As part of their official visit to Vancouver, Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon will attend the Aboriginal Gathering Place at Emily Carr University of Art + Design to view Opening Doors, a carving project that celebrates the story-telling traditions of B.C.'s aboriginal artists, on March 3 (Thursday).
On the first stop in their trip, the Johnstons will meet with many of the artists and mentors that are currently working on the project.
"Sharon and I are looking forward to seeing the great work being done in Vancouver with regards to aboriginal art and youth programs, in the high-tech sector and by community foundations," said the Governor General in a press statement.
Along with UBC forestry professor Chris Gaston, Emily Carr's aboriginal program manager Brenda Crabtree led the project, which she says "allows us to create a business model that showcases aboriginal carving, B.C.'s forestry products and contemporary technology to create limited edition reproductions."
A collaboration between Emily Carr, UBC's Centre for Advanced Wood Products, FPInnovations, and the Freda Diesling School of Northwest Coast Aboriginal Art, Opening Doors invited 10 Aboriginal artists from B.C. to receive mentorship and training from some of the province's most renowned carvers.
Artists worked together to produce hand-carved, limited edition cedar door panels, which were then scanned and reproduced. The doors were exhibited at Roundhouse Community Centre in October 2015 and will travel to select venues around the world in the near future.
In a previous article written about Opening Doors by Charlie Smith, Gaston said that there is a $2-billion worldwide market for indigenous art.
While the original carved doors could sell for $20,000, computer-generated copies will allow artists to generate more income and increase market size by selling reproductions at a lower price.