Duncan is considered the City of Totems. With the world’s largest outdoor collection,
they have earned that name and within this small city there are plenty to enjoy
seeing. The big growth in totems began
in 1985 and now allows carvers and their families to tell the story that the
totem tells in dedicated signage. Duncan
also shows there is cultivated cross-cultural appreciation and co-operation as
these communities come together.
Vancouver Island is home to many carvings done over the
years. The totem poles are the most
colorful, as a rule and there are so many of them in Duncan, but the Island
also has different carvings in other towns so we will now have a tour of Island carvings.
|City of Totems|
The Feast, which was carved in 1987 is 3.6m tall and tells a local Quw’utsun’
(Cowichan) legend. The story says that
the Killer Whale was eating all the salmon in the river so they called on the
Thunderbird to help them. The
Thunderbird, Tzinquow, took the Killer Whale up to the top of the mountain and
ate him. Spirit Helpers are also part of
Doug LaFortune, also known as William Horne, grew up in Duncan and
began carving at the age of 19. He is
quoted as saying, “I strive to do better every time I do something”. Doug with help from his brothers Perry,
Howard and Aubrey carved this collection in Duncan, including the Raven’s Gift. These ones are on display near the Cowichan
This may be one of my favorite carvings. The bald headed eagle is such a majestic
proud looking bird, and I love to see the real ones and this is a great replica
and very lifelike. We stayed at Seal Bay
RV Park in Comox Valley, a privately owned park which is off the main roads and
not on the Bay, a 30 minute walk from the park, but we sure did enjoy the park
and all its’ many carvings.
I understand the owner of this great RV Park is the carver
of all of these incredible works of art. His talent is shown on carvings displayed
around the park, and only a few are shown here.
The seals are the base of a large table dedicated to the carver’s son
and also beautifully done. There are
many beautiful carvings, including the one of the eagle.
|carvings at Seal Bay RV Park|
I must admit that when I first saw this pole climber, my quick glance
led me to believe he was real. Once the
sun was no longer in my eyes, I could see he was not. Quite a sight in downtown Campbell River,
|Campbell River pole climber|
The Campbell River Shoreline Arts Society has an annual chainsaw
carving competition. We were not there
to see the carvings being done but saw the results of the 2018 competition, “Transformation
on the Shore”. The background is the
Discovery Passage, the view couldn’t be better for this display.
|Campbell River Shoreline Arts|
This lonely fellow was once part of the Campbell River
Shoreline Arts competition but now stands at the entrance of Elk Falls, ready
to pose for photos with the visitors to this area.
|Elk Falls - Campbell River|
|Tyee Spit graveyard|
This graveyard sits on the Tyee Spit at Campbell River and
honors several with totem poles. I wasn’t
able to learn anything about this but the history could be very interesting to
learn. It appears to have been here for
many years and has a very diverse selection of headstones.
Needless to say, there are many talented carvers on
Vancouver Island who share their talents for us to enjoy.
I hope these are enjoyed for many years to
To see more of our visit to Vancouver Island, click here.