Our Team

Board of Directors

Norma Dryden, Treasurer, cultural planner – Tofino, BC

Norma has been active in the regional arts community since 1994, programming and producing a number of events linked with many local arts organizations. In addition to her involvement with the arts, Norma has worked with the seven communities in Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds as the CEO and Executive Director for a regional federal program (Natural Resources Canada). While serving as the president of the local arts council, Norma founded the Carving on the Edge Festival in 2010 and served as the festival coordinator and administrator over the next six festivals.

Marilyn Brewer, Director, retired cultural planner – Victoria, BC

Marilyn headed West to Tofino on retirement from a 23 year stint as Director of Community and Educational programming at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre for the Arts. On arrival in Tofino, she joined the local arts society, eventually serving as President, during which time she produced a series of summer music festivals and promoted the idea of establishing a west coast carving event. Following her move to Victoria, Marilyn continues to return to the coast, programming the popular West Coast Music series until 2015. She is a founding member of the festival & society.

Joe David, Director, Nuu-chah-nulth artist and cultural historian – Tofino, BC

Joe David is one of the most respected master artists of the Northwest Coast. He originally studied art in Seattle, but his interest in his own heritage and tradition led him to begin an intensive study of traditional Northwest Coast objects. He has always been drawn to the spiritual essence within Indigenous art practice and culture—and this later directed his path in art-making. In 2000, he was the first artist chosen for the Aboriginal Artist in Residence program at the Pilchuck Glass School. He is often requested by schools and institutions to lecture on Northwest Coast art. Joe is a founding member of the festival & society.

Gordon Dick, Director, Nuu-chah-nulth artist, owner of Ahtsik Gallery – Port Alberni, BC

Gordon is Nuu-chah-nulth from the Tsheshaht tribe on the West Coast of Vancouver Island where he grew up and still resides. He has worked in a variety of mediums, including: painting, drawing, ceramics and woodcarving. In the summer of 2005 he worked under Tim Paul carving two 25 –27 foot totem poles for Tsehshaht territory. He also completed a 23 foot totem Pole for Tseshaht to commemorate the Residential School survivors of Alberni Residential School. Gordon is passing on the tradition of the carving arts through working with young apprentices and giving presentations to local schools on the Nuu-chah-nulth signature style. He has been a Board Member since 2014.

Joe Martin, Director, Nuu-chah-nulth artist, Master Canoe Carver – Tofino, BC

Joe Martin has been dedicated to mastering the art of traditional ƛaʔuukʷiatḥ (Tla-o-qui-aht) canoe carving for decades. He has sparked a revitalization of this ancient art form in his own community and among neighbouring nations in the Pacific Northwest. Taught by his father, the late Chief Robert Martin, Joe has continued to transfer his knowledge to future generations, taking on apprentices and leaving a legacy of over 70 carved canoes. Joe has been formally recognized for his incredible contributions to the artistic community – in 2013 he received a BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art and in 2012 he received a BC Community Achievement Award.

Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier, Principal, White Raven Consulting – Port Alberni, BC

From the Tseshaht First Nation, Kelly has been working in the field of communications, facilitation, graphic design and leadership/organizational development since 2005. With her thirteen+ years of working on the ground in community and at various political tables and non-profit organizations through White Raven Consulting, Kelly continues to hold a big vision to actively bridge the gaps between communities, cultures, and generations in hopes to bring out our best work towards belonging and connected communities for all. Kelly brings a lens of Nuu-chah-nulth worldview grounded in interconnection, spirit, and discipline to nurture forward innovation that honours complexity in ways that foster healthy human networks and ‘un-settle’ orthodoxy and institutional approaches. Kelly has been a Board Member since 2018.

Christopher Roy, Board Chair, Carver and Founder of Marketworks – Salt Spring Island, BC

Christopher is the founder of Marketworks, a digital marketing agency for good. In his community and volunteer work, he is the Vice-President and co-founding member of The Natural Burial Co-operative and is the founder of the award winning Salt Spring Exchange, an online community for the residents of Salt Spring Island, BC where he lives. He is an apprentice chaputz (canoe) carver with Tla-o-qui-aht Master Carver Joe Martin and focuses his personal carving work on ceremonial feast bowls. Christopher has been a Board Member of the festival since 2014.

Staff

Marika Swan, Festival Curator

Marika Swan is a Tla-o- qui-aht woodcut printer, carver and community arts organizer. As an emerging contemporary artist her work explores Nuu-chah-nulth teachings and stories often with a feminist edge. Returning to the west coast 8 years ago to set some roots, she has contributed to various community projects including the coordination of Inkwis Arts & Culture, a year-round arts and culture hub for the Carving on the Edge Festival Society. For several years Marika has been a contributing artist and coordinator with the festival. Her creative vision has brought in a mix of contemporary and traditional programming, creating a dynamic and evolving creative community space.

Hélène Descoteaux, Development & Artist Services

Hélène Descoteaux is a community organizer and project coordinator based in Clayoquot Sound. Her interest in the arts stems from the belief that the well-being of individuals, strength in culture, and connection to the land are necessary foundations for a vibrant & healthy community. With a background in geography and holistic nutrition, Hélène has years of experience working in the local community with non-profit organizations, both in the environmental & arts sector.

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We're grateful for the generous support of our festival sponsors.