Simon (Winadzi) James


February 18, 1969

Alert Bay, BC

Simon James' Kwakwaka'wakw name, Winadzi, means "the Raider," was given to him by his grandfather, Chief James Sewid. Winadzi moved to North Vancouver from Campbell River in 1996, at which point he attended Vancouver Film School. He started drawing at a very young age, and then began carving wood at the age of fifteen. He learned wood-carving from established Kwakwaka'wakw artists, Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred. He creates pieces both for the market and for his culture, as he dances regularly. In 1998, Winadzi and his family were asked to open and close the Vancouver Art Gallery's Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast exhibition. Winadzi was also the producer and co-writer of the animated Raven Tales series, which ran on APTN from 2004-2009. This series won the Milagro Award at the 2004 Santa Fe Film Festival.