November 8, 2023
Source: Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society
The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society is thrilled to announce it has received a grant of $677,049 for the long-planned Su-gigyet art installation project at the roundabout at the cross-section of Hwys 16 & 37.
The funding comes from the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport. This project is one of 31 projects across the province to receive funding.
“We're delighted to see Su-gigyet come to fruition – this project has been proposed since 2018 and this funding means the artists and the project team can get to work,” says Dave Gordon, President of the Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society. “Su-gigyet will be a world-class art installation that will continue to grow the area’s reputation for its promotion of regional artists, the support of public art and work toward reconciliation through the arts.”
Su-gigyet is a collaborative art installation featuring the work of Kitselas master carver, Stan Bevan (Ts’msyen/Tlingit/Tahltan) and, northwestern BC-based wood and metal artists, Rod Brown and Mike Sorochan, both who live in the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.
“British Columbia is a world-class destination and tourism is one of the province’s greatest economic drivers,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “We are proud to invest in tourism projects like Su-gigyet that strengthen the tourism sector and create meaningful ways for visitors to learn about culture and sense of place while they explore BC.”
Stan Bevan's central sculpture features three wooden human forms, encased in aluminum shrouding created by Mike Sorochan. The central sculpture will be surrounded by six large wooden salmon carvings by Roderick Brown of Cohowood Studio.
Su-gigyet means "new people" in the Sm’algyax language of the Ts’msyen people. More specifically, it means "the original people embracing a new way of doing things.” The name was gifted to the project by the late Kitselas elder, Sm-oogyet Sha-gann (Mel Bevan) who is also the father of lead artist, Stan Bevan.
“We are grateful to Sm-oogyet Sha-gann (Mel Bevan) for the gift of this name, and we hope this installation will honour his legacy,” says Gordon.
The Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society is committed to offering Indigenous and other artists opportunities to showcase their works in high-profile locations and create tourism attractions centered on public art. This commitment earned the society the 2022 Lieutenant Governor's Arts and Music Award for promoting public art.
The project includes the development of interpretive signage and a safe viewing area adjacent to the traffic circle, and small replicas of the art for visitor enjoyment. The project is expected to be complete in September 2025.
Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society extends its gratitude to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, and Sport for its financial support through the Destination Development Fund.
President, Skeena Salmon Arts Festival Society
For further information on Destination Development approved projects, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/DestinationGrants.pdf
For more information about the Su-gigyet project, visit: https://skeenasalmonartsfest.com/about-the-project
Thirty-one new infrastructure tourism projects will help enhance visitor experiences and create vibrant communities throughout the province.
“British Columbia is a world-class destination and tourism is one of the province’s greatest economic drivers,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “The past three years have been incredibly challenging for people in the tourism industry, especially after years of economic uncertainty and extreme weather events like the recent wildfires. Investing in tourism infrastructure supports the tourism sector, the people who work in it, and is helping to create vibrant communities for all British Columbians and visitors.”
The Destination Development Fund supports tourism businesses by developing and rejuvenating tourism infrastructure. The 31 new recipients will receive nearly $15 million in 2023-24 with one-time grants.
Since 2021, more than $60 million has been provided through the Destination Development Fund helping rebuild tourism revenues to 2019 levels and strengthening a year-round visitor economy for people in B.C and for those who work in the tourism sector.
Projects were chosen for their contribution to communities, benefits to the tourism economy, and support for sustainability and accessibility. Project examples include new and expanded tourism attractions like the Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club’s interpretive signage and groomer equipment; the expansion of the E.J. Hughes and Quw’utsun Galleries and new Kinsol Trestle Interpretation Centre at the Shawnigan Lake Museum; and the Sointula Resource Centre Society’s revitalized free bike program to include e-bike rentals.
The Province is also supporting the sector with $3 million through the B.C. Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative. This will support education, assessments, expert coaching, action planning and adaptation to help tourism businesses and communities measure, track and improve sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in their operations.
Led by Destination BC, the initiative will develop climate preparedness and adaptation strategies and action plans to mitigate climate risks, as well as provide a foundation for a long-term sustainability and climate-adaptation approach for people in the B.C. tourism sector.
"The new B.C. Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative provides a tremendous opportunity to bolster our tourism sector's resilience, preserving natural spaces and making it well-equipped to face and adapt to climate change,” said Richard Porges, president and CEO, Destination BC. “Collectively, the tourism industry has a strong commitment to sustainability and aiding communities and visitors in their readiness for climate-related impacts. This new initiative will pave the way for climate preparedness and adaptation, positioning the tourism industry to proactively mitigate evolving climate risks.”
The B.C. Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative also supports the preservation of B.C.’s natural spaces, responsible travel and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Erik Blaney, executive council, Tla’amin Nation –
“The Desolation Sound Archaeology Project will survey cultural sites in Desolation Sound Park to identify previously undocumented archeological sites and legally record them. This marks a major shift away from ongoing heritage destruction that has been unchecked for a century. This study will redefine and shift perceptions of ancient cultural landscapes and provide a foundation for sustainable tourism that will protect the surviving Tla’amin cultural heritage in the park, while also educating the public on how to be a good guest in Tla’amin territory.”
Lori Treloar, executive director, Shawnigan Lake Historical Society –
“The Shawnigan Lake Museum has been around for almost 50 years, and since then, both the stories and collections have grown. This grant offers us the opportunity to truly showcase local and beloved artist E.J. Hughes, the Kinsol Trestle and other important histories in new exhibits and increase museum amenities so that we can share our amazing history with more visitors, bringing increased economic benefits to Shawnigan Village.”
For more information on Destination Development approved projects, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/DestinationGrants.pdf
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport and the Destination Development Fund.