Landmarks - Public Art in the Capital Region


Signs of Lekwungen - Site Outside Victoria City Hall by Butch Dick

Signs of Lekwungen - Site Outside Victoria City Hall by Butch Dick
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Artwork DescriptionCulturally significant site to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. This is one of seven markers created with circular bronze casts of original cedar carvings. This artwork depicts the spindle whorl, a tool traditionally used by Coast Salish women to spin wool - considered to be the foundation of a Coast Salish family. The concept for the base was developed by Heritage Planner Richard Linzey. The base's top is inscribed with the traditional place name, phonetically in Lekwungen as well as English.
Artwork Statementskwu-tsu-KNEE-lth-ch translates literally to "bitter cherry tree." Here willow-lined berry-rich creeks and meadows meandered down to the ocean, and paths made by bark harvesters bordered the waterways. The imprints of these creeks can still be seen in the uneven ground of the Market Square area. This was a creek bed that led back to the food gathering areas now contained by Fort, View, Vancouver and Quadra Streets. Bark from the bitter cherry was used to make a variety of household objects.

About Butch Dick

Artist BioButch Dick is a master carver trained in fine art and graphic design. He has taught First Nations Art and Culture in School District 61 for more than 20 years and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria, teaching an Indigenous Learning course. Butch Dick also trained his two sons, Clarence Dick Jr. and Bradley Dick in the art of carving. Father and sons work closely together on aboriginal art projects.


Artwork TypeFirst Nations
MediumCarving: close-grain red cedar was used to carve the whorl. Bronze castings: made as a disk, anchored to a brown powder-coated aluminum pole.
Unveiled dateSeptember 30, 2008
Dimensionssite marker 2.5 metres in heigh
Reference #3848
SitePandora Avenue at Broad Street, south west corner of Victoria City Hall.
Art CategoryCivic Public Art
Selection ProcessCivic: Invitational / Commissioned
Municipality/NeighbourhoodVictoria: Downtown



Type of Artwork