Silyas

Born in 1936, Silyas spent the first 12 years of his life living in Kimsquit. The last family to move, he left in 1948. Silyas has only an 8th grade education and has spent the majority of his life falling timber and fishing. In 1997 he started carving. Self taught, his work brought instant success.

In October of 1999 he won a trip to New York City and studied Nuxalk Artifacts at the museum. He then went to Philadelphia and then Washington DC and studied all of the Nuxalk Art in their respective museums.

From here Silyas took part in some television shows. One of Mackenzie’s trip into Bella Coola, and one to illustrate to Japan the Nuxalk people’s livelihood, food, and culture. Silyas spent 15 hours with visitors from Japan. 15 million people saw it.

Silyas went to a couple shows in Whistler, BC Canada. He was put into the “Whistler This Week” section of the Whistler Newspaper. (vol 28, issue 35).

Vivian John Lee selected him to be in the “Super Seniors” book for 2005’s edition.

Also in 2005, Silyas raised his totem pole on November 12. It can be seen in front of his gallery and home in Bella Coola, BC Canada.

In July 2006, Silyas returned to Washington DC. He was selected to be part of a panel who would select 4 out of 15 students to be admitted into the Smithsonium program.

Upon his return home, Silyas was invited to Vancouver Island by Choy Wong. Mr. Wong taught Silyas how to create his own carving knives. Ever since, Silyas has carved with his own knives and has been self dependant.