Christmas at the Lattimer Gallery

Gwaai Edenshaw : Low Maintenance Pet

One thing I have really been looking forward to in the city is Christmas. Yes, there are things I will miss – snow, sledding, bundled up around a campfire with a hot whisky and Christmas in Hazelton – but now that I’m in the city I plan to take full advantage of what the city has to offer this year at Christmas. The Lattimer Gallery is one of those places that celebrates the season right with a little giving back each year.

Phil Gray : Odyssey II

As much as Christmas has become commercialized I can find no evidence that the spirit of Christmas has been lost altogether. It’s the time of year when you smile a little broader, shake hands a little more sincerely and open your heart with compassion and understanding. This is the time of year when we believe in the generosity of the human spirit; when we know that helping those in need is made a priority. As the date for the Annual Charity Bentwood Boxes draws closer, it’s nice to know that the place I work is one of those that is doing just that; and has been for eight years running. Between the artists donating their work and the Lattimer Gallery contributing marketing and staff time, the event has grown into one that is eagerly awaited each year.

Nathan Wilson, Copper Ghosts : Joe Campbell, All My Relations

100% of the funds raised from the small bentwood boxes each year is donated to the Urban Native Youth Association. The Lattimer Gallery is a Northwest Coast Art Gallery that has been around for almost 30 years. One of the long standing galleries in Vancouver dealing in Northwest Coast art, the Lattimer Gallery focuses on the artists as the foundation of their gallery. Not a day goes by that I don’t see an artist coming in to talk to owner, Peter Lattimer. The Charity Bentwood Box Auction is just one more way that the artists are given a chance to display their talents. Creating art for sale through the gallery means the artists are often working with imagery and in mediums that are more broadly appealing to clients. When an artist creates a box for the charity auction, since it’s donated time from the artist and all funds go to charity, the artists’ creativity is unleashed. There is no end to the unique, innovative and sometimes humorous designs the artists come up with. The event has become a bit of a competition among artists each year and regular clients will come in asking if the boxes are on display yet, and wondering which artists have come on board.

This year another fun development is the creation of a documentary film about the yearly auction. Here’s the teaser for the film:


One of the things I try to focus on in this blog is where I find heart and compassion in the city that keeps me connected to my roots up North. Christmas in the North is all about family and providing for those in need in your community. I’ve discovered that it’s no different here in the city and the Annual Charity Bentwood Box Auction is just one example of that. I often wonder how I can best give back and be a part of the true Christmas spirit. Although I want to be able to make a difference I often don’t know where to start. With events like the charity auction I know that my contributions are going to make a real difference. That’s why I want to challenge you to bid on a box this year, knowing that 100% of the funds are going to support First Nations youth in the city. My contributions? I will be volunteering my time on December 5th from 5-8pm, the evening of the final bidding at the Lattimer Gallery, and I’m looking forward to seeing you there; not only with your best bid, but also with your finest city Christmas spirit to enjoy the festivities and meet the talented creators of the boxes.



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