It would be difficult to imagine an artist more deserving of tribute than Emily Carr. The depth of her commitment to communicate the wild grandeur of west coast nature is for myself and many others, pure inspiration. 

The determination and perseverance of this Victorian woman isolated in her vision on the west coast of Canada is an incredible story, and for many an artist it is as talisman. The power of her unique and distinct personality drove her legacy and she has become a Canadian Frida Kahlo, our Georgia O’Keefe. 

In one of Jack Shadbolt’s painting classes, I recall him saying ‘Any painter working on the West Coast has to deal with Emily Carr. We all have to deal with Emily’.

My connection to Emily Carr began on the East side of Vancouver in the winter of 1949.

As I remember, my name had made it through the waiting list of the Children’s Saturday morning art classes in the basement of the Vancouver Art Gallery and my father, for whatever reason, couldn’t return until noon. A fortuitous set-up ... for alone I could wander through the formidably large rooms filled with the biggest paintings I’d ever seen. My resting place became a long black leather bench in a back room where I would lie undisturbed, before open skies, breathing in blue and the darkest forests imaginable ... I was with Emily.