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Richard Hunt was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia, in 1951 and has lived most of his life in Victoria. He began carving with his father, the late Henry Hunt, at the age of thirteen. In 1973, Richard began work at the Royal BC Museum as an apprentice carver under his father, and the following year assumed the duties of chief carver in the Thunderbird Park carving program.
In 1986, Richard Hunt resigned from the Royal BC Museum to begin a new career as a freelance artist. He comes from a family of internationally respected artists.