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U'mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay
(Picture BC photo)

Alert Bay

Art Galleries & Artists

Glass artwork (Danielle Hayes photo)

Glass artwork (Danielle Hayes photo)

Kwakwaka'wakw totem poles, masks, rattles, canoes and potlatch regalia reflect the natural and mythological worlds that inspired their creators.

Alert Bay has been a focal point for traditional Aboriginal art since the 'Namgis peoples moved here permanently in the 1870s. Long-standing art forms, weaving, painting and basket-making are well represented today in Alert Bay's museums, artist studios, gift shops, and galleries.

Traditional Carving

Famed carver, Mungo Martin completed his first commissioned totem pole in Alert Bay in 1900, and later built the Big House that stands outside the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria. Emily Carr's classic west-coast style was inspired in part by a visit to Alert Bay in 1909.

The work of such contemporary Alert Bay artists as Stephen Bruce, Bruce Alfred, Calvin Hunt, and William Wasden Jr. keep this ancient tradition alive and thriving in the 21st Century.

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