Dayan Frimer

Born in the wilderness town of Wells, British Columbia, from a young age Frimer was immersed in in the wonder of the forest, rivers and mountains. It was in these formative years, surrounded by the awe-inspiring natural landscape, that Frimer developed her creative vision
It was also during these early years when she first learned of war and cultural suffering. Becoming determined to champion and protect the sanctity of all life forms, Frimer turned to the creation of art as her natural medium.

Early Life and Inspiration

Frimer’s artworks have repeatedly been called upon to represent—through fundraising, awareness and education— the work of environmental organizations, such as the Trans Canada Trail, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, who promote Canada’s vast cultural and geographic diversity, wilderness preservation and the interdependency of nature and wild- life, and spread knowledge about endangered species. Paul George, former Director of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, has offered that perhaps equally important to the fundraising, Frimer’s work “touched upon the emotional and spiritual cords, where real change occurs.”

Awards and Recognition

Alongside Frimer’s artworks championing the environment, significant collections and donations of her works have supported Margaret Laurence House, Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Cancer Society, Vancouver General Hospital, Richmond General Hospital, Children’s Hospital Foundation, Wells Community Hall and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among others. She is the recipient of many awards, including an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of the Fraser Valley. Her murals illuminate hospital walls, synagogue sanctuaries and university corridors, where it has been said they “offer healing colours that contain emotional, life enforcing light, a calming rhythmic movement and imaginative forms that are visionary.”

Workshops and Cultural Healing

Frimer has facilitated cultural healing workshops between various cultural groups. She is co-founder and facilitator of the Gesher Holocaust Project, in which she developed techniques and worked with multi-generations of Holocaust survivors and their children to release trauma through art. This project resulted in the creation of powerful commemorative works of art that were exhibited throughout major cities in North America under the auspices of the Montreal Holocaust Centre.

Literary Works and Collaboration

Frimer is co-author of In Honour of Our Grandmothers: Imprints of Cultural Survival, a collaboration between two Jewish and two First Nations artists and poets that brought together research and creative exploration as a means to process trauma associated with cultural oppression and attempted genocide. In her book A Wilderness Journey, Frimer explores the inextricable link between her own ancestral story, her love of the wilderness and cultural resilience.