For more than 50 years, an Indigenous artists’ program operated in Thunderbird Park, adjacent to the Royal BC Museum. It was a mentorship program featuring a series of master and apprentice carvers. Many of those emerging artists would later become renowned master carvers and artists themselves. In 2008, it was discovered that the building was no longer structurally sound, and the studio closed.
Many of the artists who worked in the studio found the experience important, and they never forgot the teachings they had received there. There is still a desire for a space where Indigenous artists can learn from one another and share their art and teachings with the public.
In the spring of 2019, discussions about renewing the program began. This survey was recommended by the artists who took part in these discussions. The results of the survey will help the Royal BC Museum to develop a proposal for the rebuilding of the Carving Studio. Thank you for agreeing to take part in this survey—we appreciate your input!