New Mural at CGSHE’s Hastings Community Office by Celebrated Artist Haisla Collins

December 18, 2019   |   Blog

On December 17, CGSHE’s Indigenous Cultural Safety Committee (ICSC) was honoured to welcome artist Haisla Collins and Elders Roberta Price and Glida Morgan to our Community Office for a ceremony to commemorate the mural Haisla created for our space, titled “Our Communities Rise like the Butterflies.”

The ICSC commissioned Haisla, a celebrated artist of Tsimshian, Gitxsan, Nisga’a and European descent and a member of the Indigenous Women Artists Collective, to create a mural this fall. Haisla listened to our vision of a warm, welcoming image to support CGSHE’s commitments to cultural safety and humility and ongoing work towards truth and reconciliation. Her resulting creation and the thought and care she put into this work has completely transformed the space and made our Community Office, which we moved into earlier this year, feel more like CGSHE’s home.

Haisla, who is also an accomplished musician, created the mural over the course of two weeks in November. We were very grateful for the opportunity to get to know Haisla and her work during this time. We are also very grateful to Elders Roberta Price and Glida Morgan who took time to honour and celebrate the work Haisla put into making our new space bright and welcoming. The ceremony, which included singing of songs and a cedar brushing of the mural, was well attended by CGSHE staff, neighbours, and community members and followed by the sharing of food.

About Haisla Collins

Haisla Collins is an artist, musician, teacher and project organizer. She was born and raised in Vancouver BC, and is of Tsimshian, Gitxsan, Nisga’a and mixed European ancestry. Her artwork is musical and colourful, with Northwest Coast narratives, science- and society-based narratives, images that empower Indigenous womxn and people, images about the interconnectedness of everyone and the universe, and more. Haisla has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University. She is an award-winning alumni of Langara College and she studied to become a singer with jazz singer Ron Small. She is best known for her work on “Spirits of the Realms,” a mural at 600 Beatty Street; The Big Print Project (2016, Chinatown); and her recent work “Sisters Daughters Clan Mothers: Honouring Indigenous Woman,” located above the elevators at the Central Vancouver Library. She is the community leader of the Indigenous Women Artists collective, a collective member of Gallery Gachet, and lead singer and harmonica player for blues and roots band “Haisla with Nasty Brutish and Short.”

About the Indigenous Women Artists Collective

Indigenous Women Artists (IWA) is a grass-roots, Vancouver, BC-based artist collective. IWA aims to:

  • Create opportunities for Indigenous women artists
  • Provide art workshops on contemporary or traditional art practices
  • Produce art shows and events that showcase indigenous women artists
  • Offer educational programs that help artists with business development and financial planning
  • Promote the events and artwork of Indigenous women artists
  • Be an inclusive organization welcoming indigenous women artists of all ages, trans or cis, LGBTQ2S, of different abilities and talents, beliefs and traditions
  • Connect with other organizations to help create opportunities for Indigenous women artists

IWA aims to present Indigenous women artists to the general public, to community members across Vancouver, and beyond. They aim to give indigenous woman a voice by giving indigenous women artists a platform.