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“Salt Spring Stories” Celebrating Canada’s 150 birthday

August 11 - August 22


Hamilton Beach, Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Stories by artists, Greg Klassen and Andrea Locke, presented by ArtSpring as a celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, consists of two main interconnected elements – images and text – designed not just to communicate our sense of wonder and awe at this amazing place but to provide a space for our community to come together and share in the stories of this place and its people and in the making of new stories that will unfold as we continue to move between past and future – always in the present.

Artist Statement 

Stories are central to being human.

Stories are a stepping-stone to truth.

They have the power to inform, and to place in context.

Stories are at the heart of the way we create and communicate meaning.

Anchoring the experience are the images – composites of past and present. Each image, its structure, its content, is designed to simultaneously engage the viewer in a unique story about the historical context associated with specific sites around the Island and contribute to the overall collective – and ever-evolving – story that is this Island, its people and its larger context in contemporary Canadian society. Structurally, each image presents three key elements, a site (to date 35 of 50 sites researched have been photographed as panoramic images for inclusion in the project), historical images (for 28 of the sites we have so far incorporated sets of historical images to tell specific, unique and meaningful stories relevant to those locations), a personal context (our daughter, RhiAnnon is included in every image as avatar – encouraging each of us to perceive – reconceive – the stories through another’s eyes). The accompanying texts, written by Andrea, interpret the images and serve as a jumping-off point for further storytelling based on written and oral histories, the collections of the Salt Spring Historical Society – with special thanks to Usha Rautenbach – and our own experiences.

Creation of the work in this exhibition was made possible thanks to grants from the Canada Council for the Arts (Cultivate: Creative Development Grants) and the Salt Spring Arts Council as well as support and archival images from the Salt Spring Island Historical Society. We are grateful to ArtSpring for choosing this project as their Celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday and for donating gallery space and technical support. Many thanks to all the members of GIFTS (Gulf Islands Families Together Society) for their contribution to the success of this program and to Scott Simmons for documenting the project. We are further grateful to the Salt Spring Island Public Library and Steffich Gallery for participating in this celebration. Furthermore, this initiative was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Salt Spring Island Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.


“Salt Spring Stories” Speaker Schedule

Exhibition reception Aug 11, 5-7 pm
Open from Aug 12 to Aug 22, 10 am to 4 pm daily
Free admission to exhibit and all events.

Friday, Aug 11 5:30 pm
Speaker: Greg Klassen / Cicela Mansson
Topic: Introduction / Opening Reception
Special Musical Guest, Ruwadzano on the marimba

Saturday, Aug 12 Noon
Speaker: Kate Roland – Musician: Auntie Kate and the Uncles of Funk. Hawaiian and Salish heritage. Born on Salt Spring Island
Topic: Kanaka Community

Saturday, Aug 12 7:00 pm
Speaker: Yuri Arajs – Artistic Director: “Kickstart Disability Arts & Community”. Artist. Vancouver resident
Topic: Dialogue with the Arts Series: On disability arts

Sunday, Aug 13 Noon
Speaker: Joe Akerman – Descendant of one of oldest settler families and Coast Salish Community
Topic: First Nations

Monday, Aug 14 Noon
Speaker: Matt Steffich – Has run Steffich gallery for over 25 years on Salt Spring Island. Musician
Topic: Arts Community

Tuesday, Aug 15 Noon
Speaker: Robert Birch – “Radical Faerie” and Doctoral student of Social Dimensions of Health. Lives on Salt Spring Island with partner of over twenty years
Topic: LGBTQ Community

Wednesday, Aug 16 Noon
Speaker: Usha Rautenbach – Historian and linguist. researcher for SSI Historical Society
Topic: Black Community

Thursday, Aug 17 Noon
Speaker: Arthur Black – Well known radio personality. Writer. Lived on Salt Spring Island since 1995
Topic: Life on Salt Spring Island

Friday, Aug 18 Noon
Speaker: Greg Klassen – Scientist-turned-Artist. Calls himself “Photo-based-Autist”. Lived on Salt Spring Island for five years
Topic: The Exhibition

Saturday, Aug 19 Noon
Speaker: Rose Murakami – Member of the only Japanese family that returned to Salt Spring Island after being incarcerated in 1942 and stayed
Topic: Japanese Community

Sunday, Aug 20 Noon
Speaker: Louise Doucet – Chair of Gulf Islands Families Together Society. French Immersion teacher on Salt Spring Island.
Topic: Disability Community

Monday, Aug 21 Noon
Speaker: Bob McWhirter – Chair of SSI Historical Society. 34 years teaching and school admin on Salt Spring Island
Topic: Historical Society

Tuesday, Aug 22 Noon
Speaker: Chris Arnett – PhD in Anthropology. Member of Vancouver’s first Punk Rock band. Salt Spring resident for three decades
Topic: Native and Colonial History


August 11
August 22
Event Category:




ArtSpring – Gallery
100 Jackson Avenue
Salt Spring Island, V8K 2V8 Canada
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