CBC Digital Archives

Bill Reid in Paris

Bill Reid spent his life confronting public opinion. The artist, who was of Haida and European descent, was largely credited with inspiring a Haida renaissance with his masterful works of art. Some viewed Reid as a curiosity – an artist who navigated his way through two dissimilar worlds. Others viewed him with a more cynical eye and criticized him as a mimic with manufactured ties to the Haida community. CBC Archives explores the esteemed, influential and at times controversial career of Bill Reid.

In 1989, Bill Reid's sculpture Loo Taas is featured in an exhibition at the Museum of Man in Paris. Making a dramatic entrance, 20 B.C. Haida, including Reid, paddle 150 kilometres up the Seine in the long cedar canoe. For Reid, paddling the Wave Eater underneath the famous Pont Neuf bridge is the realization of a dream.
• In a controversial Maclean's article, Haida artist Robert Davidson suggested that Reid played "fast and loose" with the truth. Specifically, he criticized Reid's claims that he was recreating the lost art of canoe-building. Davidson indicated that the Haida switched over from the canoe to the wooden seine boats simply because the latter proved to be better fishing vessels.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 10, 1989
Reporter: Rod Mickelburgh
Duration: 2:35

Last updated: April 3, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Artists Busted: Censorship in Canada

In the 1960s, police busted a gallery owner for an installation of nudes. More recently, when ...

The Life and Legend of Bill Reid

Bill Reid spent his life confronting public opinion. The artist, who was of Haida and European...

The Group of Seven: Painters in the Wildernes...

Around 1912 a loosely knit group of artists began to paint Canada as they saw it. Sketch boxes...

1967: N.S. censors afraid of Virginia Woolf

The Nova Scotia Board of Censors bans the "obscene and blasphemous" film adaptation of Edward ...

Mother's installation deemed child pornograph...

Police confiscate Halifax artist Lyla Rye's video with daughter.

Art censorship and the cat killer case

Jesse Power goes to court for an art video statement against meat eaters.