Meet the Coast Salish and Community Artists of W.E. Connect

W.E. Connect is rooted in local Indigenous knowledge and West End experiences.

Learn about the Indigenous history of the West End through stories and original artwork shared by artists from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and be inspired by community artists’ perspectives and rich experiences of the West End. Learn more about the West End through Indigenous history, original art work and stories.

Meet the artists:

Chrystal Sparrow: xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) artist and carver

Chrystal Sparrow is a xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) artist and female carver. She was traditionally mentored by her late father Irving Sparrow, a master carver. Chrystal is both a traditional and contemporary Coast Salish artist who designs feminine art to express her culture and family teachings. She has public art at the YVR International Airport, Vancouver School Board, Starbucks Canada, BC Children's Hospital, and many other locations. Chrystal believes her work is a living art language that expresses her culture, teachings, and perspectives.
Instagram: @chrystalsparrow
Facebook: /salishcarver

Cory Douglas: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) WE resident, architect and artist

Cory Douglas was born and raised in Coast Salish Territory ‘Vancouver’ and brings over 25 years of local experience in art and architectural design. He is a Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation member with Xaayda (Haida) and Ts'msyen (Tsimshian) ancestry. Cory began his business as a graphic artist and continues to redefine himself as he merges his academic architectural vocation with his innate creativity.

Cory is connected to the Skwxwú7mesh Nation through his parents and has been studying traditional Xaayda form and Formline and Coast Salish design. Cory’s intention is to communicate the cultural history of Canada, alongside the development and design of strategies through decolonization.

Listen to Cory's interview on CBC's On The Coast with Gloria Macarenko discussing how Indigenous input is helping shape the future of the West End Community Hub.

Instagram: @modernformline
Facebook: /cory.douglas.7

Angela George: Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Coast Salish weaver and artist

Coast Salish weaver Angela George carries two ancestral names - sits'sáts'tenat and qʷənat. Originally from Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Sts’ailes, she lives and works in the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)Nation with her husband Gabriel George, children, and grandchildren. Traditionally groomed, Angela carries the gift of weaving with integrity and a responsibility to create awareness, stewardship, and harmony. Angela holds an MBA in Indigenous Business Leadership at SFU, where she researched səlilwətaɬ laws of the land and sacred waters of the Burrard Inlet, then designed it into a 10’ Weaving Governance panel to demonstrate that Coast Salish weavings are Holders of Knowledge and living, guiding documents.

Instagram: @anggeorge_weaver
Facebook: /

Afuwa: Vancouver artist

Afuwa was born in Guyana, on Karinya, Lokono, and Akawaio lands, and makes art on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories (Vancouver), on the site known as Luk'Luk'i. Locally and internationally exhibited, her work encompasses language, the body, and diasporic memory, and has appeared in publications such as Room Magazine, PUBLIC, Asparagus, GUTS, The Capilano Review, The Feminist Wire, Briarpatch, West Coast Line, subTerrain, and in Performing Utopias in the Contemporary Americas (2017). Her multisensory painting/ installation Still Salt, Dark Stories is currently in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Vancouver Special exhibit, which runs until 02 January 2022.

Instagram: @afuwapaints

Photo by Arlene Bowman

Ken Boesem: West End artist and writer

BC artist/writer Ken Boesem’s family first arrived in Vancouver in 1885, and he has been a settler here, making his home in various “nests” in the West End, since 1999. Between = 2005-2012, Boesem produced “The Village”, a newspaper comic strip that featured a diverse and inclusive cast of West Enders living in shared community in the West End’s queer

Davie Street enclave. Boesem had the privilege of working in various capacities from 2004-2017 at the West End’s legendary community bookstore, Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium, helping to facilitate West End community building directly at street level.

Twitter: @kbcanuck
Instagram: @kenboesem

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