The #CHVCatchUp is a monthly series featuring the latest updates and news from Covenant House Vancouver (“CHV”). Miss604 is proud to be the Official Blog Partner of CHV. This month’s post has been written by Jason Bosher.
In the Beginning
When you walk into the Drop-In Centre at Covenant House Vancouver, you will immediately notice the inviting atmosphere created by KC Hall’s murals. But long before he was commissioned to paint those, KC had to find his light.
At two years of age, KC Hall and his family moved to Vancouver, from Bella Bella. They settled in East Vancouver, where KC eventually began school.
Throughout elementary into high school, KC’s focus was on comic book style artwork.
Around age 15, KC began dabbling in the world of graffiti. While attending Britannia Secondary School, KC met up with students who also enjoyed graffiti art. “The area that I was in had lots of graffiti in the alleyways, because it was close to East Hastings and Commercial. The alleyways were like a cool little pathway for graffiti artists to just duck in and do their do their stuff.”
For approximately six years, KC didn’t do anything to grow his artistic talents. “I was more just submerged in being a young, early twenty year old, wanting to party and do whatever.”
KC talked about his struggles. “It was to the point where I had gone too far. I was just drinking and partying with my friends. My mom was sick of it. She wasn’t drinking. She was trying to change her life at the time, and I wasn’t making it any easier. So, she just packed up and moved back to Bella Bella, leaving me here. I was an adult by then.”
Having nowhere to go, KC reached out to his Aunt June, who worked for Covenant House Vancouver. She helped him get into the Crisis Program. KC stayed at Covenant House Vancouver for approximately a year.
KC remembers how kind the youth workers were to him and how they were always checking on him to make sure that he was doing well.
“I liked being there with my Auntie June … because she’d always come hang out and stuff. She was just like the greatest lady ever. She worked there for a long time, and she was one of the nicest ladies in the whole entire world. She did nothing but use her kindness and her light to help the kids out there. I know that a lot of kids who ended up there were on dark times before they got there.”
KC moved to the Rights of Passage program and soon after, was ready to move out on his own. “They were very accommodating and helped me out. They helped me save money during the time that I was there, and helped support me for a few years after leaving.”
Shining His Light
In 2012, KC enrolled in the Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts program at Native Education College. Here he was introduced to the Northwest Coast formline. “Basically, I spent the first four-and-a-half to five years just studying formline, until I was able to do it efficiently.”
KC was already well versed in the graffiti style of art, so once he felt confident in his formline, he was able to combine the two forms to create his art on a variety of surfaces.
“After 10 years … I’m finally sitting in my studio, just doing what I want to do, because I can.”
The murals at the Drop-In Centre, not only bring warmth and comfort to the space, but the Raven story depicted is very metaphoric for many youth who come to Covenant House Vancouver. For many, it’s a new beginning—a transformative time where youth make discoveries and bring light into their lives, as they create hope-filled futures.
You can read, watch and hear more about KC’s journey, and learn more about the murals at CHV by visiting the Covenant House Vancouver website.
Help Others Shine Their Light
You can make a difference in the lives of youth, like KC. From now until June 30th, thanks to the Estate of Roman Babicki, any donation you make to Covenant House Vancouver will be matched to double your impact: Make a donation online today!
Since 1997, Covenant House Vancouver has been providing love and hope to youth experiencing homelessness. They are the premiere service provider of residential and outreach services for homeless and at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 in Vancouver. Follow Covenant House on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more info.