Lee Matasi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lee Matasi
BornDecember 27, 1981
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DiedDecember 3, 2005
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cause of deathmurder
Other namesAvers
EducationLangara College, Ottawa School of Art
Occupationskateboarder, Artist
Known forSkateboarding, Art
  • Lou Matasi (father)
  • Susan Jessop (mother)
RelativesAlison Matasi (sister)

Lee Matasi was a skateboarder and artist from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Lee is best known for creating 'Leeside', a makeshift skatepark in Vancouver, BC.[1] Lee was an aspiring young artist who had studied and painted in Vancouver, Ottawa, and also France. Lee was the victim of a fatal shooting on December 3, 2005.[2]

Skateboarding & Leeside[edit]

Matasi was a well-known skateboarder in the Vancouver skate scene. As a youth, he created his own skatespot in a tunnel the Hastings and Cassiar connector in Vancouver, BC.[3] The spot later became known as Leeside and is well known locally and throughout Canada then in recent years throughout the global skateboarding community.

Lee's skateboarding inspired his younger sister, Alison Matasi, to begin skateboarding. Alison is currently a professional female skateboarder.[4]

Life & Art[edit]

Lee was interested in art from a young age. As a youth, he grew up painting graffiti under the alias 'Avers', a name apparently chosen because of art's resemblance to 'a verse' on a page. After high school, Lee was in the Fine Arts program at Langara College in Vancouver, BC, in the year 2002. After completing the program, he spent a few months painting in an abandoned castle owned by a relative in a small town in France. In France he made numerous friends and had an article written about his life in the castle in a French skateboarding magazine, "Sugar".[5] Upon his return he would study art at the Ottawa School of Art, which would later open a student gallery space dedicated to his life.[6]


Matasi was shot to death outside the Red Room Nightclub in downtown Vancouver on December 3, 2005.[7] Shortly after his death, hundreds of Vancouver skateboarders and friends attended Leeside, a memorial at a skatepark that Matasi helped build.[8]

On November 30, 2007, a jury in the case found Dennis Robert White guilty of second degree murder. Under Canadian law, the guilty verdict carries an automatic life sentence, with no chance of parole for 10 years.[8]

Memorials & Legacy[edit]

After his death, the Ottawa School of Art student gallery was renamed the Lee Matasi Gallery.[6]

Skateboard wheel company Momentum released a special edition "I Heart Lee Matasi" wheel.[9] Sale proceeds were donated to the reconstruction of the Leeside skateboard park.

Vancouver's Antisocial skateshop sold 'I Love Lee Matasi' t-shirts, and donated the proceeds to Leeside reconstruction as well.[10]

In summer of 2008, a professional skate shoe, the éS Avers, was created by Rick McCrank, and is dedicated to the memory of Lee Matasi. Proceeds from the sale of the shoe are being donated to the Lee Matasi Foundation.[11]

On June 20, 2009, The Emerica Skateboard team visited Vancouver for Go Skateboarding Day. The team visited Leeside to raise money for the park, and to honour the life of Lee Matasi. Over $7000CAD was raised for Leeside and the Lee Matasi Foundation.[12]

An artist named Ljunghman (pronounced 'youngman')wrote a tribute song dedicated to Lee Matasi, and condemning gun violence, entitled "Leeside Park" www.reverbnation.com/ljunghman


External links[edit]