A mural created for TELUS in the late nineties, (BC Tel) and given a major refurbishing a few years ago, was created in the aftermath of some tragic events on this prominent corner in Sidney, BC. In an effort to change the character and ambience of that part of town, the phone company put up seed money for a mural that would unite the native and mainstream community, particularly the youth who used to hang out there. The wall was over 70’ long and almost 20’ high.
The artist’s vision for that wall was greater than the budget allowed, so a proposal was put to the town hall, the local Chamber of Commerce, merchants groups, and clubs. As a result, a budget was put together that allowed for the creation of what was at the time the first wall mural with three dimensional effect, created by the use of resins glued to the building. As this was a building full of phone equipment, no metal fasteners whatsoever could be used in its creation. IceBear met multiple times with chief and elders of
the local Tseykum and other Salish communities, who approved the drawings for this, assisted in providing detailed information for accuracy of all the elements. Also told the stories of their culture and traditions that inspired
the image itself.
Unveiling day was a major event, the town closed the road, TV cameras showed up to tape it for broadcast, seniors centre and old folks homes brought in the seniors on a bus that was donated for the event. Local businesses provided refreshments. Young people from the local youth club were on the roof of the building to pull up the tarps when ready, youth from the local First Nations community were out dance a blessing with the support of a huge honor drum and drummers.
It was the first time that anyone could remember such a joyous social occasion that was joined and witnessed by a hundreds of residents from both local mainstream and First Nations communities. Nil/tu,o became an iconic part of the local landscape, a destination for travelers from all over the world to come for photos . Over the years, as the paint began to fade and the relief elements appeared to be coming disconnected, TELUS decided to have a major refurbishing done. TELUS staff came out to help clean and prepare the wall for the work. When completed, a rededication ceremony was held with many of the same participants as participated in the first event.
a few of the dozens of media stories
A few of the dozens of press reports from the past 25 years.
Vancouver Sun reporters with the artists at a special public art event at Ukama Gallery
Four Winds completed 2001,
The mural in winter showing snow on the relief elements
The Cannery Mural, commissioned by the Excel Systems Software Company for their building in Sidney. It depicts the original waterfront in the town of Sidney, the old cannery was replaced by
the hotel that stands there now.
Year of the Ocean
Vignettes from The Year of the Ocean Mural 1998
Seed money and supplemental funds by Canada’s Ministries of Environment, Fisheries, and Parks (with the kind support of the Hon. David Anderson), additional information contributed by close to 100 scientists, technicians, and historians. The Institute for Ocean Science (IOS) contributed office space and access to all their scientists and researchers.
Approximately 100 sponsors contributed materials or funds to make it possible.
Four Winds: a mixed media sculpture. Commissioned by Amadon Estates in 2009 for installation in front of their building on the upper harbour in Victoria BC. specific requirements were that it appear indigenous, but not tribal, and reflected on the changing environment. Soil conditions on the waterfront prevented the use of heavier materials