City Hall First Stop for ‘Witness Blanket’ on Seven-Year Tour

The fully completed Witness Blanket, a wood-based First Nations art installation that incorporates objects connected to Residential School experiences from across Canada begins its cross-Canada tour at Victoria City Hall.

The installation will be on display at City Hall until September 26. City Hall is open to the public Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, September 20, City Hall will open to the public for a special viewing of the Witness Blanket between noon and 6:00 p.m.

The Witness Blanket consists of 13 panels and is over eight feet tall and 40 feet long.  Cedar frames hold over 800 collected objects and a multi-media presentation within the installation connects viewers to residential school experiences in a personal way.

Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman had the vision for this large piece of work since 2011 and in 2013 he and his team travelled across Canada collecting stories and objects relating to residential schools that operated from the 1840’s though until 1996.  150,000 First Nations children passed through the residential school system.

The creation of the Witness Blanket was funded by the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Rina M. Bidden Foundation. A crowd-sourcing campaign that aims to fund the completion of the Witness Blanket documentary created by Victoria-based Media One Multimedia and the National Tour of the Witness Blanket launched on Tuesday.

To donate and view the short video about the making of the Witness Blanket visit