This video invites you to reflect on your relationship and responsibilities to the land and to the community as you engage in creativity, play, artistic practices, and exploration. Allow yourself to be immersed in the art, music, and words of these creators as they guide you through their worlds.
Ava Maria Safai is a singer-songwriter, actor, director and producer. She is a Dean’s List Graduate from UBC’s BFA in Acting program and is actively pursuing her ARCT in Voice and Piano. She is currently working on her fourth full-length album and her music has been featured in theatre, film, and TV projects across the globe. To view more of Ava's work, you can visit her Instagram page or her website.
Angelic Goldsky (they/them) is a spoken word poet residing on the stolen and unsurrendered lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples. They are also a poetry educator-excavator, queer arts expressions facilitator, clown-alchemist, multiverse eater, gender binary abolitionist, celebration producer, media studier, magical historian, Jewish-Russian-queer-trans-zakaznik who hates taxidermies and loves timelessness. Their work frequently is situated between art, activism, and truth. In the community, Angelic has been devoted to creating spaces where truths can be honoured and respected in full spectrum, including the Every Kind of Love show at the Chan Centre, Queer Homelands at the Museum of Anthropology, and the UBC Pride Festival. To learn more about Angelic and their work, you can visit them on Instagram or check out their website.
Tary Majidi identifies herself as an international artist. During her stay in India, she graduated from New Delhi Art College in 1991. Tary continued her sculpting and modern art training in Vancouver since 2003 which further reflected 3D ideas into her paintings. Living and traveling all around the world has allowed her to learn and experience different cultures. Tary enjoys art because it allows her to self-express and tell stories with her creations typically representing peace, love, unity, humanity, and nature. To view more of Tary's artwork, visit her website.
Vancouver based Fine-Artist specializing in Alcohol inks, Shandra Stephenson has been working for 10+ years as a lifestyle photographer but has always had a passion for creating art. Recently, she discovered the beauty of alcohol inks and has been enamored by it ever since. Shandra is on a journey with her art and is looking at ways to share her knowledge with the community. You can view more of Shandra's artwork on her Instagram page and her website.
"Gardens are works of art in themselves, and each season brings a different canvas and feel to the space. I like to 'paint with my plants' and use the shape, texture and colour of the foliage as contrast, and to draw visitors through the garden. Colours are on the cool side of the palette - pinks and blues and whites, with butter-yellows allowed, and pauses of black/purple to rest the eye. The garden is anchored by several specimen trees, and herbaceous perennials burst forth each spring to dance in the space beneath them." - Delphia Johnstone, Gardener
Our second Garden Concert celebrates the arts as a form of navigating the beauty, challenges and joys of life. We hope you are inspired, reassured and entertained by the thoughtful and expressive works of these creators.
Yawn is the endeavor of Julia McDougall, an artist living and working on the territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Stó:lō, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Nations. Julia grew up in Saskatchewan and came out west to earn a Composition Degree at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Post-University, McDougall pursued her career-living and performing in Berlin, producing her self-titled EP alongside Andy Shauf, a Polaris prize nominee and currently teaches songwriting at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. Yawn is an electro dream pop project that aims to capture the stasis of our lives caught between technology and the natural world. Julia can be found on Spotify, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and you can explore more of her work on her website.
Little Fish Productions’ interests lie in creating performances that are accessible and inviting for a variety of all-age audiences. Sophie Brassard and Jenna Kraychy have found a mutual passion for outdoor and site-responsive dance performances. They strive to plunge into work that supports and uplifts communities in which they present. Believing that everyone can move and create, they feel that every drop in the sea can make a meaningful ripple. For their first co-creation, Fantastic Fun Zone, they've had the pleasure of collaborating with Nathan Marsh as a composer and musician as well as Sasha Schaepe as a costume designer and outside eye. You can visit Little Fish productions on Instagram, and explore the websites of Jenna, Sophie and Nathan, as well as costume source Re-Wild Kids.
Claudia Wiebe is a self-taught artist who creates abstract paintings and mixed-media art with acrylic paints. Her paintings are inspired by the ever-changing complexities of love and loss, joy and grief... For Claudia, life has taken on many different roads, being a pediatric nurse, a mother, a wife, a teacher/mentor, and today an artist. Her hope is that her paintings leave lots of room for the viewer's imagination and interpretation, and that each piece touches them in some way and sparks their soul. Claudia is originally from Germany and has been living in Canada for over 32 years. Her home and studio are located in North Vancouver, BC. You can view more of Claudia's work on Instagram and her website.
Violet Finvers was born and raised in Edmonton and moved to Vancouver to pursue a career as a graphic designer. In 1987, she graduated with honours from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and worked as a professional graphic designer for over 30 years. Violet’s kiln-formed glass is clean and contemporary, and her work can be found in galleries across Canada. Violet Finvers Glass is located in Burnaby, BC, Canada. You can explore more of Violet's work on Instagram and her website.
North Vancouver lawyer John Whyte spends a lot of his downtime building his garden: “For me, gardening is an immersive stress-relieving experience, in which the process is as important as the result”. The garden is loosely structured around the spaces created by the angular architecture of the house, but there has never been a master plan. Instead, John has found inspiration for the different areas of the garden from many parts of the globe – particularly Spain, France, Japan and our own coastal forest – and developed these spaces into garden rooms organically, one design decision at a time. With this approach, the garden will never truly be finished, which is just how John likes it.
This Garden Concert is a reminder of the ways the arts connect us. Art is a form of communication and expression, and provides a way of being together, in companionship and solidarity with one another, that exceeds the boundaries of language.
Jay Knutson is a musician from North Vancouver who has made music his professional focus for over 40 years. In addition to performing as a solo entertainer he also plays guitar and sings the lead vocal for the folk/ roots band Early Spirit. Previously, he arranged, performed, and wrote Celtic folk-rock music with John Mann and Geoffrey Kelly in their band Spirit of the West. Later, Jay worked with major Canadian artists including Hart-Rouge and Connie Kaldor. His solo material, a constant throughout his career, draws from rock, jazz and roots music. As a singer-songwriter, Jay “puts the soul back into music, fun back into instruments, and conviction back into lyrics” (The Chronicle Herald, Halifax). You can visit Jay on Facebook.
A distinguished contemporary dance voice in Vancouver since 2009, Lamondance (LMD) established itself to promote and expand the contemporary dance vocabulary throughout training dancers and creating unique and unmistakable shows that will evoke the audience's senses. Led by Artistic Director Davi Rodrigues, who brings decades of professional dance experience with more than 18 years as a dance educator and director, former dancers have gone on to work with international companies such as "Batsheva Dance Company" (Tel Aviv, Israel), "São Paulo CIA de dança," 45 Degrees by Cirque du Soleil, Ballet BC (Vancouver, BC) among others. In June 2019, Lamondance got incorporated as Lamondance Arts Society to continue its mission to facilitate the evolution of contemporary dance as an art form and be present within the community. Special thanks to dancers Oksana Maslechko, Will Jessup, Hayley Galati and Lazaro Silva for participating in this year's Arts in the Garden. You can learn more about Lamondance and view their performances on Instagram or by visiting their website.
Allison Burns Joseph is from the Squamish Nation and lives in North Vancouver. She graduated from Carson Graham Secondary School in 2006 and has been an Aboriginal Ambassador for her Nation and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre since. Allison started wool weaving in the summer of 2008 and has continued expressing herself through her pieces, helping pass on the Squamish Nation tradition of wool weaving. You can view more of Allison's projects on Facebook.
The Cascadia Society is a life-sharing community that includes adults with special needs. Cultural, artistic and therapeutic experiences are provided through residential home care and day activities within the urban setting of Vancouver’s North Shore. Cascadia's new community-based artwork, "The Butterfly Garden" has been inspired by the Butterflyway Project, a community-led movement started by the David Suzuki Foundation that encourages people to bring a little nature to their neighborhoods in order to provide a welcome habitat for essential wild pollinators like butterflies and bees. Many hands worked on this artwork, though remotely through material kits that were sent to different bubbles. The amalgamation of their creative ideas is what you see through this piece of visual art. Special thanks to Simrin and Mary for participating in this year's Arts in the Garden. You can learn more about the Cascadia Society on their website, and explore their projects on Instagram.
"My name is Simin Badr. I have been working in West Vancouver for 30 years. I studied nursing in Tehran, Iran. I have received the 2003 Silver Georgia Award for Best Multi-Family Landscape Design New or Renovated for the building that my husband built ... I was four years old, visiting my uncle far away from my parents, and after a few days I missed my family. My aunt asked me to go with her gardener to see their vegetable garden. I remember the gardener's passion teaching a four year old his love and respect for nature, and also for caring for plants. Since then, my mission has been to pass his love of gardening on not only to my children, but also to the children in my Licensed Child Care Center, Altamont Child Development Inc. By gardening, children will be aware of thier senses to explore and engage the world around them. They also love beauty, and they are natural gardeners. I am sure children will pass their passion on to others and find a healthy hobby that is a life-time love for nature" - Simin Badr, Gardener
Looking for more?
To engage further with the knowledge Cease and her community shared with us, and to find out more about local plants and Reflexology Tiles.
T'uy't'tanat- Cease Wyss (Skwxwu7mesh/Sto:Lo/Hawaiian/Swiss) is an interdisciplinary artist who works with digital media, writing, performance and interdisciplinary arts, and is a community engaged and public artist. Her works range over 30 years and have always focused on sustainability, permaculture techniques, Coast Salish Cultural elements and have included themes of ethnobotany, indigenous language revival, Salish weaving and digital media technology. Cease has focused on connecting her Polynesian roots to her Salish roots through weaving and digital media projects. She has recently been given opportunities for collaborating with indigenous peoples throughout Oceania, specifically Polynesian peoples. Cease is embarking on a series of Futurisms projects on national and international projects and will be collaborating with artists and scientists in development of these new works. You can find Cease on Instagram under @cedarcopperwoman and @aconstellationofremediation, and access her work at Indigenous Plant Diva and Raven Hummingbird Tea (also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
Kwiigay iiwaans is a queer disabled visual artist, electronic musician, and language learner from the Haida and Squamish Nations. They live and work near X̱epx̱ápay̓ay in Vancouver, BC, on the stolen ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musquem), Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7meshúlh (Squamish).
Estíqw (Jaz) is a 2 spirit anti-professional, working as an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on decolonization and indigenous autonomy. they are a defender of the sacred and use their craft as a tool to decolonization and land sovereignty. they and their fire are from the secwepemc nation of the south central interior of so called british columbia.
Ready to create your own?
A full list of instructions to make watercolour nature prints, including materials, are linked below.
Margaret Joba-Woodruff is an emerging artist whose practice concerns itself with intersections of nature, the body and printmaking. These topics are explored through material conversations and acts of repetition which invite connections between materials and our own bodies, memories and subjectivities.
Margaret has exhibited in Vancouver, BC and Edinburgh, UK and received her BFA in Visual Art from the University of British Columbia in 2020. Born in Montréal and raised on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she is currently living as an uninvited guest on stolen Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm land known as Vancouver, Canada.
Looking for more?
To engage further with the knowledge Tracy and her community shared with us, and to find out more about cedar harvesting, click the link below.
Sesemiya (Tracy Williams)
Tracy Williams’ ancestral name is Sesemiya, and she is a member of the Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) Nation.
Tracy is interested in ALL things Coast Salish; traditional ecological knowledge; Skwxwu7mesh snichem (language); and cultural revitalization. She has been a basket weaver for over 20 years and descended from a long line of weavers… As such, Tracy has intensively pursued her passion for a deep understanding of plants, animal fibres, foraging for wild food, spinning wild fibres, and learning how to read our traditional landscape from the perspective of a “Gatherer”. Tracy is far from the life that her Skwxwumesh Ancestors have walked – and yet, bit by bit – she is rediscovering the value of fire; her unique relationship to plants and how they transform into food, fibre, or medicine; and the depth of knowledge that lays in the ocean. Tracy has come back home to the Land, to her secrets and mysteries that have only begun to reveal themselves to her. And it is for this reason that she seeks the pathway of a Salish Gatherer……
Ready to make your own?
To learn more about finger labyrinths, including steps for how to make your own, click the link below.
Willoughby Arevalo is passionate about the ecology of fungi, the ways they shape our world and the ways we shape theirs. His lifelong friendship with fleshy fungi has led him down a mycelial pathway – from a start in field identification and mushroom hunting, branching into cuisine, DIY cultivation, farming, education, writing and eco-arts. In his thirty years of self-motivated inquiry and intimate lived experience with fungi, he has spent the last decade prioritizing sharing mycology with people in communities across North America. This has manifested in numerous presentations, art projects, teaching tours, collaborations, gatherings, and his book, DIY Mushroom Cultivation, published by New Society Publishers.
Along with his partner Isabelle Kirouac, he conducts the Art & Fungi project – currently offering ongoing, community-engaged residencies at Kitsilano Community Centre through Vancouver’s Artists in Communities program, Mountainside Secondary School in alliance with North Van Arts, and at Collingwood Neighbourhood House in Vancouver. Originally from Arcata, California (Traditional Wiyot and Yurok Territory), he lives as a grateful guest on Unceded Coast Salish Territory in Vancouver, Canada. His work can be seen at mycelialconnections.net and artandfungi.org.
Ready to design your own?
To find out more about Earth Radial Designs, including how to create your own, click the link below.
Isabelle Kirouac develops performances, installations, dances, and interdisciplinary experiences that often integrate community engagement. Isabelle explores the senses, body awareness, interspecies relationships, and liminality through her artistic work.
After completing a Degree in Literature at Université du Québec À Montréal and a College Diploma in Music and Humanities, Isabelle trained for many years in dance improvisation, Contact Improvisation, release technique, somatics, and contemporary stilts. Isabelle has an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts, and is currently living in Vancouver BC, on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations.
Isabelle is researching the intersection between the world of fungi and somatic practices, social choreography, and immersive experiences in collaboration with mycologist and visual artist Willoughby Arevalo.