Excellence in Culture Award

This award is presented to an organization or individual that has achieved regional and/or national recognition and is recognized as a “Nanaimo artist", demonstrating excellence in their field, and a significant inspiration to others.

This award category presents the community with the opportunity to recognize people and groups they believe have made a significant contribution to making Nanaimo a culturally vibrant city.

2023 Recipient: Joel Good

Joel Good
Photo credit: Sean Fenzl

Joel Good won the 2023 Excellence in Culture Award for his achievements in visual art. He is a traditional Coast Salish artist from Snuneymuxw First Nation, well-known for several inspiring local public art installations. Good's designs are informed by Snuneymuxw oral history, taught to him by his father, as well as research into traditional Coast Salish art forms. He adeptly fuses Snuneymuxw teachings and classical painting inspired by the work of his mother, artist and painter Sandra Moorhouse-Good, to form his own traditional style.

Good and his father, master carver and historian Dr. William Good collaborated on two Coast Salish house post totem poles in st’lilup (Departure Bay). Together, they also created a pole in honour of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, for Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Nanaimo.

Using Snuneymuxw techniques, Good also creates steam-bent boxes. A video showing this process is available on the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools YouTube channel.

A selection of Good’s other prominent commissions include the Spindle Whorl and Dancing Eagle panel for the City of Nanaimo, along with art for the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Leadership Vancouver Island, BC Hydro and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Good’s art has received both national and international attention featured on garments created by Ay Lelum - The Good House of Design, run by his sisters Aunalee Boyd-Good and Sophia Seward Good. Joel’s designs on Ay Lelum couture and ready-to-wear garments have been on the runways of Vancouver Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week, and have graced the pages of numerous publications like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Past Recipients

  • Bryan Stovell, Nanaimo Concert Band (1998)
  • Diana Krall (1999)
  • Lynne Bowen (2000)
  • Ingrid Jensen (2001)
  • Marlin Wolfe (2002)
  • Sandra Good (2003)
  • Carole Martyn, Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts (2004)
  • Joelle Rabu (2005)
  • Francine Peters (2007)
  • VI International Children's Festival (2008)
  • Carmella Luvisotto (2009)
  • David Gogo (2010)
  • Steve Jones (2011)
  • Jillian Vanstone (2012)
  • Vancouver Island Symphony (2013)
  • Pat Coleman (2014)
  • Grant Leier & Nixie Barton (2015)
  • Susan Juby (2016)
  • Jacqui Kaese (2017)
  • Rick Scott (2018)
  • Devon Joiner (2020)
  • Ay Lelum (2021)
  • Brendan Tang (2022)


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