Artist Raphael Silver has been working all summer on a cedar “house post” for the Abbotsford Arts Council. A raising ceremony takes place Friday, Sept. 29. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Ceremony celebrates raising of ‘house post’

Event on Friday, Sept. 29 at Kariton Art Gallery in Abbotsford

A ceremony to raise a house post crafted by Stó:lo artist Raphael Silver takes place Friday, Sept. 29 at Kariton Art Gallery (2387 Ware St.), starting at 11 a.m.

The Abbotsford Arts Council commissioned Silver to carve the house post to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday and to acknowledge Stó:lo contributions to the community.

A house post is the Coast Salish version of the totem pole, and it is carved to proclaim the stories and values of the family or clan.

Outside of the Big House (the Coast Salish description of a longhouse), posts function as welcome poles, and inside they are used as support beams.

Silver is an accomplished artist known for other art installations in the community such as the roundabout at McCallum Road depicting the salmon, the house post arch at Fraser River Heritage Park, and projects at various schools, including Yale Secondary.

Guests in attendance at the house post ceremony include Chief Dalton Silver of Sumas First Nation, former B.C. lieutenant governor Steven Point, Coun. Brenda Falk, and Abbotsford Arts Council president Aaron Levy.

Abbotsford students will join the ceremony as part of Orange Shirt Day to acknowledge, honour and show respect to the survivors of residential schools and to raise awareness of the intergenerational impact of mistreatment within these institutions.

The public is encouraged to wear orange as a show of respect and support.

Parking will be available to the public in lot “G” of the Sevenoaks Shopping Centre.

The project is supported by the community fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration among the Abbotsford Community Foundation, the City of Abbotsford and the federal government.

Visit abbotsfordartscouncil.com for more information or call 604-852-9358.