Artist Tim Paul (centre), accompanied by his family and fellow artist Shayne Lloyd (far left), explains the significance of the mural on the side of the Canadian Maritime Engineering building. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Community celebrates new mural at the entrance to Harbour Quay

The image depicts the history of Tseshaht First Nation

A newly-painted mural has been unveiled at the entrance to Harbour Quay, thanks to a community effort.

Although painting ended in August, the official celebration of the Port Alberni Arrowsmith Rotary Club’s community mural project took place on Saturday, Sept. 19. The celebration not only recognized the painting and its artists, but the community it helped to develop throughout the years.

Former Arrowsmith Rotary member Theresa Kingston first brought the idea to the club after a meeting with the city’s Reconciliation Committee in 2017. The City of Port Alberni was on board “immediately,” said Terry Deakin of the Arrowsmith Rotary Club, and the Port Alberni Port Authority (which owns the building) and Canadian Maritime Engineering (which leases the building) also expressed support.

READ MORE: Port Alberni holds first Reconciliation Committee meeting

“The idea was to paint a mural themed around reconciliation,” explained Deakin.

However, throughout the process of planning the mural, hiring an artist and raising funds, the theme of the mural changed. The project was initiated in the spirit of reconciliation, but soon became a “building relationships” project, said Deakin.

“That helped us to acknowledge that we need to build community, we need to build relationships between our communities,” she said.

Port Alberni artist Shayne Lloyd was selected as the “lead artist” of the project, but he collaborated with Nuu-chah-nulth artists Tim Paul and Gordon Dick and consulted with members of Tseshaht First Nation before the painting began.

“When I first applied for this, I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Lloyd admitted on Saturday. “At the end of the day, I feel honoured to be part of a group effort. I consider myself a conduit through which this project could happen.”

The project was largely organized and funded by the Port Alberni Arrowsmith Rotary Club. Its location at the entrance to Harbour Quay acts as a sort of base or “anchor” to the Rotary Arts District, explained Arrowsmith Rotary president Pam Craig on Saturday.

“It was a true community effort to have this mural come to fruition,” she said.

It was this community that gathered outside of the Port Alberni Train Station across the street from the mural on Saturday. Members of Tseshaht First Nation offered songs, while local political leaders offered their support and gratitude for the project.

Archeologist Denis St. Clair explained the story behind the mural. The image depicts the area now known as Harbour Quay, which was the Nation’s winter village where they celebrated their year’s harvest with a “wolf ritual.” In the centre are five portraits, representing the leaders of the five different First Nations based in the Broken Group Islands that amalgamated to create Tseshaht. The portrait in the centre depicts Tyee Haw’iih (hereditary chief) Adam Shewish.

On the right side of the mural is a picture of a young, modern-day Tseshaht First Nation child, representing the Nation’s future.

“We understand that the art of giving is the greatest art of all,” said artist Tim Paul on Saturday. “We need to always give to our young ones.”

Members of Tseshaht First Nation presented gifts on Saturday to the artists, as well as Terry Deakin for her role in organizing the project.

“[The mural] has brought so much pride to not only Tseshaht people but to the community as a whole,” said Tseshaht elected chief councillor Cynthia Dick. “It’s not just Tseshaht history, but recognizing our shared history as a community of the Port Alberni Valley.”

In the coming months, a plaque will be installed on the mural to explain the story behind it. To raise funds for the project, the Arrowsmith Rotary Club has been selling bricks at $25 a piece. Deakin says about half of the bricks have been sold to date. To purchase one, reach out to arrowsmithrotaryclub@gmail.com.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

ArtIndigenousPort Alberni

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

 

Trevor Little sings and drums with his fellow Tseshaht First Nation members to celebrate the unveiling of the mural. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Archaeologist Denis St. Claire explains the significance of the mural. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Trevor Little gifts Terry Deakin of the Arrowsmith Rotary Club with a necklace made by his mother. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Terry Deakin of the Arrowsmith Rotary Club shows off the artwork she received as a gift from Tseshaht First Nation. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Just Posted

Port Alberni artist Shayne Lloyd has designed a line of artisan clothing under his own label, Ursalia Creative. Lloyd teamed up with Stanfield for his first project. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Celebrate Alberni Valley businesses both large and small

Consider supporting local when shopping for the holidays this year

This photo of Wood Elementary School was taken in 2016. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
COVID-19 case reported at Wood Elementary School in Port Alberni

Date of potential exposure was Monday, Oct. 19

Mark Zenko from the Gyro Club of the Albernis presents a donation of $2,720 to Chris Mellin, left, house manager at Ty Watson House Hospice and Teresa Ludvigson, executive director of Alberni Valley Hospice Society. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Gyro Club donation comes at good time for Ty Watson House Hospice

COVID-19 has cancelled hospice society’s major fundraisers.

(BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO)
Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

Port Alberni’s deepsea port was a busy place on July 14, 2020, with recreational boaters vying for attention with a logging ship, fishing vessels large and small, tugboats and more. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
QUINN’S QUIPS: ‘Port’ Alberni lives up to its deepsea name

Port Alberni’s harbour is an engaging place to stop and watch the action on the water…

Port Alberni resident Holly Braker-McLaughlin captured footage of five bears playing in her yard. (SCREENSHOT)
VIDEO: Quintet of bears frolic in Alberni Valley yard

Port Alberni family was treated to a visit from some playful black bears

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Most Read