In the fall of 2009, we sent Northwest B.C. students 12,000 salmon templates to be coloured and decorated. Almost 10,000 of these salmon were returned to us, beautifully decorated by youth from pre-school kids to Grade 12 students and even a few teachers. The salmon were applied to 28 giant paper-maché salmon as part of a new regional art project, the Grand Opening on June 18 of 2010 in Hazelton, BC where we discovered this was the largest collection of children’s art in the province. From Houston all the way over the Prince Rupert, Nisga'a and Kitimat and extending all the way up North to Stewart, Iskut, Dease Lake and Telegraph Creek!
Local Artist, Bruce Chandler built each of these unique salmon using recycled newspapers (our favourite THREE RIVERS REPORT), giant bags of flour & salt for some homemade mache mixture and 40 gallons of outdoor mod-podge that we special ordered for this project. Along with his 1 year old son, Riley Chandler, Bruce spent 3 months getting this project built. He said he invoked the spirit of Skeena swimmer Ali Howard, “She swam the Skeena stroke by stroke and I just kept thinking of her as I dealt with 1000’s of little paper salmon, applying each of them one by one.”
The exhibit is just ended in Mariner’s Park of Prince Rupert, BC. We are honoured and blessed by the incredible support received from schools, teachers, students and community members. This project truly embodies the spirit of the Skeena swim. A spirit of celebration and connection of the people and communities to each other, to our great river and to the wild salmon of our watershed. Stay tuned for next year’s installment.
Thanks to all those that have helped us get this project going:
Village of Hazelton, The Senden Group, Bruce Chandler, Misty Rivers Art Council, Diamond Willow Boys, Cynthia McCreery, City of Prince Rupert, Randy’s Image Design Signs, BV Printers, Jeannine Knox, Julia Hill, From the Heart Studio, Ali Howard and MANY others!!
Communities that participated in the project include:
New Hazelton, South Hazelton, Old Hazelton, Two Mile, Moricetown, Smithers, Houston, Skidegate, Masset, Charlotte City, Gingolx, New Aiyansh, Gitwinsilkw, Terrace, Port Edward, Prince Rupert, Gitsegukla, Kitwanga, Gitanyow, Kispiox, Stewart, Telegraph Creek, Iskut, Dease Lake, Nass Valley, Gitanmaax, Glen Vowell, Kitimat, Telkwa, and Greenville.
A big thank-you to our SALMON SPONSORS: Each of these organizations/businesses sponsored 1 of these giant salmon for $500!!
Bulkley Valley Credit Union
Prince Rupert Back Country Recreation Society
Watch the making of these salmon…
Want to sponsor a salmon too? Contact:
Shannon McPhail, Executive Director
Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition
(250) 842-2494 or 842-8738 (cell)