Coastal Roots: Wood & Water

August 29th - September 10th, 2015

2015 Carving on the Edge Festival

This year’s festival theme explored wood and water as pivotal foundations for both cultural and artistic expression on the west coast. Our programming focussed on the exploration of growth and process through artistic evolution of cultural art form and sacred ceremonies and origin stories. 

Marika Swan, Tla-o-qui-aht artist, presented ‘In Transformation: The Evolution of West Coast Cultural Expression,’ based on her studies with UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. The festival hosted a variety of traditional song and dance: Kwakiutl artist Kevin Cranmer and his family presented, “Origin Stories,” and Hesquiaht master carver Tim Paul presented “Thunderbird Stories.” Kwakwaka’wakw director Barb Cranmer screened her documentary, “Potlatch.” 

The 6th annual Edge Art Show exhibit took place at the Shore Pier and showcased 26 emerging and master carvers from the coastal region. Artist-in-Residence Gordon Dick carved a 10′ cedar panel on site with Kelly Robinson. The piece, “Teaching Foresight,” was purposed for public art in Port Alberni. 

There were a number of workshops on offer during the week. Robinson Cook hosted an “Introduction to Wood Carving with Hand Tools,” and Charlie Kestrel of Kestrel Tools taught a carving tool workshop. Marika Swan taught lino cutting for families. There were workshops for paddle making and canoe finishing taught by Carl and Joe Martin, respectively, and T’ashii Paddle School gave Traditional Canoe Culture Tours. Hjalmer Wenstob performed an interactive mask dance for the public. 

Festival at a Glance

The Shore Pier, the Tofino Village Green,
House of Himwitsa, & the Wickaninnish Inn
# of Artists
# of Exhibiting Artists
# of Workshops
# of Volunteers
# of Community Partners


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The Carving on the Edge Festival sends out periodic updates on the festival and out-of-festival events. If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on the coastal carving scene, please sign-up using the form below.