Stephen Bruce was born in Alert Bay, BC, an island village renowned for its carvers and the heart of the 'Namgis First Nation. The people of Alert Bay refused to give up potlatching when it was banned by the Canadian Government. As a result, much of the culture has been retained.
Bruce was fortunate to grow up in this area, where he had access to other Kwakwaka’wakw artists, such as Jimmy Joseph, Tom Whonnock and Barry Scow for instruction in the art of carving. He began to carve at the age of eighteen with Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred.
Bruce has assisted numerous artists with monumental commissions, earning him a reputation for the quality of his work. He has carved several commissioned poles for public and private collectors worldwide. Today he is currently focusing on producing totem poles as well as masks.