U'mista Cultural Centre, Alert Bay

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On Feb 6 and 7th Bianca and Tom traveled to U’mista Cultural Centre at Alert Bay to meet with Andrea Sanborn, Executive Director and D. Bruce Whyte, Senior Tourism Development Officer BC Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts, regarding the development of a multimedia production for a proposed Big House. It was our first trip to Alert Bay and the Centre and we were impressed and overwhelmed by the story that the Centre tells through its exhibits, videos and the repatriated potlatch collection. The Centre is rightly, highly regarded on the international museum scene, for the abilities of its staff (past and present), the artistic talent of its community, the richness of its cultural history and its groundbreaking work in repatriation. We were honoured to meet some of the contemporary carvers, and haunted by the tour of the residential school in which they now work. It is somehow fitting that they are housed in an institution that once stripped away the humanity and culture of a people.


Andrea and Tom


U’mista Big House


Saint Michael’s School