Spectrum set to raise welcome pole

Master carver Doug LaFortune carving 10-foot-tall raven out of 600-year-old red cedar

Tsawout band member Doug LaFortune uses an elbow axe to carve a raven totem pole at Spectrum Community School

Spectrum Community School is set to raise a Coast Salish welcoming pole, the culmination of master carver Doug LaFortune’s residency over the past few weeks in the school.

The prolific artist, who resides at the Tsawout First Nations, is carving a 10-foot-tall raven into red cedar that’s between 600 and 700 years old. It will greet all comers to Spectrum once the school raises it on Friday.

“It’s a contemporary, modern raven, not what we would have traditionally carved,” LaFortune told a class of Spectrum students. “I wanted people to see right away that it is a raven.”

The raven in local Salish culture is known as a trickster. It won’t be painted, though traditionally some poles were.

“The colour of this wood is too beautiful and it has great lines,” said the master carver.

LaFortune’s wife Cathy, who also produces art, shared a collection of traditional artefacts with Eagleview elementary and Spectrum students. The collection included cleaned, dried-out clam shells that were glued shut (traditionally with the pitch from trees) with pebbles inside.

“These acted as rattles for our songs and for our ceremonies,” she told an Eagleview class.

Doug LaFortune is also expecting to raise a welcoming pole and sign for the community of Saanichton this summer.





Just Posted

Shamrocks clinch Western Lacross Association playoff berth

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Although the Victoria Shamrocks nailed down a seat in… Continue reading

Saanich council will consider tax reduction scenarios for 2020 budget

Coun. Rebecca Mersereau however warns of cutting additional funding for capital expenditures

Jurors talk about trial of U.S. man convicted in 1987 murders of Saanich couple

Three jurors offer a window into deliberations during the trial

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

Two flags unveiled at Maple Ridge city hall.

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Most Read