Master carver and Songhees First Nation elder Clarence "Butch" Dick (Yux’wey’lupton), is an inspiring local visionary trained in fine art who continues to play a pivotal role in youth empowerment and whose tireless commitment to creatively championing the Songhees carving style has touched every generation.
In his lifelong dedication to art, culture and community service, Butch has become an educator and mentor of many—including his two sons, Clarence Dick Jr. and Bradley Dick whom he taught to carve, and countless students in Victoria School District 61, where he has taught First Nations art and cultural awareness for more than two decades.
Butch believes intrinsically in leading by example. As Songhees education liaison worker and artistic director, he helped launch the Songhees Recreation and Wellness Centre in 2013, with a gymnasium, eldercare, youth centre, adult education centre and youth kitchen. He was also the driving force behind the Indigenous Youth Showcase, where youth from ages 15 to 24 work with artists, mentors and elders to develop an artistic vision and practice a focus on a career path.
Among other works, he designed and created the Signs of Lekwungen Interpretive Walkway—with its seven large unique metallic markers honouring the art, history and culture of the Coast Salish People—along Victoria's Inner Harbour. He was also directly involved in carving the two poles in Spirit Square—which includes a performance stage, market, and gardens with native species—formally known as Victoria’s Centennial Square. An internationally renowned artist, Butch is from the Lkwungen community, better known today as the Songhees First Nation.
Butch Dick received the Lifetime Achievement in Community Leadership Award in 2015.