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Skwachays Lodge Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery
Skwachays Lodge Hotel and Gallery is canada’s first Aboriginal arts hotel, Skwachays Lodge, combines art and culture with exceptional hospitality.
Eighteen one-of-a-kind guest suites, designed by local Indigenous artists and Vancouver interior designers, tell stunning visual stories about First Nations culture and feature original artwork created by the participating artists.
Centrally located in Vancouver’s historic Gastown district, SkwachГ ys Lodge is surrounded by acclaimed restaurants and popular attractions, making it an ideal location from which to explore the rest of the city.
Offering the highest level of personalized service and premium in-suite amenities, SkwachГ ys Lodge ensures guests enjoy a comfortable and memorable stay.
Location: Crossroads of Vancouver’s historic Gastown, Railtown and Chinatown
29/31 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1R3
Skwachays Lodge is a social enterprise that provides the funding for 24 living and work studios for an Aboriginal ‘artist in residence’ program in our building. Owned and operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society, a non-profit registered charity governed by an all Aboriginal Board of Directors, Skwachays Lodge is the CEO David Eddy’s innovative alternative to government funding for social housing. Founded in 1984 VNHS’s mission is to provide safe, secure, affordable housing for Aboriginal individuals and families living in Vancouver‘s urban setting.
At street level, the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery showcases Aboriginal artwork. Other distinguishing features of the building include a rooftop sweat lodge and smudge room used for spiritual cleansing and artists studio/workshop. In addition guests are able to meet, speak with and observe artists at work and purchase art from many of the artists living in the residence program or in our Gallery. They can enjoy hotel amenities that include room toiletries provided by Mother Earth Essentials, based in Edmonton and Organic Fair Trade Coffee supplied by BC’s Spirit Bear Coffee Company.
All of these features contribute to provide guests with a highly memorable and uniquely authentic Indigenous cultural experience.
Number of Guestrooms: 18.
Each of the 18 guest rooms will provide a uniquely Aboriginal art experience.
Location: Crossroads of Vancouver’s historic Gastown, Railtown and Chinatown
Address: 29/31 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1R3
Meet the Artists and Designers
The transformation of the Skwachays Lodge is a unique collaboration between seven artists and six of Vancouver’s top design firms. Each of the 18 guest rooms will provide a uniquely Aboriginal art experience.
- Clifton Fred and B+H CHIL Design
Canadiana Suite #601 / Poem Suite #501 / Collage Suite #506 Clifton Fred was born in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, as a Crow from the great Tlingit Tribe. He began drawing in grade one and taught himself to express his feelings and experiences about his people in a medium of drawing and poetry. His poems are not to tell the viewers what the drawing is, but only to inform them of what he was thinking while drawing the image. Clifton learned to write and draw at the same time, and cannot feel one without the other. He has not pursued any secondary training in art and knows very little of art history other than that the Tlingit have always honoured the other lives which sustain their existence through their art, which is not separated from living and religion. As the foundation of their existence, their visual designs are the unforgotten language, the contemporary cave drawing, the petrified footprint, that tells of an experience. His personal beliefs and the practice of Native Spirituality lead him to perceive animals as greater beings than himself, and that his existence is dependent upon their presence, and not theirs upon his.
B+H CHIL Design: With an extensive portfolio of projects for the world’s leading hospitality brands and residential developments, B+H CHIL Design is known for creating award-winning interiors that are exceptional, elegant and innovative. They are adept at translating the clients’ perceptions of who they are and where they are going into physical environments that reflect their aspirations. Merging a global perspective and aesthetic with sensitivity to the site-specific historical, social and environmental contexts of their projects.
- Corrine Hunt and BBA Design Consultants Inc.
Earth Suite #602 / Water Suite #502 / Air Suite #610
Corrine Hunt born in Alert Bay British Columbia in 1959, Corrine has been creating contemporary art that reflects the themes and traditions of her First Nations Komoyue and Tlingit heritage since 1985. Corrine’s works include engraved gold and silver jewelry and accessories, custom furnishings in carved stainless steel and reclaimed wood, modern totem poles and other sculptural installations. A member of the Raven Gwa’wina clan from Ts’akis, a Komoyue village on Vancouver Island, Corrine’s rich family history includes internationally renowned First Nations artists Henry, Richard and Tony Hunt, all of whom have influenced her art. Uncle Norman Brotchie was also an early teacher and mentor. Corrine too has mentored First Nations and other artists and continues to be a strong and vocal supporter of the arts in British Columbia.
The BBA Design Team is headed by its Principal and Founder, Sharon Bortolotto. Her experience in design spans 30+ years during which time she has been involved in more than 100 hospitality/resort projects in addition to countless design projects for a wide array of commercial and residential clients. Since BBA’s inception in 1985, the firm has been the recipient of numerous awards with projects published extensively in various Canadian and US publications. BBA believes it is the firm’s unique talent and skill to “envision” a new hospitality project that is instrumental in creating environments that uniquely capture the intangible spirit of the place.
- Lou-ann Neel + Inside Design
Manifestation Suite #603 / Sea Kingdom Suite #503 / Wilderness Suite #504
Lou-ann Neel (Ika’wega) is from the Mamalilikulla, Da’naxda’xw, Mumtagila and Kwagiulth tribes of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation. Lou-ann began creating traditional Kwakwaka’wakw designs at the age of 13 under the instruction of George Hunt Jr. She continued to learn new design elements and techniques throughout her junior high and high school year, after which she continued to explore and experiment on her own with textiles, wood carving, paintings and more recently, jewelry. She is currently studying visual arts at Emily Carr. Lou-ann has also been actively involved in the world of arts as an arts manager/administrator, overseeing numerous exciting projects including the Kwakwaka’wakw Symphony of Dance and various film shorts including Kwakwala Tales. Lou-ann is looking forward to experimenting further with film and animation and having dedicated time to return to wood carving.
Inside Design Studio Inc. is a full-service interior design firm, creating unique design solutions for functional, yet inspiring interior spaces. Lead by principal Judy Henderson, the IDSI team works with hospitality, commercial and residential clients, consulting closely with them to identify the needs, opportunities and values that shape each project. IDSI was founded by Judy in 1997, and has since grown to include a dedicated team of designers who bring their knowledge of the latest technologies, trends and products along with design expertise from around the world. IDSI team is committed to crafting beautiful yet successful spaces by using design to add value to each project.
- Sabina Hill and Mark Preston and MCM Interiors Ltd
Moon Suite #505 / Suite #604/ Suite #605
Sabina Hill is inspired by First Nations imagery, which is deeply-rooted in Pacific Northwest regional culture. Sabina graduated in architecture from the University of British Columbia and in environmental studies from the University of Manitoba. After founding her studio in 1993, she began to connect professionally with the First Peoples in 2000,as she sought to create works with a distinctly regional design aesthetic—envisioning a collaboration with those who have been bringing the spirit of the land to surface through art for thousands of years. Sabina will be collaborating directly with Mark Preston Tenna ‘Tsa ‘Teh Master of the Copper, who is of Tlingit and Irish ancestry. Mark began studying precious metal carving under master jeweller Phil Janze while attending the famed West Coast Native Carving School in Hazelton BC, where he was instructed by Eugene Alfred. He produces a line of clothing with his mother Kay-Yee-Yah tat includes beautiful appliques of cloth or beading. Mark’s work can be found nationally and internationally.
Established in 1987, MCM Interiors Ltd. is a professional interior design firm based in Vancouver, British Columbia. A dynamic and innovative Canadian firm, its diverse clientele is based primarily in Canada and the United States, as well as offshore, offering a full spectrum of comprehensive interior design solutions. Our portfolio of interior design work consists of award winning projects successfully completed in the hospitality, corporate, health care, institutional, and retail markets. MCM Interiors Ltd. is composed of multi-talented, creative, and self-motivated designers – all highly trained and experienced in the many services provided by the firm.
- Richard Shorty and Porada Design Group
Feather Suite #607 / Hummingbird Suite #606 / King Salmon Suite #507
Richard Shorty, Northern Tutchone, is a self-taught artist and his crest is Crow. He began painting in 1981 with encouragement from artist, Ben Houstie. In 1981/82, he started learning Northwest Coast design from books “Looking at Northwest Coast Art” and others. From what he learned, he began to develop his own designs. In 1983, Richard moved to Victoria, BC to learn from other artists. During this time, Richard picked up on his carving techniques and began to create a style that was a combination of traditional and realistic Native art. Richard’s first limited edition print “Frog” was produced by the Leona Lattimer Gallery. His work also includes original drawings and paintings. You can also see his work in the mural on the Orwell Hotel on Hastings Street.
Porada Design Group is a full service Interior Design firm with a highly experienced team specializing in hospitality design. A collaboration of principals, Vicki Pearson, Leanne Ritter and David Chang, our design team has grown to include Canadian offices in Vancouver and Calgary and China offices in Beijing and Guangzhou. Since inception, our goal has been to strive for the highest standards of professionalism and service in the delivery of creative and innovative design. Our vision is to create memorable and sustainable interiors within an environment that is mutually enriching to our clients and the end user.
- Jerry Whitehead and Portico Design Group
Northern Lights Suite #609 / Forest Spirits Suite #508 / Moon dancers Suite #608
Over the years, Jerry Whitehead’s artwork has gone through a number of stages. The one thing that has remained constant throughout this progression is his focus on powwows and powwow dancers. “Powwow dancers have been an ongoing theme in my work since I began painting. Seeing the dancers as a child had a lasting impression. The subject matter has been ideal for expressing a part of my culture as well as accommodating changes in my work,” says the artist from the Peter Chapman First Nation. As a child in Saskatchewan, Whitehead says he was interested in art like any of his friends. He says, “I used to draw as a kid. I used to draw all the time.” Unlike the average kid, he used almost any source he could find for his drawings including the ashes that remained from fires and the lead in the bullets his father used as a hunter. In his early teen years, Whitehead moved on from drawings done with pencils and lead to paintings. He believes that his interest in art comes from his family. Whitehead remembers his grandmother working with hides while his mother did beadwork and braided rugs. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Indian Art from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.
Portico Design Group provides full interior design services for clients in Canada and the United States. Our clients include residential and commercial real estate developers, resort operators and private homeowners. With a vast in-house library and staff who specialize in project management, documentation and marketing, we deliver the best design solutions for any project. Our dynamic team prides itself on being creative and a fun group to work with.