Ian Lowe, a Royston Coast Salish metal artist gifted this piece he created named Resilience to B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Photo submitted.

Ian Lowe, a Royston Coast Salish metal artist gifted this piece he created named Resilience to B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Photo submitted.

Vancouver Island artist gifts B.C.’s health officer with symbolic hummingbird

A special connection brought the piece to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s desk in Victoria

So much for Ian Lowe in the past few months has come down to timing.

The Royston Coast Salish metal artist began working full time in January on his metal sculptures following 30 years in the welding and fabricating industry.

He primarily works on various commissioned pieces made from high-grade stainless steel but does have some of his work featured in the Butchart Gardens in Victoria. His Sea Otter – Keeper of the Kelp Forest piece is also featured at Land & Sea Brewing Co. in Comox.

RELATED: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

In late March, Lowe began working on a hummingbird and took a break for lunch and to watch the daily COVID-19 briefing from B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“I started watching and noticed she was wearing a blouse that was covered in (a hummingbird pattern). I thought this was perfect – I need to pay this forward.”

Lowe continued with the piece with the health officer in mind. Once the piece was complete, he was determined to find a way to gift the sculpture to Henry.

“I had tried to phone (local political offices) and took a bunch of different avenues but it’s much harder to get a hold of her then you might imagine. I almost gave up.”

Just as Lowe was re-examining his options, he decided to post a bike for sale on Craigslist. He connected with the buyer who happened to work in North Island – Powell River MP Rachel Blaney’s office who was able to assist him to make the contact.

“It’s like I almost willed it to happen,” he added.

A few weeks after he sent the piece to Victoria he received an email from Henry thanking him.

RELATED: Pandemic brings success to Vancouver Island artist carving COVID masks

“I have the sculpture in my office and look at in wonder every day,” she noted in her emailed reply to him. “It is a bright spot in my day and reminds me of the beauty in the world.”

Lowe said it was just what he expected her to say.

“She’s so down to earth and calm and caring. She touches so many people and has the ability to connect to so many.”

The piece, named Resilience, has a special meaning for the Coast Salish. Lowe said it represents pure love and joy and it is symbolic of those who travel great distances and respond quickly.

For more information about Lowe’s work, visit lowetidedesign.ca

For more news from the Island and beyond delivered directly to your email inbox, click here.



photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read