On November 29, BC Ferries and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) unveiled the Salish Heron artwork at an event held in Victoria, B.C. Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr.’s design will adorn the exterior of the new Salish Class vessel, with cultural information to be displayed in the vessel’s interior.
The Salish Heron artwork was unveiled at an event in Victoria B.C. and was attended by Mr. Johnny and his guests, members of BC Ferries and FPCC, and invited media. The event was celebrated with songs and dancing from the Lək̓ʷəŋən Traditional Dancers.
“Herons and my people once inhabited the area in what is now known as the town of Chemainus,” said Maynard Johnny Jr. ”The majestic birds were once plentiful and provided the people guidance on where fish were in abundance. I have created a Salish Heron using traditional Salish design. The contemporary colours have become my signature as a Coast Salish artist. The design reflects the long beak and long neck of a Great Blue Heron, and its wing, tail feathers and talon. I wanted to create a Salish Heron that was fascinating to the viewer and was obvious to the eye yet kept a flow of design and colour.”
Submissions were accepted from 36 artists and Mr. Johnny was selected by a peer review committee of Indigenous artists and experts, as well as representatives from BC Ferries. The vessel will travel the waters of the Southern Gulf Islands and will fill in for other vessels on northern routes when needed. FPCC is honoured to work with BC Ferries on the call for Expressions of Interest from artists, assembly of the peer review committee and supporting the successful artist on all four Salish Class vessels and the Northern Sea Wolf.
View the CTV News coverage at the 22:45 minute mark here.
Listen to CBC Radio All Points West interview with Maynard Johnny Jr. here.
To read the news release, images and b-roll for media click here.
To read other FPCC stories about the Salish Heron click here.