January 17, 2011 at 2:53 PM
By Keven Drews TOFINO — One of B.C.’s best-known artists is dedicating a print to two fallen paramedics who died after their ambulance jumped a small retaining barrier and crashed into Kennedy Lake this past October.
Roy Henry Vickers will release his print, Frank Island, at the Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino, just three months and two days after Jo-Ann Fuller, 59 and Ivan Polivka, 65, died.
The unveiling will take place Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. and will include the BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) Paramedic Honour Guard and a discussion of the print by Vickers.
Vickers, who once was on ambulance duty in Saanich, B.C., described the print in a media statement.
“The autumn sunset over Frank Island with geese flying south heralds a change of seasons, not only for the environment, but also in the lives of people,” said Vickers. “The faces of male and female represent two loved ones who left this world.”
Fuller and Polivka died early Oct. 19, 2010, while on their way to Tofino from West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni.
Vickers said he knew Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. Fuller was a strong supporter of his gallery, Vickers added, attended story-telling events and new releases, and had a “quiet way of encouraging me as both an artist and member of the community of Tofino.”
Vickers said Polivka was a quiet man who lived on Chesterman Beach and often slept under the stars on Frank Island with his sleeping bag.
Frank Island is located on Chesterman Beach, a short walk from Polivka’s home, and is the final resting place to half of his ashes. The other half will be laid to rest at Lake Labarge, near Whitehorse, YT, as soon as the weather improves.
“It is intended to bring attention to the dedication of paramedics who work to save lives,” said Vickers. “My prayer with this memorial print is for the families of these two beautiful people. May the families know peace in a time of sorrow.”
Keith Jamieson, a friend and coworker of Fuller and Polivka, said he thinks his friends would find Vickers’ efforts more touching than the memorial held on the fields of Wickaninnish elementary school Nov. 7.
“It’s more of a personal basis of somebody well recognized,” said Jamieson.
Jennifer Steven, director of the Eagle Aerie Gallery, said the prints are now drying and are on sale.
“We’ve never done anything like this before,” she said.
Steven said the print size is 136, the number of Tofino ambulance station 136. She said the ambulance station will receive Print 136.
She said Vickers will also donate prints to Brian Fuller, Jo-Ann’s husband, and Frank Webber, Ivan’s stepson.
While unframed prints normally cost $600, the gallery will sell Frank Island for $400. Framing will cost an additional $300.
“We want it to be accessible to everyone,” she said.
Steven said Vickers had wanted to do a print focused on Frank Island for some time.
“He thought it would be a great way to pay tribute to awesome people.”