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

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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Northern Health announced on Dec. 1 holiday changes to the medical travel bus schedule for December and January 2021. (Photo: supplied)
Holiday schedule changes for Northern Health Connections bus

N.H. announces transportation time changes from Prince Rupert to Prince George

A Water Quality Advisory is still in affect on Dec. 1 in Prince Rupert after being in place for a month. (Black Press file photo)
Water Quality Advisory still in place for Prince Rupert

High turbidity is creating risky drinking water in Prince Rupert

Pea sized hail rained from the skies in Prince Rupert on Nov. 30 leaving roads covered in a sheet of ice. (Photo; K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Large hail caused icy conditions in Prince Rupert

High wind warnings in effect for North Coast and Haida Gwaii

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

Most Read