Skidegate’s Kaay Llnagaay, also known as The Haida Heritage Centre, is a series of longhouses nestled together like the village it is based on, one you move through sideways, passing classrooms, interpretive displays, audio-visual stations, pole carving and vitrines.
Museum employee Walker Brown, a young free-thinking Haida whose research interests include the relationship of myths to scientific phenomenon, told me of his current projects, one of which includes the art of Pat McGuire, a local badboy who took coastal motifs to pyschedelic ends.
Following the museum, a short drive east to Marlene and Rainer Specht’s spectacular alpine garden. If Benita Sanders has perfected heather, Marlene is equally fluent in rhododendron. Every year she takes her plantings higher and higher up the mountain.
Finished the day at Fran Fowler’s, where, after touring her grounds, I joined Fran, Bonita and Borge, Adrianne and Sergio (artists from Atlanta, Georgia and Chile, respectively; now residents of New York’s Hudson Valley) and Diana Ellis (daughter of legendary Northwest Coast book expert Bill Ellis) inside for dinner. A delicious meal that included halibut soufflé, broccoli and celery, rice, homemade bread and a salad that had started the day in the beds outside her door.