Museum Welcome House

Stlaay Daw Naay or the Welcome House  at the Haida Heritage Centre serves as the main entrance hall to the Centre, including the museum. I had one photo from this building in an earlier post which included various treatments of a photo of the Skedans pole that is against the east wall. These are several views in this same space to show its architectural features, based on the traditional Haida post and beam house, and also to try to give some sense of what greets you once you enter this fantastic space.

This room, as is so often the case in museums these days, can be rented for various events and receptions, such as weddings. The construction of this centre a few years ago must have added a great deal to the infrastructure of Haida Gwaii. There is a new pole in one corner that I am afraid I can find no information about, so I can’t tell you who carved it, or much else. It appears to have a transformation mask on the top of the pole allowing a bird face to transform to a human one. Whether it is just depicting such a mask which are quite common for dances, or if it has some hardware to allow it to be changed for a theatrical purpose, I don’t know since I did not look behind it.

A recently carved pole


This copper hangs near the middle of the hall.


This is one of a series of eight posts about the Haida Heritage Centre, the others can be found through this link.

To open larger versions of the images below, click on any one of them, use the arrows to  navigate and escape to return to this page.



Canon 5Dii, Nikkor-N (pre-AI) 24mm f2.8 lens and Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens, ISO640 for wide-angle, ISO100 for 50mm shots.


11 thoughts on “Museum Welcome House

  1. What an incredible facility! Wow, just gorgeous details here making the place so inviting and bright. I just love all the glass here, letting in the natural light. The wood brings a warmth to the setting, very typical of the west coast. Fabulous place, it’s a must-see for us when we get a chance to visit here personally!


    • It is a great facility – I will be showing a bit more of the interior (though no photos allowed in the exhibits area, which is low light and quite dark anyway to preserve the artifacts), and quite a bit more of the exterior. It is a fabulous building. Maybe when the new museum building is designed for the Victoria Inner Harbour it can have some of this feel.


  2. Pingback: Museum Welcome House II « burnt embers

    • Thanks Andy. The copper was fun to process as the background was completely burned out – I brought up some of the detail for context and then desaturated it to put it more to the background and keep it from being distracting, especially the odd colour from the tinted glass.


    • Hi Ryan – thanks so much. The only tiny downside is the strange colour of light that comes from the tinted glass. Not really noticeable until one looks at photos. And, I did not discover the tweaks to correct it either, just to tone it down as it was distracting in a couple of the images with stronger light.


  3. I love that the architecture combines the best of the modern style with the native region in such a harmonious way. Very well done. The copper sculpture is amazing. The photos bring out the beauty in the building and the objects within. Nice work.


    • Hi Ken – I agree that the architecture is very well done. There are quite a few smaller buildings, like houses, done this way, but this is quite monumental. I think buildings like this have to make a difference in the community, to young people growing up having their culture affirmed in such a powerful way.
      That copper is a large version of a traditional form – coppers were and are exceptionally expensive powerful things in Northwest Coast cultures – often they are painted with a designs. A brief description can be found at this link.


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