Beau Dick

Ga’axstalas “The Breakfast Giver”

 Beau is Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw “Four Tribes of Kingcome Inlet”, one of the 16 tribes of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakwala speaking people). Beau was born in Alert Bay, B.C. November 23, 1955. His ancestry includes tribes such as the Kwagu’ł “Fort Rupert”, Mamalilikala “Village Island” and Ma’amtagila “Matilpi Tribes”.

Beau comes from a long line of Kwakwaka’wakw carvers and continues to apprentice many of the next generation. Beau’s father was Ben Dick Sr. “Blackie”, a renowned carver of his time, who learned from his father Chief Jimmy Dick “Kwaxsistala”; both had passed on their skills and teachings to Beau at a very young age. Beau’s mother is Geraldine Dick nee Dawson. “Gerri” is the daughter of Hereditary Chief Gwa’yamdzi Albert Dawson who assumed this position from his father Tom Dawson. Beau has three beautiful daughters Kerri, Linea and Geraldine. Kerri like her father, has committed herself to the arts, she is a accomplished weaver as well as an artist.

Beau is one of the most creative and versatile Kwakwaka’wakw carvers of his generation. He is renowned for his mask carving as well as his contributions to the rebuilding of the present ‘Namgis “Alert Bay” Big House. Beau works in many mediums and is capable of creating in many other styles from the Northwest Coast. He is especially fond of the Tłingit style from Alaska due to the connection to his northern relatives. Beau is also a skilled artist in naturalistic art and portraits; he has carved many life-like carvings to represent certain nobility, whom are the center of theatrics during magical Kwakwaka’wakw Winter Ceremonies. Beau has been involved in numerous exhibits of his own as well as assisting and contributing to the success of younger up and coming artists. Beau’s work can be found in numerous private collections and museums around the world. Some of his works include a transformation mask for Expo ‘86, which is now in the Canadian Museum of Civilization, in Hull, Quebec. He also has numerous pieces in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Beau is an important contributor to the preservation of Kwakwaka’wakw culture. He is a Chief and has upheld his name by giving Potlatches. He continues to attend Potlatches and bestows gifts of his artwork on families whom require certain paraphernalia to carry out their scared ceremonies. He also is an accomplished singer who composes on occasion. He is a historian and passes on the ancient legends and stories of the pieces he creates. Beau is an initiated Hamat̕sa “Cannibal Dancer”, the highest-ranking secret society of the Kwakwaka’wakw.