SUBMITTED PHOTO Tim Alfred with the award-winning ‘Blue Moon mask’.

Port Hardy artist Tim Alfred wins People’s Choice Award

“It’s very exciting to see this work be recognized”

Port Hardy based artist Tim Alfred has won a prestigious prize at the third biennial Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP).

Alfred was awarded a People’s Choice Award, and was one of 52 finalists from across Canada taking part in the SSNAP exhibition and eligible to win one of ten prizes. His piece, ‘Blue Moon mask’, is a four foot round carving with 40 inlaid abalone and cedar bark.

For Alfred, winning the People’s Choice Award provided an opportunity to share his work on the national stage. “I was carving and carving and then I heard the news report about the rare blue moon that was coming, so I made the Blue Moon mask,” he said, adding he decided to enter the SSNAP competition “and I was honoured to be short-listed and invited to participate.”

His backstory as a young Chief and becoming an established artist are both reflected in the work. “I feel like a gift has been bestowed upon me and it’s a blessing to take this piece to a larger audience and also acknowledge the carvers who taught me, including my mentor, Stanley Clifford Hunt; it’s very exciting to see this work be recognized.”

SSNAP is a biennial national art competition, established in 2015, that recognizes works that have significant impact, depth of meaning, work that pushes boundaries and creates a conversation, bringing context to cultural issues both local and global.

The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) is one of the largest visual arts competitions in the country. The intent of SSNAP is to encourage artists whose practice demonstrates originality, quality, integrity and creativity, resulting in significant work with visual impact and depth of meaning. In this third year, SSNAP offers $39,000 in awards as chosen by an independent jury from across Canada. This exciting endeavour is an initiative of the Salt Spring Arts Council (SSAC), which represents the Arts for Salt Spring Island, one of Canada’s premiere arts communities.

For more information about SSNAP, please visit:

– North Island Gazette staff

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