Camossung, by Fred Dobbs

Statue of a Female Figure

You can view “Camossung”, a public art work at Gorge Waterway Park. It reflects the history of the First Nations People of the area and Saanich’s goal to protect the natural environment.

The sculpture symbolizes the importance of this location. It’s a unique place, where fresh and salt-water merge with each ebb and flow of the Gorge Waterway. It’s a place where animals thrive and where people sought food and a spiritual connection.

An ancient Songhees story tells of a young girl named Camossung, turned to stone by Hayls, the Transformer. Camossung is believed to have spirit powers. She protects the Songhees people’s local food resources of coho salmon, herring, oysters and ducks.

The original sacred stone is located below the southern side of the Tillicum Bridge. You can see it beneath the water at low tide. The Songhees people have participated in this project in good faith and co-operation.

About the Project Process

  • Gorge Waterway Park re-development and expansion: completed in 2004.
  • Public Art Competition: started in spring 2009.

The Gorge Waterway Park Public Art Jury

  • Three local artists.
  • Local neighbourhood association representative.
  • Saanich Parks & Recreation staff member.

The jury chose the work to address the broad theme of “Knowledge of place; understanding the natural and cultural community along the Gorge waterway”. 

Front of a Brochure

Camossung Brochure [PDF - 1.3 MB]