The Seaside Park Faye Smith Rosenblatt Memorial Pavilion at the brant viewing area in Qualicum Beach is complete.
The last remaining component, carver Jesse Recalma’s art works, have been installed and are displayed at the site, located just north along Island Highway past Crescent Road West in Qualicum Beach.
Recalma, of the Qualicum First Nation, was chosen by the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers, who have been working to complete the pavilion since 2017.
“It is an exciting finishing touch to the project and a meaningful addition to the Qualicum Beach waterfront,” said Pat Jacobson, project manager of Seaside Nature Park.
The art complements the other features already in place that include interpretive signage, benches and landscaping.
Recalma feels honoured to have his art pieces representing the Qualicum First Nation on display at the memorial pavilion that was dedicated and named after Faye Smith, who helped create the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers in 1995.
“All of these things, they relate to aspects of our history and our knowledge in some manner or another,” said Recalma. “This is a perfect spot to really have an expression of sharing imagery that comes with our stories in our history and the natural world around us.”
What visitors can appreciate are four carved paddles installed in the centre support of the pavilion that features sea serpent, thunderbird, salmon, an eagle and heron engraved.
“Two of them are based on the animals that we commonly see and two of them are based on supernatural creatures that we have in our history,” said Recalma.
There are also eight panels with salmon travelling in both directions, representing those heading out to the oceans and those returning to spawn in upper streams.
There are also two carvings highlighting the sun that rises in the east and sets in the west each day.
“So the easternmost one is the sun and that’s just noting that direction that we see the sun rising and the westward one has as a skull to represent the ancestors and the cormorant and salmon eggs,” Recalma explained. “The cormorant is archaeologically one of the oldest birds that have been found and known to be on the coast.”
Jacobson said they recognized the importance of incorporating the history of Qualicum First Nation and art into the pavilion. They consulted QFN chief Michael Recalma, who provided insight and suggestions for telling the story of the land and also sought the help of Carrie Reid, who provided a helping hand in developing relevant material for the interpretive signage.
“It took a while to finish but this is the final element, a major one,” said Jacobson. “It’s just a perfect finishing touch to this pavilion. And we’ve had a lot of good comments about it.”