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Bill Reid Estate

Goldsmith - turned - sculptor, carver, writer, Bill Reid is one of Canada's most important artists of the 20th century. Born of a Haida mother and an American father of Scottish descent, Bill Reid fused Haida expressive conventions with elements of Western modernism, crossing many boundaries. He inspired emerging artists and built lasting bridges between First Nations and other peoples.

Reid's first marriage was in 1944, by which he had a daughter who now lives in Skidegate. He met his third wife Martine in 1975, when she was pursuing her doctorate of anthropology at the University of British Columbia and consulted him about mounting a show of Northwest Coast art in her native France; they married in 1981.

For over 25 years before his death, Reid had struggled with Parkinson's disease. At times he had only a few hours, or even minutes, of productive time in which he could directly become involved in sculpting. However, his mind and determination remained strong and he was able to proceed with his projects thanks to willing helpers, who sometimes put aside their own artistic endeavors in order to assist with Reid's.

Eleven days after Reid's death on March 13, 1998, a commemorative ceremony was held at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, attended by over a thousand invitees. More than 50 speakers - including prominent politicians, artists and Haida chiefs presented eulogies.

Reid's artworks have become national emblems to the extent that in 2004 they graced the new $20 Canadian bill, the theme of which "Art and Culture".

Bill Reid Estate

1985 Ryerson Fellowship
1979 Diplome d'Honneur(Canadian Conference of  the Arts)for service to the arts
1976 Canada Council's Molson Prize for cultural achievement

"The Story of Haida Gwaii", Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC

Honorary doctorates from Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, York University
Honorary doctorates from University of Western Ontario, Trent University, University of Toronto

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CBC News archive

CBC Life and Times
2007 Galleries West
2008 MSN News
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2008 CBC News
CTV News
2008 Galleries West
2008 National Post
2008 The Globe and Mail
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T1L 1B5