Portage 2007 Toronto
Portage Toronto 2008

This public intervention involves the portage of a 16 ft canoe through the crowded downtown area of Vancouver, from English Bay to Coal Harbour. Dressing up in stereotypically "traditional" Aboriginal and Métis garb, Houle and Freeman traverse the populated urban terrain of Vancouver's metropolitan centre.


Trevor Freeman

Trevor Freeman: Born and raised in Calgary, BFA from University of Lethbridge Class of 2001 specialization in environmental sculpture. Freeman was roped back into the Art Game by emerging artist Terrance Houle after a 5-year hiatus at which time he was a servant of Calgary's Aboriginal Community. Freeman is single and an Aquarius who enjoys long walks on the river edge with his puppy at sunset. We will start the bidding at...

BIOS (cont'd)

Terrance Houle

Terrance Houle (Blood) is an interdisciplinary media artist whose work ranges from painting to drawing, video/film, mixed media, performance, and installation. A powwow dancer, he also works as a youth mentor teaching video production and art at Métis Calgary Family Services in Calgary, Alberta.

Houle received a BFA in Fibre from Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary, and was a resident at the Banff Centre for the Arts in 2003, producing work about colonization and communion with thirty-three other indigenous artists from Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United States. In 2004, his short, The Wagon Burner, won the Best Experimental Film Award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, Ontario. Houle was the recipient of the Enbridge Emerging Artist Award given during the Mayor's Luncheon of the City of Calgary in 2006. Also in 2006, he performed in the improv series "Diplomatic Immunities" during the Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays in Calgary, Alberta.


This is a video taken of Terrance Houle and Trevor Freeman’s Vancouver performance ‘Portage’, October 24, 2007. Terrance is dressed up in a loincloth and moccasins and Trevor wears early fur-trapping attire and a Metis sash tied around his waist. They pose with a canoe in front of the Hudson’s Bay Company store on Granville. They pick up the canoe and place it on their heads, one man in the front and one man in the back. They begin their ‘Portage’ through the downtown core of Vancouver. Along the way, they interact with people and occasionally stop to talk, or eat, or rest. The ‘Portage’ endurance performance takes approximately 2-3 hours.

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