June 2, 2016 – Honorary Doctorate Degree presented at the University of the Fraser Valley for arts and culture.
Linda Frimer is the grand daughter of Canadian Pioneers who fled the cultural oppression in Eastern Europe in the early 1900s. Following the developing Grand trunk railroad westward to the end of the tracks, they raised their family in Prince George. Their son, Jack Spaner, then brought his new bride from Toronto, back to the Interior region of British Columbia after the Second World War, where he opened a dry goods store and mined for Gold. Linda was born in the wilderness town of Wells, only a few kilometers from Barkerville, famous for its gold rush. It was here that, as a young child, she overheard stories of the cultural persecution of family in Europe and though she could not comprehend their meaning they impacted her. She went into the forest surrounding the town often, where she experienced both its darkness and light filtered wonder.
As she grew, she found she was able to release both the cultural stories and the wonder of the forest, by painting them. Linda came, by being creative, to understand that humankind and nature rise inseparable on earth. She has spent her life working to express the innate unity in all of life’s forms and has become, in the process, a champion of environmental and health issues, a cultural and community facilitator for the release of trauma through creativity, and a teacher. She has involved herself intimately in world, cultural, and Canadian national, artistic pursuits. Painting to create commemorative, educational, and aesthetically moving works of art that honor the sanctity of life, she has met fascinating people and collaborated on many meaningful projects including large scale murals at UBC Hospital, Richmond General Hospital, and Beth Tikvah Synagogue.
Since 1982, her paintings have formed a part of significant collections and benefited countless organizations. She is currently working on a series of interactive books on the theme of healing through creativity.
“I was born in the wilderness town of Wells in the interior of British Columbia, and it was here in a cocoon of mountains, rivers and forests, that I first experienced the awe of creation”
The solace and inspiration I found in the wilderness, mediated the stories told within our small home, of cultural suffering and war in Europe. As I grew, so did my longing to reconcile my worlds of nature and culture. By painting them with all the light and colour they stimulate, I have come to experience the innate unity of all of life’s forms that strengthens, inspires, sustains, and ultimately heals our existence.”