July 05, 2008

Carving the Spirit Pole

My artistic talents came to the forefront when I was invited to participate in the carving of the Spirit Pole for the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games. Touring the whole province, the 20 foot long red cedar log will be transformed into a totem pole by master carver Carey Newman and hundreds of others who will also carve a portion in various communities throughout British Columbia. Once finished, the Spirit Pole will be unveiled at the opening ceremony of the Games and then remain in Cowichan Valley after the Games end. Taken from a sacred village within Stanley Park, the cedar tree was donated by the Squamish Nation. I was instructed on the proper technique which which to use the carving tool. With the desired design pattern already marked on the wood sculpture, I skillfully scraped away a few layers of the wood and carved a moment in history.


"The way to move forward is by honouring the past and reflecting on the present." - Carey Newman