Master Carver Bill Seminoff and Elder Wendy Charbonneau
We might never know who carved this nativity setting of old growth red cedar, but the devotion and love the carver poured into these works remains vibrant and alive today. Its in the patina of the wood, masterfully brought back by our eminent friend Bill Seminoff. This carver speaks volumes about the First Christmas in the unconventional composition of the figures. The Shepherd, the King, the Angel and an ever watchful Joseph have faces representing all races. The Infant Jesus is not in a manger, lying like an object removed from the real world of human life. He's on the lap of his Mother, seated in her love for him and reaching out to everyone who approaches. All of these figures stand without a roof over their heads, and witness to the fact that the world can change forever and for good even in a condition of homelessness.
Today we unveiled the Dundarave Nativity, and for the first time saw these carvings blessed by a paddle song. Elder Wendy Charbonneau, whose many times great grandfather Chief Capilano welcomed Captain Cook to the waters off Dundarave Beach, sang the paddle song of her grandmother, a friend of Emily Carr. There was a gentle grace to this moment, as determined and subtle as the return of spring itself. Under a warm and speckless sky, after the blessing, Gleneagles and Irwin Park students echoed her call to peace and deep Christmas joy as they sang to hundreds of their friends, family and beautiful strangers.
Be sure to visit the Dundarave Nativity this season. If you'd like to share its spirit with people on your holiday list, contact us about the Festival's Christmas card featuring the Dundarave Nativity -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- or purchase them here.
The Dundarave Festival Society
We are a circle of friends working in the Dundarave Festival of Lights Society to bring to life the promise of Christmas in our community, a season of life, passion and purpose that leaves no one in the cold. This is community-driven social change, in the true spirit of Christmas and the best spirit of our community.