Calvin Hunt is Chief Tłasutiwalis, Kwakwaka'wakw, and Hereditary Chief Nasnamus, Mowachaht. He is a highly respected Northwest Coast artist, teacher, and inductee into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 2009, he was also honoured with the BC Creative Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art. He started to carve when he was 12 years old and is an important member of the internationally renowned Mungo Martin / Hunt Family of Master Carvers.
Calvin Hunt was born in Alert Bay in 1956. His great-great-grandmother, Anisalaga, also known as Mary Ebbets Hunt, was a Tlingit noblewoman and Chilkat weaver. His grandfather was the renowned Kwakwaka'wakw carver Mungo Martin and his grandmother was Abayah, also a Chilkat weaver. Calvin Hunt is the youngest son of Kwaguʼł Hereditary Chief Thomas Hunt and his mother Maxwalaogwa, Emma Hunt, was the Nuu-chah-nulth daughter of the Mowachaht Chief and Shaman Dr. Billy from Yuquot, (Friendly Cove) on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Calvin is the second cousin of Tony Hunt Sr., who also mentored him in the early years of his career. Between 1972 and 1981 Calvin carved full time as an apprentice with Tony Hunt, Sr. at the Arts of the Raven Gallery. During this time he worked with Tony Hunt Sr. on numerous totem poles commissioned by Germany, Japan, the United States, China and Canada.
In addition to his monumental carvings, Calvin Hunt is also known for his spectacular dance costumes. In 1982 he was commissioned by the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia to create a Thunderbird Dance Costume that consisted of 61 pieces of carved cedar, cedar bark twine, feathers, rabbit fur and canvas. Since then, Calvin Hunt has created a series of dance costumes for museums around the world.
Calvin Hunt is a highly respected artist, mentor, dancer, and knowledge keeper. He continues to teach carving and also mentors up and coming younger artists, including Karver Everson and Randy Frank from the K’òmoks First Nation. Calvin, along with his wife Marie Hunt are also involved in leading a group of Kwaguʼł dancers that perform internationally as 'The Copper Maker Dancers'. Calvin Hunt lives and works in the village of Tsaxis (Fort Rupert) at the northerly end of Vancouver Island.