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North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Feb 17
Bill Reid's Xhuwaji / Haida Grizzly

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​The ceremonial drum, pictured here, is part of Artists for Kids' permanent collection.

By Allison Kerr, District Principal, Arts Education 

In 1988, Canadian Artist Bill Reid designed Xhuwaji / Haida Grizzly on a ceremonial drum. This drum was the first acquisition of art purchased by Artists for Kids (AFK).

In 1990,  Reid generously donated to AFK an edition of serigraph prints developed with printmaker Terra Bonnieman, using the Xhuwaji / Haida Grizzly image, to be sold through the AFK Editions print shop​. Funds raised would pay for the acquisition of the ceremonial drum and further support visual arts education in the NVSD and beyond. The result of this vision and generosity made history.   

Thanks to the exceptional inspiration of our founding patron artists, Bill Reid, along with Gordon Smith and Jack Shadbolt, and some of Canada’s most renowned artists following his example, the collection has steadily grown into a significant art portfolio offering collectors a unique opportunity to support cultural growth.

Today, Artists for Kids holds a notable collection of Canadian art at the Gordon Smith Gallery​, including Bill Reid's ceremonial drum. Our gallery and collection continue to be a vibrant learning hub, offering the ability to learn through the lens of the arts and through each other, like no other educational system in the world. 

This past summer (2020), in honour of Bill Reid's 100th anniversary of his birth and in commemoration of his huge cultural legacy, the Canadian Mint unveiled the 2020 $2 Bill Reid Commemorative circulation coin. We are honoured, as this coin features the Xhuwaji /
Haida Grizzly.

We are able to show our gratitude once more to Bill Reid, as one of the founding artists who helped to build Artists for Kids, now 30 years old, by continuing to support kids, educators and artists. 


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