International Women’s Day

Celebrating the essence of creativity and determination, on this International Women’s Day, we spotlight Cori Savard, a distinguished figure in the world of West Coast Indigenous art.

Born in Masset, Haida Gwaii Islands, BC, in 1985, Savard’s artistic journey reflects a profound connection to her Haida heritage.

Raised outside her ancestral homeland, Savard’s upbringing was enriched by her mother’s commitment to preserving their family history. Regular visits to museums and art exhibitions showcasing Haida culture nurtured Savard’s passion for her heritage, eventually leading her back to Haida Gwaii at the age of 15.

Under the mentorship of internationally renowned Haida Nation artist Robert Davidson, Savard’s talent flourished. In 2007, she was awarded the YVR Youth Foundation Scholarship, affording her the opportunity to apprentice under Davidson’s brother, acclaimed artist Reg Davidson. Over eight years, she mastered the intricate techniques of wood carving, manifesting her artistic vision in graphics, masks, totem poles, and paddles.

Today, Savard resides in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii, where she continues to create from her own studio. Her artwork, deeply rooted in tradition, serves as a conduit for preserving Haida mythology and personal reflections on the world.

Among her accolades is the Frank O’Neill Visionary Award, a testament to her dedication to artistic excellence and cultural preservation. Savard’s artistic contributions extend beyond borders as she danced at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games opening ceremonies in Vancouver.

In her serigraph titled “Sgaana Saahlaan Sdings” or “Two Finned Killerwhale,” Savard explores themes of resilience and acceptance. The imagery of the dorsal fins symbolizes the cyclical nature of change, adaptation and strength, echoing the spirit of International Women’s Day.

As Savard eloquently states, “The imagery in this print focuses on the two dorsal fins… With this new energy, it continues its journey, facing an ever-changing ocean landscape.”

Savard’s impressive artistry exemplifies the resilience of women in shaping cultural narratives and inspiring generations to come. Her work reminds us of the enduring power of feminine creativity and fostering connections.