Master carver and Songhees First Nation elder Clarence "Butch" Dick (Yux’wey’lupton), is an inspiring local visionary trained in fine art who continues to play a pivotal role in youth empowerment and whose tireless commitment to creatively championing the Songhees carving style has touched every generation.
In his lifelong dedication to art, culture and community service, Butch has become an educator and mentor of many—including his two sons, Clarence Dick Jr. and Bradley Dick whom he taught to carve, and countless students in Victoria School District 61, where he has taught First Nations art and cultural awareness for more than two decades.
Butch believes intrinsically in leading by example. As Songhees education liaison worker and artistic director, he helped launch the Songhees Recreation and Wellness Centre in 2013, with a gymnasium, eldercare, youth centre, adult education centre and youth kitchen. He was also the driving force behind the Indigenous Youth Showcase, where youth from ages 15 to 24 work with artists, mentors and elders to develop an artistic
vision and practice a focus on a career path.
Among other works, he designed and created the Signs of Lekwungen Interpretive Walkway—with its seven large unique metallic markers honouring the art, history and culture of the Coast Salish People—along Victoria's Inner Harbour. He was also directly involved in carving the two poles in Spirit Square—which includes a performance stage, market, and gardens with native species—formally known as Victoria’s Centennial Square. An internationally renowned artist, Butch is from the Lekwungen community, better known today as the Songhees First Nation.
Butch Dick received the Lifetime Achievement in Community Leadership Award in 2015.
Chilean-born Lina de Guevara is a director, actor, storyteller and specialist in Commedia dell’Arte, Transformational Theatre and Solo Performance. She arrived in Canada as an immigrant in 1976. In 1988 Lina founded PUENTE Theatre in Victoria BC and was its artistic director for 23 years. She retired in June 2011. With its mandate to create and produce plays about diversity, the immigrant experience and intercultural communication, PUENTE has been a significant presence in the Victoria theatre scene.
Lina’s director’s credits include “Sisters/Strangers”, “Storytelling Our Lives”, “I wasn’t born here”, “ Crossing Borders ”, “Letters for Tomas”, “Act Now Against Racism”, “The House of Bernarda Alba”, “Mother Courage”, “Uthe/Athe”, “Chile con carne”, “Emergence”, “ The good story”, “The woman who fell from the sky”, “Canadian Tango 09”, “Scene and Heard ”, “Algarabía”, “Pilgrimage of the nuns of Concepción” and ”River of Time”.
At present Lina freelances in Victoria as director, actor, workshop facilitator and storyteller. She collaborates with the Intercultural Society of Greater Victoria in creating and facilitating a variety of projects that use the Arts and specially theatre to ease the integration of new immigrants to Canadian Society. Some of those projects have been: “Interlace”, “Police and Immigrant Community”, “Bridging Conversations” and “I wasn’t always a Canadian”.
One of Lina’s strong interests is to explore and express through the arts the relations between Canadian First Nations and Indigenous peoples from Latin America, specially Chile. She collaborated in the translation and publication of “Message to Chileans” by Mapuche Poet Elikura Chihuailaff, directed and wrote “Journey to Mapu”, a research workshop and play, and has written and performed several stories on this topic.
Lina is a strong believer in the power of the Arts to enrich life, heal wounds and add meaning and joy to our days.
Banner image: photo by Kirk Schwartz. Peter Morin honouring Butch Dick through dance at the Community Feast, Lekwungen Gathering 2017.