Howard La Fortune did what he knows best when he heard about people wanting masks for COVID-19. (File contributed/ Howard La Fortune)

Vancouver Island Indigenous artist takes unique approach to COVID-19 masks

Howard La Fortune thought he’d have some fun in designing a homemade mask

A Greater Victoria man has taken a tongue-in-cheek approach to COVID-19.

Indigenous artist Howard La Fortune has been carving for 50 years – from rings to masks and everything in between.

So when a friend joked that he needed a mask to help prevent spreading germs, La Fortune got on it: he found some yellow cedar from around the house carved a half-mask of a bear snout.

“It was something to do, and I usually have wood lying around the house so I thought, why not?”

On April 6, Canada’s chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that wearing non-medical masks could help people from spreading their own droplets to others, though it would not protect them from receiving germs themselves.

As a result, many people have turned to wearing homemade cloth masks while out in public, especially in busy places like grocery stores.

READ MORE: Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start

La Fortune figures that his mask could meet these measures.

“It could probably even be set up to have one of those headbands placed behind it,” he says.

Having the opportunity to carve not only keeps him busy, but could help him earn a couple extra dollars in a time when he’s not able to work; usually at this time of year he sells his art at the lower causeway in the Inner Harbour.

While he’s not sure what kind of price he would charge, he acknowledges he’d be taking a significant cut, since it takes about 16 hours to make one of the masks.

Regardless, if anyone is interested in one of the unique masks they can contact La Fortune on his Facebook page or at 778-700-2682.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Coronavirus

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

 

Howard La Fortune did what he knows best when he heard about people wanting masks for COVID-19. (File contributed/ Howard La Fortune)

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Regional Library branches offer curbside pick up

After two and a half months of being closed, people can once again check books out of the library

EDITORIAL: Why I wear a mask and you should, too

Editor Adam Louis says it’s about more than the practical

School board briefs: SD78 planning for June re-start of in-classroom learning

Board says goodbyes to trustee Koopman, Coquihalla school talks recycling, absenteeism

‘My spirit hurts, I want her home’: Family shares pain, fond memories at vigil for April Parisian

The 45-year-old Indigenous woman, who made her home in Spuzzum, has been missing since early April

District of Kent reopening facilities to the public

Enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place throughout

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

B.C.’s police watchdog probing death of Richmond man in alleged shoplifting incident

Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is asking any witnesses to come forward

Most Read