Perry LaFortune’s interest in Northwest Coast art began in 1974, after watching Simon Charlie and his brothers, Doug LaFortune and Francis Horne carve. He started carving two years later, in 1976. He apprenticed under Horne during many major projects, including the carving of 4 poles for the City of Totems, in Duncan, BC. LaFortune has also had the privilege of working with the late Simon Charlie. Coast Salish by birth, LaFortune’s works possess a contemporary style of design.
In 1988, LaFortune and Horne were invited to demonstrate carving in Singapore to celebrate the inaugural flight of Singapore Airlines to Vancouver. In 2007, LaFortune served as Head Carver at the Tsawout Community Canoe Carving Project on Vancouver Island, which sought to encourage locals to contribute to the carving and creation of a traditional Salish Canoe. The next year, he was commissioned to carve a talking stick for former President Bill Clinton, at the CISION Corporate Responsibility Conference that was held in Vancouver.
Currently, LaFortune is working with his brothers, Aubrey and Doug LaFortune and Francis Horne. LaFortune’s other brothers, Tom and Howard, also create Northwest Coast art. Perry LaFortune’s main focus is centered on wood carvings such as, totem poles, masks, panels and bowls.