Ceremonial furnishings & mace

Ceremonial furnishings

The Chancellor’s chair and ceremonial furnishings used at convocation are the generous gift of the late Dr. Michael C. Williams. They constitute five magnificent works of art, created through a collaboration among twelve West Coast artists. The furnishings were completed in 1994. Their style and imagery draw on the myths and artistic traditions of the Northwest Coast Aboriginal nations, home communities to many University of Victoria students.

The kneeling stool was created by Roberta Louis, weaver, and Susan Point, carver, both Coast Salish of the Musqueam Band, with artist Glen Tallio (Nuxalk).

The Chancellor's chair was created by Carvers Art Thompson (Nuu-chah-nulth), Calvin Hunt (Kwagiulth), Norman Tait (Nisga’a), John Livingston (adopted Kwagiulth), and Don Yeomans (Haida) collaborated with weavers Ann Smith (Tutchone-Tlingit) and Cheryl Samuel (adopted Tlingit).

The Chief Speaker’s staff was designed and carved by Kwagiulth artist, Richard Hunt.

The raven lectern is also the work of John Livingston.

The kneeling figure mace stand was sculpted by Tom Hunt (Kwagiulth).


Our mace symbolizes the authority of the Chancellor to confer degrees at convocation. It is carried in the procession before the Chancellor and placed in its cradle on stage to mark the start of the ceremony. The mace sits in its cradle for the entire ceremony. Once the ceremony is over the mace leads the Chancellor’s procession offstage. 

Traditionally, the mace symbolized rank and protected people of authority. It was a formidable deterrent against attack, consisting of a large spiked metal ball on a chain. Now it symbolizes authorized personage at an assembly.

Donated to commemorate the first convocation held at the Gordon Head campus, our mace was a gift from the Victoria College graduating class of 1961. It was designed and crafted by Mr. Norman Griffin of Jefferies Silversmiths, a local Victoria company.  The shaft is made from native fir and the weighted head is silver over copper. A row of dogwood blossoms with a raised hand holding a lighted torch is engraved around the rim. The torch is one of the elements in the university’s coat of arms. The coat of arms is engraved on the side of the head.