Unraveling Stories

September 7th-10th, 2017

2017 Carving on the Edge Festival

This year’s festival focused on looking deeper into the collective history of trade and ownership on the coast so that we can better understand what has formed our current landscape. Through the process of colonization and the illegalization of local cultural practices, many artists have transitioned from community-based support-networks to making a living as ‘career artists’. This has created an inherent tension between the traditional pathways and the choices that artists are making to survive in the current marketplace. 

Through the Unraveling Stories Program, we explore the deeply interconnected relationships between coastal nations made possible by huge traditional dug-out canoes and trade-winds. What were the traditional protocols for owning, caring for and sharing carved work? How have they transitioned into placing monetary value on cultural expression and the pressures of the current marketplace? Imagine the future for Nuu-chah-nulth museum collections and how these containers can serve First Nations communities now. Featured events included “Indigenous Resilience” photography installation by Melody Charlie, the Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive community-based research project curated by Marika Swan, “The Journey of Objects” presentation with Lucy Bell, Tania Willard, Jordan Wilson and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and keynote presentations on “Coastal Trade Routes” with Marianne Nicholson and Nicholas Galanin. 

Festival at a Glance

Festival Poster

Credit: Court Dheensaw
(photo & design)

Festival Program

Schedule of Events

The Shore Pier & the Tofino Village Green
# of Artists
# of Exhibiting Artists
# of Events
# of Volunteers
# of Volunteer Hours
# 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.