These drums by Brandon Gabriel and Melinda Bige tell the story of the seasons according to the Kwantlen First Nation.

Brandon Gabriel and Melinda Bige - Four Seasons


Artist: Brandon Gabriel and Melinda Bige
Location: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107A Avenue)
Category: Civic collection
Year Installed: 2016

About Four Seasons

These four 30" buffalo hide drums hang in the circular mezzanine above the lobby of the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. Painted a different colour with original Coast Salish designs, they represent spring, summer, fall, and winter, telling the story of the four seasons, according to the traditions of the Kwantlen First Nation.

  • The winter drum is blue with a moon face bordered by a pair of wolves, the symbol of the Kwantlen Nation.
  • The spring drum is green with a spring moon face, surrounded by a design representing running water.
  • The summer drum shows the natural colour of the drum skin along with a pattern of salmon in yellow and white, also signifying the warmth of this season.
  • The fall drum has a design representing trees and the reddish orange colour of autumn leaves.

Four Seasons was commissioned by Seyem' Qwantlen Business Group to celebrate the culture and history of the First Nations peoples whose traditional and unceded lands include the Fraser River's south bank area, where the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is located, as well as the village of qəyqə́yt along the Fraser River, near the neighbourhood now known as Bridgeview in Surrey.

This artwork was presented as a gift to the City of Surrey from Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited, the project sponsor. The drums were unveiled as part of a ceremony organized by the Kwantlen First Nation and supported by Lehigh Hanson and the City of Surrey, in honour of the history of the qəyqə́yt village and the ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples.

More on qəyqə́yt village and Four Seasons

Read a transcript of Brandon describing this artwork

About the Artists

Brandon Gabriel

Brandon Gabriel - Kwelexwelsten is a Kwantlen First Nation artist whose family also extends to the Shakan First Nation in N'lkapa'mux territory in Merritt and St'ail'es First Nation territory in Harrison Lake. Gabriel is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is an internationally recognized, award-winning multimedia visual artist who has exhibited in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the United States, and across Canada. He is a painter, mixed media sculptor, illustrator, graphic designer, and educator. Gabriel currently resides in his home community in the Kwantlen Nation in unceded Fort Langley, BC with his wife Melinda and daughter Jamie.

His other public artworks in Surrey include Raven and the First Sunrise and Four Seasons.

Melinda Bige

Melinda Bige is Brandon’s life partner and collaborator. She is of Lut’sel’ké Dené heritage and is an accomplished scholar, activist, and artist. She is completing a graduate degree in indigenous governance at the University of Victoria. Brandon and Melinda have a daughter named Jamie, born in March 2016. She is now an instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.