Campbell River, Vancouver Island, British Columbia,
Now for a little of Campbell River history...
The Heritage Pavilion located on the foreshore downtown.
The Heritage Pavilion was, first, the dream of a few citizens in Campbell River...to have an example of the fine art of the native Kwakiutl Indian in whose territory Campbell River is situated. The ideal location, in the heart of the community and facing beautiful Discovery Passage, was the Foreshore Park.
In 1972, the Campbell River Salmon Festival Committee received an L.I.P. (Local Initiatives Programme) grant from the federal government to construct, with the help of the native Indian people, a totem pavilion.
Sam Sauerwein, a gifted architect living on Quadra Island, drew up the design and the committee went to work hiring people to prepare the timber, carving, shakes for the roof etc. The grant funds covered only labour and a very few materials, so donations were solicited for the needed cedar logs.
The uprights and crosspieces were donated by Elk River Timber Co., Raven Lumber and Crown Zellerbach Ltd. of Campbell River. Two 60-foot clear cedar logs from the Nimpkish Valley were sent by Canadian Forest Products, to be adzed and act as main roof supports. These two logs were part of one of the oldest stands of timber on the norther part of Vancouver Island and thus are preserved as a whole, showing the awe-inspiring size of our forests.
Some of the finest carvers on the West Coast were involved in the adzing of the logs and the carving of the poles and cross pieces at each end of the Pavilion. Sam Henderson and his family carved the two poles and crosspieces closest to the highway. The figures represent crests which belong to the family, handed down to them through many generations and acquired through the potlatch system. Bob Neel, another gifted carver and son of famed carver Ellen Neel, was responsible for the two totems with wings outstretched placed nearest the water.
The dedication of the Pavilion took place at the beginning of the Salmon Festival in 1973, with songs and dances performed by members of the Alert Bay, Campbell River and Cape Mudge Indian bands; an experience that few people who attended will ever forget.
A bronze plaque commemorating its builders is situated beside the Pavilion, near the rose garden planted by the Tyee Garden Club. The Pavilion was presented to the Municipality of Campbell River, which presently maintains it, for its citizens and visitors.
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