Abbotsford veterinarian Dr. Ken MacQuisten was honoured by Aldergrove artist Susan Gorris Friday for his long-time efforts tending to injured and endangered wildlife in the Fraser Valley. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

‘Extraordinary’ vet captured on canvas by Aldergrove artist

Aldergrove artist models portrait of Critter Care practitioner after photo

A Fraser Valley veterinarian was honoured by an Aldergrove artist on Friday for his long-time efforts tending to injured and endangered wildlife in the Fraser Valley.

Susan Gorris unveiled her portrait of Dr. Ken MacQuisten in what onlookers remarked was his favourite shirt. In the oil painting, MacQuisten flashes a distinguished smile as he holds a bear cub in his arms.

“You are a kind, attentive, and extraordinary veterinarian who introduces yourself to each and every animal,” Gorris said after presenting her artwork to MacQuisten at his Townline Veterinary Hospital in Abbotsford.

“When I brought in my pet turkey who had a bummed leg,” in a last-ditch effort over 12 years ago, Gorris mentioned the doc didn’t laugh at her.

“When you’re in the animal business long enough you start to learn the language” of animals and their owners, MacQuisten said.

The veterinarian was a keynote speaker at the 20th anniversary Critter Care gala, a fundraiser for a wildlife rehabilitation centre in South Langley.

There, he educated more than 300 attendees on the nuances of grizzly bears – one of his “favourite animals,” and the dangers their species currently face in the wild.

For more than 35 years, this veterinarian has treated animals at Critter Care rehabilitation facility at no cost on a rotating basis with other practitioners in the Fraser Valley. He has practised veterinary medicine in the area since 1981.

“I donate my time as a public service, and I’ve been out there numerous time to assist,” MacQuisten explained.

In the domestic realm – the veterinarian has cared for a wide range of Gorris’ animals including the turkey, peafowl, numerous chickens, cats and a dog.

Gorris said it took “many hours” to perfect the facial colour tones in her painting of the doctor.

“It takes a lot of work to make a portrait of a specific person. At times I really struggled with it,” she admitted to the Aldergrove Star.

A blue frame donated to Critter Care by Langley business Mac’s Framing, encapsulates the portrait.

“It’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me,” MacQuisten said upon first glance of the painting.

“I used to live next to a ravine in Edmonton, and local zoo, so I’d spend a lot of time at both places. I was the kid that used to come home with frogs in his pocket,” MacQuisten shared.

He took the painting home where his family was in awe of Gorris’ generosity.

“It’s a beautiful tribute,” MacQuisten said – “to the best career in the world.”

The portrait was modelled after a photograph of Dr. Ken MacQuisten holding a black bear cub at Critter Care in January.

MacQuisten – the former director of the Greater Vancouver Zoo as well as SPCA – also founded several animal refuges including Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge in Golden, and the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

Both organizations seek long term solutions for the welfare of grizzly bears and other endangered B.C. wildlife.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

MacQuisten was given a portrait modelled after a photo (above) taken of him at Critter Care back in January. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Off-duty cop nabs suspected drunk driver

Call for assistance at Langley incident drew massive police response

“Hugs Over Masks” event not coming to Langley school, district says

The anti-masking group based in Ontario is planning an event in Surrey

Clash at Penzer Park not a public safety risk, Langley RCMP say

Confrontation on Monday involved people ‘known to each other’

LETTER: Zoo offers much beyond protestor ‘lies’

Aldergrove resident grateful to have wildlife centre to explore in his backyard

SHARE: A Brookswood park with so much to offer visitors

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at Maple Ridge Seniors Village

Fraser Health is on site implementing outbreak protocols at the seniors care facility

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Gangster Jarrod Bacon released from prison for third time

Parole board continues to express concerns about Bacon’s behaviour

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Most Read