Closing Ceremony: Get to Know the Artist of our Classic Prizes

Closing Ceremony: Get to Know the Artist of our Classic Prizes

(Note from the Organizing Committee: Tonight’s Closing Ceremony is a more formal sit down dinner and includes the prize-giving. It will take place in the dining room at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and will showcase more of our local food and beverages. Competitors are invited to wear navy blue blazers and ties and white trousers or club uniform if available. Dinner is scheduled to start at 1830 hours. This event is sold out. Please don’t forget to bring your ticket.)

Xwa Lack Tun (Rick Harry) OBC (Order of British Columbia)

We are honoured to introduce you to the artist who created your unique prizes for the Classic 6m World’s Vancouver 2017 Regatta.

For the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Xwalacktun designed the lid for the 2010 Olympic Bid Box and created the initial 2010 winter sports icons for the Bid Book. His designs were used for merchandising and branding for both VANOC and the Four Host Nations.


Xwalacktun is an artist whose works have become internationally recognized. He was born and raised in Squamish (just north of Vancouver on the scenic Sea to Sky Highway) and carries with him the rich ancestries of his father’s Squamish Nation and mother’s Kwakwakw’wakw Nation of the Coast Salish clans. His father, Pekultn, carried a hereditary chieftainship from Seymour Creek in North Vancouver.

Xwalacktun received formal art training locally at the Capilano College and the Emily Carr Institute, where he graduated in 1982 with a degree in Sculpture. He is now recognized as an accomplished artist working with wood, paper, stone, glass and metals.

Respect for all people – regardless of race or religion – and healing, growth and raising an awareness of the environment are central themes in Xwalacktun’s work.

By focusing on how the traditional stories relate to his own life, he suggests to us how to use this ancient knowledge to help heal ourselves and our community.

The recipient of many awards and honours, we also know him for the numerous and ongoing work he has done with many elementary and secondary schools in 7 different districts. The giving out of positive energy and seeing it come back through the young people is the reward that continues to feed his spirit so that he can give back to others.

In 2001, he was invited to be one of a select number of artists to participate in Scotland’s Totem Pole Project, where he travelled to Dunkeld to carve a pole for the community there. Xwalacktun went back to other towns in Scotland in 2005 and 2008 to complete similar projects with artists such as Squamish carver Aaron Nelson-Moody and Coast Salish/Tlingit artist Ray Natrall.

In 2009, Xwalacktun was asked to be a contributing artist for Simon Fraser University’s A Journey Into Time Immemorial, an interactive website based on traditional Salish culture.

We hope you will have time to visit The Audain Art Museum in Whistler. This magnificent gallery, dedicated to the collection and display of art from Coastal British Columbia, was designed by Patkau Architects, who created your prizes for the 6m Open Class. There you will be warmly greeted at the entrance by Xwalacktun’s stunning sixteen-foot metal sculpture.