VICTORIA, BC– On Monday, July 30, artists Tom LaFortune and Perry LaFortune of the Tsawout First Nation will arrive at the Royal BC Museum to begin carving a totem pole, the first day of a public carving program the museum is hosting in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health and sponsored by TimberWest.

The LaFortune brothers will be at the Royal BC Museum until early October, carving the roughly seven and a half metre (25 feet) long piece of timber into a finished pole.

They will be on site, on the museum’s outdoor upper plaza, until October, from approximately 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.

Access to the carving station is free, and the LaFortune brothers will be discussing their process and providing interpretation as they work.

The public will be able to track the progress of the carving on a dedicated webpage ( and on Royal BC Museum social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

From July 30 to August 3, museum visitors will also have the additional benefit of enjoying TimberWest’s First Nation Cultural Art Showcase program from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm daily.  Carvers Dave and Johnathan Jacobson of Tsaxis First Nation, carver and painter Tom Hunt Jr. of Wei-Wai-Kum First Nation, cedar weaver Toni Frank of Shishalh First Nation and carvers and fashion designers the Good family from Snuneymux First Nation will all be demonstrating their multi-faceted cultural artwork on the museum’s upper plaza.

Meet Tsawout Carvers Tom & Perry LaFortune

When: July 30 – October 2018
Time: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday
Pole Arrival: Monday, July 30th 2pm
Where: Royal BC Museum outdoor plaza, 675 Belleville St., Victoria, BC
What: Watch two master carvers at work on a cedar pole and learn about the pole’s theme: “Crossing Cultures and Healing”

TimberWest First Nation Cultural Art Showcase Immersive Art Experience

When: July 30 – August 5
Time: 11 am – 4 pm
Where: Royal BC Museum outdoor plaza – 675 Belleville St., Victoria, BC
What: Immerse yourself in the culture of some of Vancouver Island’s First Nations communities
To learn more about the program, visit:

About the Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Located in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations), we are a hub of community connections in BC–onsite, offsite and online–taking pride in our collective histories.

About TimberWest

TimberWest is certified to the Progressive Aboriginal Relations program of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. The company is also third-party certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and has been operating on the BC Coast for over 100 years.  TimberWest is a Canadian company owned by two major Canadian public service pension funds.

Media contact | Royal BC Museum Media Inquiries | 250-387-5051 | | @RoyalBCMuseum | Instagram: royalbcmuseum | Facebook: RoyalBCMuseum

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