Karver Everson, 28.5” diameter

Fiasco Glass (Bob McLeod and Shannon Proctor-McLeod)

Bob McLeod is a Campbell River based glass blower who often collaborates with his wife Shannon. 

Bob started learning about glass in 2004, and has been playing ever since. Bob has been to Red Deer College’s Summer School for the Arts twice, once on a British Columbia Glass Art Association scholarship.

We had seen glassblowing on television, but they always showed the end result and not very much of the process. We needed to see more and were fortunate enough to find a studio that would let us come and explore this exciting medium.

Shannon started playing with glass around 2006. Before that, she had attended art schools in Victoria and Vancouver, and has worked at the Campbell River Art Gallery as Acting-Curator, Programmer and Preparator.

Along the way we have had the privilege of working with several different glass artists, and have learned much from each of them.

Working out of our own studio, we revel in the immediacy of glass: once you start a piece, you have to finish it. There is no stopping for tea, or throwing a damp towel over it to resume another day. It needs to be done now. A stray drop of sweat, an errant breeze, a moment’s inattention while reheating can lead to disastrous results, or floor models, as we call them.

The wall hangings really came together when Shannon became intrigued by the problem of hanging such delicate pieces. Through trial and error, we came up with the system we have now. While Bob makes the individual components, it is her eye and imagination that completes each wall hanging, as she spends hours working on the arrangements and engineering easy reassembly.The wall hangings truly are a collaborative effort.

Auction Item: Vestige, metal and glass sculpture. FMV $3,000

Bob Mcleod, 14” x 21”

Sally Podmore

Sally is a self-taught artist living on Vancouver Island in Canada. Her abstracted impressionistic style has evolved in an ongoing conversation with her natural surroundings. Themes in Sally’s art center around a sense of place, memory, and the ever-changing seasons of life. 

Artist Statement

I am curious about how our bodies respond to place. In our increasingly urbanized and digitized culture, I work to examine the healing, resilience, and freedom of nature. Through my paintings I explore the narratives between place, identity, nostalgia and the natural world.

Working with acrylic on canvas, my painting practice is a response to the movement, texture, and energy of the natural spaces. I build my compositions with many layers of richly saturated colours. Each painting begins referenced from photographs and memories, and allows space for the translation between the images to become imperfect;  the painting becomes its own slower and more complex narrative just as our recollections evolve in their retellings. Detailed and spontaneous mark-making invites closer looking and a sense of abstracted sensory immersion into the piece. 

My work is an expression of life’s golden moments. The moments that build our stories and identities through the senses.

Auction item: Awash in Blue, acrylic on canvas, 2021. FMV $3400

Sally Podmore, 6′ x 3′

Alistair Bell

Alistair Macready Bell was born in Darlington, England, in 1913 and his family immigrated to Canada in the early 1920s, settling in Vancouver in 1929. In 1935, Alistair enrolled at the Vancouver School of Art, and it was here where he first had access to an etching press producing his first print. Over the course of the next few years he mastered a number of techniques including drypoint, etching, lithography, wood engraving, and woodcuts.

While his work was strongly influenced by German Expressionism, he developed a personal style, which quickly attracted the attention of his peers, critics, and collectors across the country, and he soon became recognized as one of Canada’s finest printmakers. He was always drawn to subject matter in which the linear, rhythmic quality of shape and line predominated. His work was included in numerous exhibitions across the country. Locally, the Vancouver Art Gallery featured two exhibitions of his work in 1942 and 1944. In 1951 the Vancouver Art Gallery expanded, and Alistair was offered the first solo exhibition to be featured in their newly expanded gallery. He would be recognized by the Vancouver Art Gallery once again with a major solo exhibition in 1989.

Alistair Bell played an important role in the development of a distinctly west coast artistic sensibility, known today as West Coast Modernism. It was a fertile time in Vancouver, and the arts community regularly gathered at the homes of the Binnings, Adaskins, Shadbolts, Harris’, Koerners. The Bells hosted visiting artists, listening parties featuring the latest music releases, and countless social evenings where they freely shared thoughts and ideas on the latest contemporary art trends.

As Alistair’s reputation grew he was awarded the prestigious C.G. Jefferys award from the Canadian Society of Graphic Artists in 1956, received a senior Canada Council travel grant in 1959, was part of a two person exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in 1961. By 1967, he was successful enough to finally retire from his full-time job at Dominion Bridge in Vancouver, turning his attention to becoming a full-time artist.

Auction item: Crowned pigeon, wood block print, 11/20. FMV $500

Alistair Bell

David Ellingsen

David Ellingsen is a Canadian photographer creating images that speak to the relationship between humans and the natural world. He works predominantly in long-term projects with a focus on climate, biodiversity and the forest.

Recent exhibitions include China’s Lishui Museum of Art, the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Lithuania’s Kaunas Photo Festival and Canada’s Campbell River Museum. Ellingsen’s photographs are part of the permanent collections of South Korea’s Datz Museum of Art, China’s Photography Museum of Lishui, and Canada’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum and Royal British Columbia Museum. They have been shortlisted for Photolucida’s Critical Mass Book Award, appeared with National Geographic, and awarded First Place at the Prix de la Photographie Paris and the International Photography Awards. In his earlier years Ellingsen was a freelance assignment photographer, eventually shooting for clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Business Development Bank of Canada, Canadian Medical Association, Oprah Winfrey Network, People magazine and CBC Radio Canada.

With his husband, Ellingsen lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with a place-based practice formed by the landscape he grew up in. His photographs are made primarily between his home in Victoria and the island of Cortes, where he was raised, 150 miles to the north. Since arriving as that island’s first immigrant settlers in 1887, five generations of his family have resided on these traditional, unceded territories of the Klahoose, Tla’amin and Homalco First Nations.

Auction item: Leviathan, chromogenic print, edition of 5, 2016. FMV $4,500

David Ellingsen 40” x 39”

Sue Negrijn

Brought up on West Vancouver’s North Shore, Susan was first introduced to the world of art by her eccentric artist mother. With her, Susan’s love of art and the natural world began to blossom. 

While plein air painting alongside her Mother, Susan was influenced by the many discussions they shared. How to truly see and understand negative and positive shapes, playing with lights and darks, depth of colour, and shape relationships. Most importantly, her mother taught her to foster an element of emotion into all her art, whatever the medium, in the early 1970s, Susan was involved in the research and drawing of small creatures that inhabited West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park for the Natural History Society. This then developed into a series of greeting cards that were sold at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Aquarium and Planetariums’s gift stores. 

After moving in 1975 to Campbell River on Vancouver Island, Susan became an active member and later a board member of the Campbell River Arts Council. Later she became one of the founding Directors to form the now Campbell River Public Art Gallery. 

Susan attended art classes by the late Lorna Gibson, whom inspired Susan’s ongoing career in art. Then in the late seventies and early eighties Susan shared her creative talents teaching pottery for the North Island College. 

As well as selling her hand built sculptures she became an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver. Susan participated in the Pacific Region Arts Council juried shows winning an Award of Excellence. 

In 1988 Susan started a business in custom framing and art supplies, which included a gallery. After promoting and selling local artists’ work for 23 years, Susan sold her business so she could once again focus on her own artistic endeavours. 

Susan now spends much of her time enjoying the outdoors and gaining inspiration from the natural world. Returning to her studio, she further explores with acrylics, encaustics, watercolour, inks, and pastels. She captures the beauty and sentiment of the beloved coastal waters and mountains into all her works. 

Sue has won the Peoples’ Choice award the last two years running at the Campbell River Art Gallery Members’ Show. 

Auction item: My Turn, acrylic on canvas, 2020. FMV $1500

Sue Negrijn 18” x 36”

Nadine Bariteau

Born and raised in Montreal (Tiohtià:ke) Nadine Bariteau is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in printmaking, sculpture, installation and video/sound. Her works are studies of permanence and ephemerality, and the interplay between human-made and natural environments. Bariteau has exhibited her work extensively, both nationally and internationally in China, Belgium, Argentina, Australia, United States, Russia and Japan. She was also a visiting artist in the Department of Art and Design at the National Taipei University of Education in Taiwan where she exhibited her work. Nadine Bariteau has obtained several grants and awards and her work can be seen in private and public collections including Foreign Affairs Canada, Shengshi Art Centre, Bejing, China, Frans Masereel Center, Belgium and the National Library of Québec. Nadine presently lives on Vancouver Island on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Auction item: Snow Owl, woodblock print FMV $600.00

Nadine Bariteau, 20.5” x 20.5”

Troy Moth

Troy Moth is an artist from Tahsis, British Columbia. Generations of Moth’s family logged Vancouver Island’s coastal forests. Working primarily with salvaged wood that has been discarded in logging cut blocks, his work attempts to confront his family history and transform his relationship to nature and wood.

Moth reveals the sculpture of nature and asks us what we value and what we discard, what we commodify and covet. His evocative sculptures acknowledge the truth of shape and challenge our perceptions. A cut block, already containing unrefined forms used by Giacometti or Noguichi, is full of art. His work asks, how do we judge what is worthy or worthless?

Auction item: Deconstructed Landscape, alder wood and metal sculpture, 2019. FMV $1,500

Troy Moth, 72” x 5” with a 12” x 12″ (base)