B.C. Haida artist Carol Young died on Oct. 30. A new solo art exhibit showcasing her work opens this weekend in Seattle.

Carol Young, an artist who fought for timely cancer treatment in Abbotsford, dies before first solo show

B.C. Haida artist’s exhibit to open Saturday at downtown Seattle gallery

Carol Young’s “warrior spirit” was hard to miss. It remains so.

For years, Young couldn’t find the right job because she couldn’t stay quiet when she thought employers overstepped their boundaries. When she found her calling, she produced art that spoke to the difficulty of being a woman in a man’s world. And when B.C.’s health care system seemed ready to fail her, Young made a ruckus until she got the help she desperately needed.

Young died on Oct. 30, surrounded by family in hospice care in Langley. She was 66.

Young, who had a deadly form of lung cancer, made news in May when she found it impossible to get a timely doctor’s appointment in Abbotsford, despite having been told she had just a month to live without treatment. After speaking to The News, Young was able to see an oncologist, after which she received radiation and chemotherapy.

RELATED: Cancer patient finally gets to see doctor in Abbotsford after media attention

RELATED: Terminal cancer patient asks B.C. government to pay for newly approved treatment

RELATED: Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

But Young didn’t just spend the 10 months between her cancer diagnosis and death calling for improvements to how the province treats cancer patients.

Young had four children, 12 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, and the past year saw her family bond and come together as never before.

“We created some really special memories,” her daughter Alisa said this week. This spring, Young was able to meet and bond with Alisa’s newborn child.

“My mom got to see a lot of her firsts,” Alisa said. “I spent months at a time just with my daughter and I and her, so we got to connect as mothers, which is pretty amazing, because I feel like I got pretty lucky with her.”

And despite her passing, Young will achieve a new professional milestone in November. On Saturday, a solo art exhibit showcasing Young’s work will open at a downtown Seattle gallery. The show has been in the works for five years.

Young, who was Haida, came to art late in life, selling small pieces on eBay while working in a Courtenay post office.

Eventually, she began to make enough money to quit her job. But she only slowly realized just what she was doing.

“I had to realize I’m an artist,” she told The News this summer.

So Young went back to school, and graduated from the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in 2009. Her career grew, and she was featured in various collaborative art shows, and sold her work to collectors.

Five years ago, she started working with the Steinbrueck Native Gallery in Seattle to create a solo art show. All the pieces would be focused on women and the challenges they faced. The pieces on display can be viewed here.

“It’s about Aboriginal women getting their voices back,” Young said this summer.

An opening event for the exhibit takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will be streamed live on Facebook on a page that can be found by searching “Carol Young Haida Artist.” (Click here.)

Young won’t be there, but her daughter Alisa and sister Kathy will speak.

“She was just the true definition of a warrior woman,” Alisa said. “She showed how powerful it is to do what your passion is.

”My mom’s definition of success was she was able to do something that she loved and make a living at that.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Search concludes over human remains found

Prince Rupert RCMP said search in Moresby Park area has concluded

Nisga’a Nation lifts local state of emergency

No new COVID-19 cases detected since state of emergency was enacted

Northern Health records 1st fatality due to COVID-19

Six people died from the novel coronavirus on the weekend, health officials confirm

Police look for vehicle, male driver after incident involving girl, 11

The driver was described as an older Caucasian male with white hair, no glasses, and no facial hair

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

Most Read