Tofino area Master Carver Joe Martin is one of five First Nations artists honoured by the BC Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province of B.C. in 2003 to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise.

Joe’s traditional Nuu-chah-nulth dugout canoes can be seen on display at Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Inkwis Arts and Culture and internationally.  T’ashii Paddle School, owned and operated by Martin’s younger daughter Tsimka and partner Emre Bosut, offers cultural paddles and storyteling in Joe’s cedar canoes.

Read the full media release below:


VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – Nov. 5, 2013) – Premier Christy Clark and BC Achievement Foundation Chair Keith Mitchell announce today the recipients of the 2013 BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations Art.

“First Nations art is a source of pride for all British Columbians,” said Premier Clark. “These six artists are carrying on a legacy that stretches back thousands of years, preserving a rich tradition for generations to come.”

Mandy Brown, a Nlaka’pamux artist from Lytton, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, an honour bestowed on individuals who have made a profound contribution to their First Nations’ culture.

The Annual BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art celebrate artistic excellence in traditional, contemporary or media art. The 2013 recipients chosen by the jury are:

  • Dale Campbell, Prince Rupert
  • Marlene Liddle, Old Masset Village
  • Joe Martin, Tofino
  • Ken McNeil, Terrace
  • Sammy Robinson, Kitamaat Village

“The Foundation is honoured to recognize these artists,” said Mitchell. “They join 37 First Nations’ artists that the Foundation has had the privilege of recognizing over the past seven years. We thank Michael Audain and Polygon for their tremendous support of the BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art.”

The awards will be presented at a November ceremony in Vancouver.

The award jurors: Brenda Crabtree, Aboriginal program manager, Emily Carr University of Art + Design; Bill McLennan, curator, Pacific Northwest, UBC Museum of Anthropology; and Dempsey Bob, OC, 2004 recipient of the British Columbia Lifetime Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art.

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province of B.C. in 2003 to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise. For information on British Columbia Achievement Foundation,


2013 Creative Lifetime Achievement Award for First Nation’s Art

Mandy Brown has kept alive the coil basketry tradition of her Nlaka’pamux people that dates back centuries. She has taught women in her community to make both baskets and moccasins and passed on the traditions to generations of young people. Her work is featured in the First Peoples Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa and the Museum of Anthropology. Mandy has contributed to her community as a social worker, member of the band council, and a trustee of the school board.

2013 BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art

Dale Campbell, Prince Rupert

Dale Campbell is an internationally recognized carver, known for her masks, plaques and totem poles. As well, a button blanket that Dale designed and constructed was selected for a year-long exhibition entitled “Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth”, first shown in Australia. Dale finds much of her inspiration in the myths and legends of her Tahltan and Tlingit people. Dale has added jewellery and glass etching to her practice. Her work has been shown in the Museum of the Northern BC and the Museum of Anthropology and is in collections in North American and abroad.

Marlene Liddle, Old Masset

Marlene Liddle has been weaving with cedar bark since 2008, after a lengthy apprenticeship gathering and preparing the red and yellow cedar of Haida Gwaii. Descended from a long line of Haida carvers and weavers, Marlene was mentored by master weaver Christine Carty in the traditional disciplines of cedar bark Haida hats. Marlene now weaves hats in a contemporary style that incorporates both traditional techniques and modern materials.

Joe Martin, Tofino

Joe Martin is dedicated to the art and tradition of carving the ocean-going dugout canoes that connect the villages of the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. He is well-known in the Nuu-chah-nulth area for the beauty and quality of his canoes and for his art and skill in the building of traditional canoes. Trained by his father at an early age, Joe has over his career produced 62 canoes. As an ambassador for Clayoquot Sound and the traditions of the Nuu-chah-nulth, he promotes cultural practice and cross-cultural education. And, true to tradition, he passes on his knowledge and skill to the next generation.

Ken McNeil, Terrace

Over the past 30 years, carving in his Tahltan-Tlingit tradition, Ken has produced an impressive body of work that has been exhibited across Canada, in the US and internationally. A master carver, Ken creates works from miniature to large-scale, from small sculptures to totem poles. He is a founding instructor of the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art at Northwest Community College in Terrace.

Sammy Robinson, Kitimaat

Sammy Robinson is a Haisla carver from Kitamaat Village on the northwest BC coast. A self-taught artist, he began carving when he was 11 years old, creating wooden toys for Christmas time. He soon turned his attention to Haisla history and culture and began carving in his unique, finely-detailed style, producing pieces in wood, silver and gold. He travels the world sharing his culture and stories, but only sells his work from his carving shop in Kitamaat Village.

Detailed information about the awards and a list of past winners is posted on the foundation’s website at






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