LIFTing the Community
Retired Catskinner Chairs Find New Life As Works of Art with LIFTing the Community
Outdoor Exhibit: Whistler Village and Upper Village | FREE, all ages | June – August, 2021
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Taka Sudo & Dominique Nahanee
Proceeds will benefit: The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) is the first centre of its kind in Canada. Two Nations came together to celebrate and share their cultures with the world while creating meaningful employment opportunities for members of both the Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh and Lílw̓at (Squamish Nation, Coast Salish) and (Lil’wat Nation, Interior Salish).
Artists: Taka Sudo & Dominique Nahanee
Born and raised in Tokyo, long-time Whistlerite Taka Sudo takes influences from these totally different environments to create his unique style of artworks. Tsawaysia, Dominique Nahanee of the Squamish Nation is an SLCC Cultural Ambassador and artist; she shares songs and dances of the Squamish Nation and works in contemporary Salish designs and abstract art.
*As this is an outdoor exhibit, all chairs will be touched up by the artists before going to their new home. Find our more about the auction
Discover the story behind the chair and find out more about the artist and organization:
Paired with artist Taka Sudo
Born and raised in Tokyo, now residing in Vancouver Canada and takes influences from these totally different environments to create his unique style of artworks. Scattered abstract elements composed of neon color, neutral color, newsprint, photo collage and more are assembled into organic shapes, to find out the strong true energy among real and unreal. Those scattered various elements of abstraction are the representation of our environment, existence, daily life, current affairs, information, and each person’s passion, and energy. Through the adventure between reality and abstraction, you may be able to find your own dynamo to start a bright day with beautiful people.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) is the first centre of its kind in Canada. Two Nations came together to celebrate and share their cultures with the world while creating meaningful employment opportunities for members of both the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxumixw (Squamish Nation, Coast Salish) and Lil̓wat7úl (Lil’wat Nation, Interior Salish). Designed to evoke the form of a Squamish Longhouse and Lil’wat Istken (earthen dwelling), the SLCC stunningly embodies the spirit of partnership between our two unique Nations who wish to preserve, foster, and share their traditional cultures. The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Lil̓wat7úl have coexisted respectfully as neighbors since time immemorial. We have thrived on the bounty of the ocean, the rivers, and the land — living in close relationship with the world around us. Our cultures are grounded in rich, ancient traditions, and continue to grow and evolve in a modern world. Many First Nations communities, including the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations, were oral societies (it was not until the 1970s when both our Nations created written languages), and storytellers had the immense and important role of being historians for their community. Unfortunately, when the flu and small pox epidemic decimated our communities, many stories were lost – and again from 1881-1949 when children were forcibly removed from their parent’s homes and sent to residential schools. In building the SLCC, our two distinct Nations created a space to revitalize the culture we were fortunate to preserve. Today, the SLCC is a culture-first employer, is a conduit for the revival of two languages facing extinction, and is an essential service in Canada’s journey towards Truth and Reconciliation. We will continue to share our cultures and histories in an honest and respectful environment. By sharing where we are from and where we are going, we strive to inspire understanding and respect amongst all people, and we hope that by visiting our Cultural Centre, our friends and guests will embrace this vision and live by it, too.
LIFTing the Community
Local artists have transformed 15 retired Catskinner ski lift chairs into works of art, reflecting the theme of belonging as perceived by 15 community groups that actively contribute to community life. LIFTing the Community has been created to enhance the sense of belonging in Whistler and the Sea to Sky. Whether Whistler is home for a season or a lifetime, a sense of belonging benefits us all. In our ever-growing and changing community, wellness, connection and a sense of home needs to be fostered, practiced, discussed and experienced by our community.
With support from Vail Resort’s Epic Promise fund, in partnership with Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, Arts Whistler has paired some of the Sea to Sky’s most exciting artists with 15 community groups to reimagine trusty old Catskinner lift chairs into compelling works of art. Tourism Whistler recently provided space for the artists to work in the Whistler Conference Centre.
The reimagined chairs are on display throughout the summer in Whistler Village for people to explore, experience and discover their own spirit of belonging. Chairs will be auctioned off with the funds going to the community organizations to support their programs that support community belonging and wellbeing.
Learn more about all of the participating community groups and creative artists paired with them:
- Arts Whistler | Anna Lynch
- Audain Art Museum | Dave Petko & Liz Thomson
- AWARE | Ben Poechman
- Kids on the Move | Kris Kups
- Mature Action Community | Tonnja Kopp
- The Point Artist Run Centre | Sherry Klassen
- Squamish Arts Council | Kendra Hicks
- Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre | Taka Sudo & Dominique Nahanee
- Whistler Adaptive Sport Program | Vanessa Stark
- Whistler Blackcomb Foundation | Mike Tyler & Bob Van Engelsdorp
- Whistler Community Foundation | Stan Matwychuk
- Whistler Community Services Society & Laura Scarr
- Whistler Museum and Archives | Alyssa Bruijns
- Whistler Public Library | Michaela Ivancova
- Whistler Youth Centre/Alphabet Soup | Ace Mackay-Smith & Mercedes Nicoll
Take yourself on a tour and discover all of the chairs for yourself!
With thanks to our sponsor Epic Promise, and project partners:
Thanks to Neutron Factory Works for production support.
Accommodation provided by: