Vince Shaughnessy of the Nimpkish band was born in 1959 in Alert Bay, British Columbia. He was raised and currently resides in this small fishing village situated along the southern coast of the province. Immersed in the traditional practices of his cultural group at an early age, Vince is highly educated on the stories of his people. He is an accomplished carver who has set himself apart with his innate ability to create traditional pieces involving legends in which mythical beings of the sea, sky and land interact.
Vince ultimately began the pursuit of carving wood in 1973 at the Arts of the Raven Shop under the tutelage of Kelvin Hunt and Johnathan Livingston, two highly renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists and mentors. As an involved member of his community, Vince participated in assisting with the completion of a sea bearing canoe in 1986. He carved alongside master carvers, Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred. In 1988 he assisted with the rebuilding of the Big House. The lead carver of the project, Doug Cranmer, as well as many other Kwakwaka’wakw artists worked alongside Vince whose participation in the project was an asset to the group. His expertise in working with monumental commissions and projects has earned him a reputation for reliability and dedication to his art.
Coming from a family of stature, Vince’s grandfather, Arthur Shaughnessy was a hereditary Chief of Kingcome Inlet and a renowned artist in his day. This element of Vince’s ancestry has helped pave the way for carving career that spans over 25 years.