Cecil Dawson is a First Nations artist, a Hereditary Chief, and storyteller from the Kwakwaka’wakw.
For 30 years, Cecil and his father commercially fished the waters surrounding Vancouver Island, and Cecil learned a deep respect for the ocean, fish and wildlife. From spring to fall, with each species they fished for, they watched the moon. He learned of the important role the moon played in the circle of life.
The seasons cycle around the moon. We could tell when it was the right time to start fishing, and where to fish, by watching the moon. We fished all over, but started and ended every fishing season in the Salish Sea, beginning with the herring spawn around Denman and Hornby Islands. It's an amazing experience, where you can see up close the life that the herring spawn brings, thousands of sea birds, the eagles and the sea lions. Each year, we ended our fishing season near Qualicum Beach.
Cecil knew at a young age that he was artistically gifted. Life experiences, respect for nature and ancestral history are his inspirations for his artwork.
From March to November 2022, the Museum at Campbell River presented an exhilarating exhibit, Cecil Dawson: Standing in the Gap, featuring Cecil's contemporary artworks. Here is a look inside the exhibit: Cecil Dawson: Standing in the Gap
Who is Cecil Dawson? This link will take you to a recent personal interview with Cecil to help answer that question.