News and Events
Artist in Residence
Canadian International School of Hong Kong is honoured to have Bill Helin as its 2011/2012 Artist in Residence from 1 February – 30 MarchMr. Helin, whose Aboriginal name is We Laaxum'Yout, is a brilliant and accomplished Tsimshian First Nations artist, renowned totem carver, designer, engrave, painter and writer from Parksville, British Columbia on Canada's Westcoast. He is a passionate advocate for youth, an accomplished artist, writer and illustrator, jewellery designer and filmmaker. A proud father of four, Helin loves to teach and work with children and adults as he shares his Tsimshian Indian traditions.
"My children teach me something new about life all the time, they inspire me to be a better example to them and others. Love is what we share the most, family unity is our example."Mr. Helin carved one of the world's largest totem poles (55 metres), known as the Spirit of Lekwammen, for the 15th Commonwealth Games, held in Victoria, British Columbia in 1994. He also collaborated with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA to design a life crest patch for the crew uniforms for astronauts involved in two space missions. Samples of his work are below. See more on his webpage.
Starting in February, Mr. Helin will carve two totem poles for the school, each with a unique design featuring Canadian First Nations Tsimshian and traditional Chinese characters and designs. The log that was selected for the two totem poles arrived in Hong Kong in December 2011 from Canada. A traditional Welcome and Blessing Ceremony for the log was held before Christmas (pictures below). Mr. Helin will work daily on creating the two totem poles and will demonstrate carving techniques to students. See the school calendar for his schedule.
Log Arrival & Welcome
Students of all ages and grade groups will be involved in a host of curricular activities while Mr. Helin is at CDNIS. Some students in the Lower School will research and design family crests, while others will create button blankets and clappers as part of their unit of inquiry, How We Express Ourselves. Our Upper School students will be involved in mask design and building, jewellery making, and dance. We are also looking forward to learning about the culture and history of native Canadians, and the similarities and differences between First Nations Canadian art and Chinese art and design.We are very excited to welcome Mr.Helin as he will most definitely share a fascinating and unique perspective with our school community that will promote a sense of internationalism as well as a greater understanding of other cultures. He is a wonderful ambassador and we know his time at our school will be rewarding not only for us, but for him as well. The links below to his different activities while at school will be updated as the activities develop.
Log Blessing & Dedication
After two months of carving, planing, sanding and painting, the totem poles were brought to their permanent homes at the main entrance of the school in a ceremony that combined traditional Tsimshian and Chinese customs, with students, parents and staff participating
See Mr. Helin's activity schedule
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