ceremony: re-naming

While in residence at The Banff Centre in 1992, and based on feminist readings and family research, the artist decided to officially change her name to Sandra Vida. The re-naming performance took place in Banff, at an open space of rock on Tunnel Mountain. She was born Sandra Gibb, had been married and changed her name to Tivy, but had long since left that marriage. To her, the return to her deceased father’s name or her mother’s maiden name seemed only to reinforce the patriarchal lineage of all surnames.  So she chose to call herself by her mother and sister’s middle name, Vida.




This private performance for only a few friends was followed by another in which the artist was accompanied by a First Nations elder and friend, Shirley Bear, confirming her name change with a blessing and a dip in the chilly waters of Shediac Bay, New Brunswick