Reading the Contemporary: Art and Culture Talks with Griffin Art Projects with Mary Tasi and Wade Baker


Thursday, November 28, 7:00-8:30pm



Mary Tasi and Wade Baker, 2019

Located at the North Vancouver District Public Library, Lynn Valley Branch, 1277 Lynn Valley Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 0A2

Join Mary Tasi and Wade Baker for a presentation and discussion on their journey of the cultural research and the book they co-authored, The Hidden Journals (published 2015, revised edition 2018). The research has focused on the lost narratives of the Captain Vancouver era through an indigenous perspective, and the findings of the high level trading and personal relationships that occurred, through primary archival research and oral indigenous knowledge.

The Hidden Journals was presented to the Victoria Legislature in 2015 for excellence in primary source research bringing new perspectives to history. Over 1,000 copies were donated to North Shore High Schools in 2015, sponsored by Neptune Terminals and Port Metro Vancouver. The Hidden Journals is included in the North Shore Author’s Collection, a partnership between North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver District Public Library, and West Vancouver Memorial Library.

Baker and Tasi will share updated information on their ongoing research, including a Coast Salish ceremonial woven robe from 1793, currently in the collection of the Helsinki Museum, Finland, as well as the contemporary artworks Baker is developing based on ancestral methods and design. Mary Tasi, Community Planning & Research Consultant. Mcip, Rpp Mary Tasi is a community planning consultant, art consultant, research consultant and author. She worked for many years in Ontario and Quebec as an urban planner and designer. She is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Planning Institute of British Columbia and the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. Tasi’s philosophy is that art brings community together. She has worked with the City of North Vancouver and the Squamish Nation to create the “Gateway to Ancient Wisdom” for the beginning of the North Shore Spirit Trail. This public art piece brought together elders, youth, landscape architects, builders, contractors, steelworkers, welders, politicians, and many others in an innovative, award-winning collaborative process. Tasi’s multi-disciplinary strengths include city planning, art project marketing, communications and policy. She uses innovative public engagement techniques and visioning that produces meaningful solutions to complex community issues. She has the ability to manage and communicate divergent ideas and conflicting visions or goals. She has marketing experience with over 100 galleries in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.

Wade Baker, Mintledus, Oral History Expert Wade Baker is a sculptor, graphic designer and red cedar carver. He has been carving and creating art since he was a teenager. As a descendent of ancient Coast Salish, Kwakwaka’wakw, Tlingit and Haida nobility, Baker has inherited a rich artistic legacy. In these traditions, art is not a separate activity but is interwoven in life, language, custom and culture. Art is a means of spiritual expression in which a design or piece of art can encompass an entire story. Baker’s preference is to create large public art sculptures. He has worked in steel, wood, glass, marble and many other mediums. His stainless steel North Star was commissioned for the 2010 Olympics and stands at the Vancouver Olympic Village site. One of the highlights for Baker was meeting Prince Charles when the North Star was unveiled in 2009. Baker has also produced smaller public art designs and in 2000, his wolf design was selected to be part of the Millennium series of Royal Canadian Mint quarters. 50 million quarters were produced with Baker’s design and are now in circulation. Baker is a member of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, and a Director at Large for Aboriginal Tourism British Columbia. Most recently, Baker is writing the history of his British ancestors Lieutenant Joseph Baker, an early mapmaker of the British Columbia Coast, and Robert Hunt, a fur trader and factor with the Hudson’s Bay Company in the 1850’s.