The Canoe Culture Program aims to share the created works both in-person and virtually, using
photography and video whenever possible to produce records of works created and increase
the number of people who can learn from these important works.
Currently there are 2 documentaries that feature works created at Canoe Cultures:
About the Documentary:
Dugout canoe racing was one of the few traditions that was not interfered with during the
colonization of North America. Consequently, this holds a very special place amongst First
Nations people in Coast Salish territory as the races have served as a conduit for passing down
culture and tradition. 7th generation Squamish Nation canoe carver Mike Billy Sr. carves a
dugout canoe with his son and nephews at the Canoe Cultures program in Vancouver, B.C. This
knowledge keeper shares the skills that were passed on to him with future generations of
dugout war canoe builders.
This project was supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, Squamish Nation, City of
Vancouver Cultural Services, BC Arts Council, Concord Pacific and Western Canada Community
The film has been on an international film festival tour playing in Sweden, Turkey, Germany,
Argentina, USA, Canada, Serbia, Armenia and Russia. A recent highlight was the award for Best
Documentary at the Black Rock City Film Festival in the USA.
The film is available for private/institutional screenings.
Canoe Connections is the directorial debut of Reeva Billy. In this film she interviews her father
and brother (Mike Billy Sr. and Mike Billy Jr.) about the history of First Nations canoe racing
from the latter years of the of the residential school-era to present day. With paddling careers
spanning more than 50 years between them, both men see themselves as temporary caregivers
of the sport, embracing it in the present and planning to hand it on to future generations.
The film is currently in its final editing stage before release with a goal of participating in film