top of page


20th Anniversary

Artist Roger Purdue wants to see whales honored, and he wants them to return to Penn Cove. He wonders if the whales remember that bad things happened to them in the Cove, and if they could be watching and waiting for us to do the right things, so they can return.

All the right things happened to bring about the creation of the Whale Wheel. A magnificent piece of cedar was about to be reduced to kindling, and though Roger could no longer do it himself, a group of talented carvers was willing to do the work.


The wheel shape reminds us of the Native American Circle of Life, and similar teachings by professor David Suzuki on the continuity of life. Just as all of the atoms in our bodies were part of other life forms before us, they will be dispersed to yet other living things after us; perhaps the salmon, the bear or the whale.

2011 Logo

2011 Penn Cove Water Festival design
by Coupeville artist Roger Purdue,
creator of Water Festival logos
since 1993

7 men holding whale carvings

Carvers of the new Whale Wheel, designed by Coupeville artist and carver Roger Purdue: Back row - L to R: Dick Weber, Peter Wolff, Gordon Grant, Joseph Albert. Front row - L to R: Jim Short, Chris Eliassen, Phil Kempbell. Photo by Lynda Imburgia

Holding to tradition, the Penn Cove Water Festival is represented by an original design by Tsimshian artist Roger Purdue.


This year's design is the new "Whale Wheel" design, depicting 5 Orcas in the Northwest Native art style. The design will not only adorn the 2011 Water Festival T-shirts, posters and fine art prints, but is also featured on the new Whale Wheel being carved by local Coupeville carver's under Roger's direction. The carved whale wheel will replace the salmon wheel, carved by Roger and unveiled at the 1995 Penn Cove Water Festival.


The immense, beautiful interactive salmon wheel has been a favorite focal point of the Coupeville waterfront, with residents and visitors giving it a spin as they walk by. The salmon wheel will be "retired" and put on display in the Island County Historical Society Museum, and replaced by the new Whale Wheel. Roger chose orcas for the new design of the wheel, to honor the orcas and to remember the whales taken and killed during the Penn Cove orca captures of the 1970s.

2016 poster

2016 Penn Cove Water Festival Poster


This design by Roger Purdue was donated to the Penn Cove Water Festival by his widow, Sara. We are proud to continue to honor Roger in this way.

25th Anniversary

Bear is the protector of the animal kingdom. In Haida culture is referred to as "Elder Kinsman" and was treated like a high-ranking guest when killed. Eagle down was sprinkled before it was brought in to the tribe to display respect.

Frog is revered for his adaptability, knowledge and power to traverse worlds and inhabit both natural and supernatural realms. Frog is a creature of great importance in Northwest Coast art and culture. As a creature that lives in two worlds, water and land, Frogs are primary spirit helpers of shamans. A great communicator, Frog often represents the common ground or voice of the people.


Tshirt quilt Photo

This quilt was made by former PCWF Board Member, Cheryl Bradkin, with shirts (donated by Board Member, Benye Weber) to show the art work used for the first 20 years of the revival of the Coupeville Water Festival

bottom of page