Come witness the historic raising of two Welcome Poles in downtown Courtenay. The Comox Valley Art Gallery (CVAG), in partnership with the K’ómoks First Nation and the City of Courtenay, invite you to a Welcome Pole Raising Ceremony on Saturday, October 27th, from 10 am to noon  at 580 Duncan Ave in Courtenay. The project is seen as a step toward reconciliation and recognition of the historic relationship the K’ómoks peoples have had with this Valley for thousands of years.

“We are honoured to be hosting this ceremony, and to work in relation with K’ómoks Elders, Chief and Council, Artists and with the support of the City of Courtenay” says Sharon Karsten, CVAG Director. The poles mark a powerful symbol– they remind us of the history of this place, and of the strength of K’ómoks cultures and traditions”.

Two new Puntlege-designed Welcome Poles have been created by Artists Karver Everson and Randy Frank. They have worked under the mentorship of Master Carver Calvin Hunt, and have been advised by K’ómoks Elders in design and technique. The poles are being placed downtown Courtenay – on the Centre for the Arts plaza outside the Art Gallery. The event celebrates, as well, the development of an Indigenous Plants garden – created in partnership with Barb Whyte a Traditional Knowledge Keeper & Elder from the K’ómoks First Nation.

The ceremony will include: Acknowledgements and a Pole Blessing Ceremony. A light lunch will be served. Visitors will have an opportunity to view the exhibition Nump Ma Noche Gyai Yoo Lahss / We All Come From One Root. A body of work created by Kwakwakwk’wakw artist John Powell / Winidi, this exhibition speaks to a powerful interconnectedness of First Nations identities, embedded within cultural practices, diversity, ceremony, art and the everyday.

We welcome you to witness this historic event and honouring.

Sharon Karsten

Director, Comox Valley Art Gallery