Welcome to the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society.
The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society is a First Nation’s Arts Collective bringing public art to Northwest BC. We are a registered non-profit society in good standing, with a proven track record in delivering public art projects.
Established in 2018, the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society has partnered with property owners, business operators, the City of Terrace, the Terrace Downtown Improvement Area Society among others to deliver high calibre public art projects including murals, sculptural installations, banners and new works to come in 2022 and beyond.
The society aims to celebrate the importance of salmon as a unifying symbol of the people who make northwestern British Columbia their homes. We gratefully acknowledge that the society’s business is based out of Terrace, BC located on the traditional territory of the Ts'msyen people of Kitsumkalum and Kitselas.
The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society consists of volunteer board members and 50 per cent of its directors are of Indigenous descent. The festival aims to beautify Terrace through public art initiatives, and raise awareness of salmon as the foundation of our cultures. In addition, the society is committed to celebrating artists from around the Skeena region and ensure they are compensated fairly for their work.
The festival began in 2018 and has grown to include several components:
Learn more about the artists by reading our artist bios.
Dave Gordon is the president of the Skeena Salmon Arts Fest Society. After retiring from a 35 year career as a fisheries biologist working with salmon throughout north-west BC, Dave founded the Society as a means to celebrate salmon and our regional salmon communities. Dave has been honoured to work with regional artists and arts administrators to bring the vision of the Society to life. Dave brings his years of Project Management experience, broad local connections and a passion for public art to enable our regional artists to do what they do best – create art!
Julia was born and raised in northern BC. She works and lives in Terrace with her husband and son on the Ts'msyen Laxyuup, and has always been drawn to the natural wonders of the Skeena watershed. Her deep roots in, and love for, the Skeena led her to a career in salmon conservation after studying geography and biology at university in the early 2000s. Julia is currently the Operations Director for SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and has been with the organization since its inception in 2007. SkeenaWild is a regionally based conservation organization working to protect and strengthen vulnerable salmon populations, improve management decisions, and deepen people's connection with wild salmon. It is because of that deep connection to salmon that Julia participates in the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society. She believes that through the unifying language of art, communities can connect, celebrate and work together to champion a future with healthy wild salmon populations in the Skeena watershed.
Stephanie Anderson is from the Lihksilyu, “Small frog” clan. Her house is Kwen Beegh Yex, “House beside the fire” of the Wet’suwet’en nation. Her grandmother is Kilisët, Violet Gellenbeck. She lives on the unceded territories of the Tsimshian Nation along the Skeena River in the city of Terrace, British Columbia.
Her training in Northwest Coast Art began in 2009, when she started mentoring with artist Ken McNeil in carving and design. This mentorship has continued into 2020, when she began to be mentored in teaching at the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art as an instructor. Her time teaching is the greatest gift and challenge as a carver as she gives and receives knowledge and help the next generation of carvers learn while continuing her own lifelong learning.
She is a multi faceted artist, working as a carver, jeweller, muralist, designer, and painter. She focuses on creating works that speak to her personal experiences and to honor the values and history of her family.
As a member of the collective Raven-Tacuara she has painted 7 large murals focused on highlighting indigenous culture and raising awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women or MMIW. Stephanie has worked to curate exhibitions to create new opportunities for northern indigenous artists to strengthen the network of artists in the Northwest.
Joan is an artist and potter from Terrace. She has been active in the art community since moving here, and has headed up the banner committee with the Skeena Salmon Arts Fest for four years.
Amanda Hugon is born in the southern part of British Columbia on her ancestral territory of the Coast Salish. She is also Sto:lo and Metis. Her Grandmother is of the Kwikwetlum Nation which is located along the Fraser River, her grandpa is a chief of Cheam in Rosedale, they are known as the “People of the Salmon”. Currently Amanda works In Terrace, British Columbia where she is actively involved in the Northern arts community a member of the board of directors for the the Terrace Art Gallery Association, art instructor, and volunteer. A contemporary Indigenous artist, Amanda works in many mediums including wood, painting plaster, print making and multi-media installations. Based out of Terrace, British Columbia Amanda works to restore what it means to be a female Indigenous artist while challenging stereotypes and breaking down barriers.
Born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia; her background is Nisga’a from the house of Kw’isk'ayn, European, and Métis. Morgan is a Sculptor, Painter, and Designer, whose clear passion for art and mixed media emerged in her early childhood. While studying under master carvers, Dempsey Bob, Stan Bevan, and Ken McNeil, Morgan received The Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art Advanced Diploma.
Her artwork is known for being both sharp and fluid, and at times beautifully minimalist. Morgan weaves through the delineation of what is known as traditional First Nations art and contemporary, while exploring what these very same labels, implemented by colonialist cultures, mean to society and to herself. Morgan believes traditional art is more than just the visual language for the people of the Northwest, she also believes it is medicine for the soul. She is greatly honored to be practicing her traditional art and has so much gratitude for all the people who have kept these practices alive, even through all the attempts to remove this knowledge from history.
Morgan enjoys learning and challenging herself, and while discovering more about her traditions she is also discovering what it means to be a Native woman practicing in the modern world. Morgan aims to display the strengths of her culture and people through her art and entice positive narrative change. Morgan has displayed artwork in various shows at The Museum of Northern British Columbia, Lester Center of the Arts, Terrace Art Gallery, Smithers Art Gallery, The Kitimat Museum, The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, and the Stonington Gallery in Seattle. Morgan has also done multiple talks and art workshops at elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools in the Northwest as well as workshops at ValhallaFest, and the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration.
Arlene Ness is a Gitxsan carver, jeweller, and artist based in Gitanmaax of Northwest British Columbia. She creates a diverse range of artworks for collectors, private commissions, and cultural use clients, all with a clean and elegant aesthetic.
Arlene Ness, member of Git Luhxw Lim Het’Wit - Wilps Tsi Basaa (Giskaast of the Gitxsan Nation) is a mother and grandmother who shares her knowledge, continuing the tradition of passing down oral history to the next generations.
Part of her knowledge sharing is also with her art and carving, teaching at workshops and college courses. Arlene teaches Northwest Coast carving, knife making, painting, design and jewelry.
After a lifetime of drawing and painting, exploring other art mediums such as stained glass and pen and ink; Arlene started her Northwest Coast Art training at the carving school at K’san historical village, a First Nation Fine Art school named “Kitanmaax School of Indian Art and Design” with instructor Vernon Stephens. Arlene then went on to attend the Freda Diesing School of First Nation Fine Art as a part of the first graduating class in 2008.
During her studies Arlene also learned introductory jewelry at a workshop then became an apprentice under Earl Muldon for engraving jewelry and totem pole carving. She continued her exploration in jewelry making to learn, on her own, gem setting and other jewelry making techniques. All of her explorations she was then able to curate a great introductory course in jewelry basics, which she teaches in workshop format and college course format.
During all this she raised her family, learned more art mediums, participated in group shows and solo shows, travelled far for her art and garnered awards and followers for her art.
Canadian artist Roy Henry Vickers is best known around the world for his limited edition prints. He is also an accomplished carver, design advisor of prestigious public spaces, a sought-after keynote speaker, and publisher and author of several successful books.
In addition, he is a recognized leader in the First Nations community, and a tireless spokesperson for recovery from addictions and abuse.
Roy has received many awards and honours for his art and community involvement. Among them are a hereditary chieftainship and several hereditary names he has received from Northwest Coast First Nations.
In 1994, Maclean's magazine included Roy as the first artist ever in its Annual Honour Roll of Extraordinary Canadian Achievers. In 1998, the Province of British Columbia appointed Roy to the prestigious Order of B.C. and in 2003, Roy received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2003, a video featuring Roy was part of the successful Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid.
In 1987, at the Commonwealth Summit in Vancouver, the original of Roy's painting A Meeting of Chiefs was the official gift of the Province of British Columbia to Queen Elizabeth II. Limited edition prints of the painting were presented to the 48 Commonwealth Heads of State.
During their Vancouver Summit in 1993, former Soviet Union leader Boris Yeltsin and former U.S. president Bill Clinton received artist's proofs of Roy's print The Homecoming as the Province's official gift.
Roy's work can be found in private and public collections and galleries around the world including the National Museum of Man (Ottawa, Ontario), University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver, British Columbia), the McMichael Canadian Art Collection (Kleinburg, Ontario) and the National Museum of Japan (Osaka).
Roy Henry Vickers was born in June 1946 in the village of Greenville, in northern British Columbia. Roy has stayed on the northwest coast of British Columbia ever since, residing at various times in Hazelton, Kitkatla, Tofino and Victoria.
Roy's love and respect of the magnificent natural beauty of this area is clearly evident in his art. His boldly colourful sunsets, subdued misty rivers and peaceful winter scenes reflect the essence of the west coast of Canada.
Roy's father was a fisherman with the blood of three northwest coast First Nations' Tsimshian, Haida and Heiltsuk flowing in his veins. Roy's mother was a schoolteacher whose parents had immigrated to Canada from England. This unusual mixed heritage has had a strong influence on Roy's art.
Roy studied traditional First Nations art and design at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art in Hazelton.
Using these building blocks Roy, through hard work and intensive research, created his authentic and personal style of expression - a harmonious fusion of traditional and contemporary, old and new, personal and universal.
In many of his pieces, Roy uses superimposed 'shadow images' that add another layer of depth, history and myth to his clear, clean images. His signature Eagle Moon and various suns appear on many pieces as well.
The resulting art touches deeply and is accessible to people all over the world regardless of their background, age, beliefs or traditions.