2018 December 03
Cst Jeff Palmer
West Vancouver Police and the West Vancouver Foundation thank all our community members who've helped create unique artwork this fall for placement in the entry to police headquarters.
The West Vancouver Foundation generously supported commissioning of a 2.6 square metre (28 sq.ft.) cedar wall carving to be overseen by Squamish Nation artist Xwalacktun.
The carving is designed to artistically represent a shared and peaceful journey forward of all in our communities, connected with ancestral Squamish teaching about confronting challenges and the choice between good and evil.
Work on the carving continued throughout the fall on site in the Public Atrium between West Vancouver District Hall and the new Police Headquarters building at 755 16th Street, West Vancouver. We've been grateful that approximately 1000 students and community members have accepted the invitation to help with this unique work.
West Vancouver Police Chief Len Goerke says the carving project is an opportunity to engage the community in the recently completed police headquarters building and to continue building a strong relationship between West Vancouver Police and the Squamish First Nation.
Nancy Farran, Board Chair of the West Vancouver Foundation, welcomed the project, “We’re pleased the West Vancouver Foundation, through the Compelling Opportunities Fund, can support this collaboration between the gifted artist Xwalacktun and our respected West Vancouver Police Department. Art matters and the symbolism of this piece is profound. We are all community together.”
Public carving sessions have come a close and we are grateful for all who accepted our invitation to come sign the back of our work. Xwalacktun has now taken the carving to be completed at his home studeio on Xwemelch'stn-Capilano. A traditional blessing ceremony and unveiling is to be held in February 2019.
About The Artist
Xwalacktun (Born Rick Harry) is a Squamish Nation artist whose works are recognized internationally. In 2012, he received the Order of British Columbia for his art and community work. Xwalacktun’s works are seen throughout Vancouver and the surrounding areas.
Widely recognized pieces include,
- Thunderbird & Wolf Logo on vehicles of the Integrated First Nations Policing Unit of WVPD & NVRCMP(Donated)
- First Nations designs on Vancouver 2010 Olympic wear
- Carved doors for B.C. Hydro’s Burnaby and Vancouver locations
- 30 totem poles throughout Scotland
- A metal, brick and glass sculpture at the entry to West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park.
- Carved doors - West Vancouver School District Offices
- Sculptures at West Vancouver Secondary, Rockridge Secondary, Sentinel Secondary, Westbay Elementary, Gleneagles Cha'xay Elementary
Recent significant works can be seen at the West Vancouver Community Center, Whistler Peak to Peak, University of Victoria, Capilano University, Emily Carr University, the West Vancouver School District office and Rockridge & West Vancouver Secondary School.
Healing and growth have become a central theme around Xwalacktun’s work, focusing on how traditional stories relate to his own life.
With a focus on philanthropy, grants, and leadership, the West Vancouver Foundation works to promote a healthy and vibrant community, where everyone is valued, contributes and feels they belong.
Supported through the generosity of nearly 450 donors, the West Vancouver Foundation has accumulated net assets in excess of $13 million since its inception in 1979. In 2017, together with donors, the foundation has awarded $500,000 in grants to support more than 50 charitable programs in our community.
The West Vancouver Foundation is committed to working together with our community towards a shared goal of reconciliation. West Vancouver Police and the West Vancouver Foundation are each committed to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.