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Master Carver Unveils Restored Totems

July 19, 2013
Charles Elliott Welcomes Community to Central Saanich with Reveal of Newly Restored House Posts at Thrifty Foods

VICTORIA, BC - Order of BC member and Master Carver Charles Elliott of the Tsartlip First Nation (in Saanich) unveiled four recently restored House Posts alongside a team of WSANEC artists, elder Fred Charlie, Thrifty Foods General Manager Jim Dores and other local political and community leaders today. The posts flank both entrances to the Thrifty Foods Central Saanich store, were originally designed in 1998 by the same artist, and depict totems that symbolize welcome, new beginnings, sustenance, and community building.

"Charles Elliott's work symbolizes the sense of community that underpins everything we do, and that was particularly appropriate to the Central Saanich store when it opened in 1998," said Dores. "We are fortunate to be able to work with him again, as this is truly a collaborative effort between his carving team, our store team and the local community who are welcomed by the totems each day."

From right to left, the totems begin with Eagle, also referred to as the Welcoming Pole, which shows the giant bird wrapping its wings around a human figure. Next is Raven and Frog in combination - symbolizing communication and new beginnings. At the far entrance you see Bear and Salmon, representing the harvest of essential foods for west coast communities, and finally Beaver - the great builder.

"These carvings are our silent ambassadors - they tell the story of our culture and they show that First Nations are a part of this community," said Charles Elliott of his work. "I remember selecting each of these old-growth red cedars back in 1998, and it's still some of the finest wood I have ever worked with."

Thrifty Foods Central Saanich was fully renovated in the summer of 2012 to include a number of energy efficient building features. The store team is active in the local community, raising support for the Saanich Peninsula Hospital, Stelly's Secondary School, KidSport Greater Victoria and other charitable organizations throughout the year. A barbecue fundraiser was also hosted on site at Thrifty Foods Central Saanich today, with all funds going to the WSANEC Youth Community & Activity Centre.

About Thrifty Foods

Thrifty Foods was founded in 1977 in Victoria, BC. Today, Thrifty Foods, a banner of Sobeys Inc., has a total of 29 retail grocery stores across the Lower Mainland, throughout Vancouver Island and on Saltspring Island.

About Sobeys Inc.

Proudly Canadian, with headquarters in Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Sobeys has been serving the food shopping needs of Canadians for 106 years. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Empire Company Limited (TSX:EMP.A), Sobeys owns or franchises more than 1,500 stores in all 10 provinces under retail banners that include Sobeys, IGA, Foodland, FreshCo, and Thrifty Foods, as well as Lawton's Drug Stores. Sobeys and its franchise affiliates employ more than 95,000 people. The company's goal is to be widely recognized as the best food retailer and workplace environment in Canada. More information on Sobeys Inc. can be found at


For more information, please contact:

Erin Coulson 
Communications Coordinator
Thrifty Foods                                                             

Tel: (250) 483-1659
Cell: (250) 216-7007