Visit the Witness Blanket travelling exhibition at Cedar Hill

November 4, 2021

News release

For immediate release

Visit the Witness Blanket travelling exhibition at Cedar Hill

Saanich, BC – The Witness Blanket travelling exhibitiona reproduction of artist Carey Newman’s ground-breaking art installation, is coming to the Cedar Hill Recreation and Arts Centre Gallery November 18 through December 12, 2021.

“I am excited to have this replica come so close to home and for it to be available to schools and other groups in our community,” said Carey Newman, master carver and artist.

The Witness Blanket presents the atrocities of the residential school era, shares the experiences of residential school survivors, honours the children and symbolizes ongoing reconciliation. Inspired by a woven blanket, the original cedarā€framed artwork is made of over 800 items from Indian residential schools, survivors, churches, governments and other cultural sites across Canada. Each item tells a story of loss, strength, resilience and pride.

“We are honoured to have this important piece on display in Saanich,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “In light of the recent and ongoing discoveries at former residential schools, the importance of this work cannot be overstated. I invite everyone in the community to come and view the piece and experience the thoughtful and powerful representation of this traumatizing part of our history.”

The original Witness Blanket began its tour in 2014 in Victoria, where Newman (Hayalthkin’geme), master carver and artist of Kwakwak’awakw, Coast Salish and Settler descent resides. It is now located at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg where after touring Canada for three years is currently undergoing conservation.

The installation at Cedar Hill is a reproduction developed in partnership by Newman and the CMHR to enable The Witness Blanket to continue bringing its stories and messages to communities across the country. The artist and this powerful artwork have made an impact in communities across the country and garnered international attention. Most recently, TELUS has partnered with Newman and the CMHR to develop an online version.

The exhibit will be on display during Cedar Hill’s facility hours, outside of scheduled exhibit closures. Indigenous families and organizations are invited to schedule private viewings of the exhibition. Schools and community groups are asked to pre-book visits to help plan for the accommodation of larger groups. Contact Brenda Weatherston for more information and to schedule. An evening opportunity to meet the artist is being planned and details will be provided on the website.

Learn more

Find out more about the Witness Blanket and its exhibition at Cedar Hill at saanich.ca/witnessblanket and download the event poster [PDF - 200 KB] for additional information.

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Media contact:
Brenda Weatherston
Community Arts Programmer
brenda.weatherston@saanich.ca
250-475-5557