VIDEO: Artists share what inspired their design on the Burrard Chinook SeaBus

VIDEO: Artists share what inspired their design on the Burrard Chinook SeaBus

The Burrard Chinook SeaBus is the first vessel of ours to display an art installation. Designed by Indigenous artists Kelly Cannell, Siobhan Joseph, and Angela George, the art wrap surrounding the exterior of the vessel illustrates the lifecycle of the Chinook salmon, as well as the historical importance of the Chinook salmon to its ecosystem. In this video, the artists share their design inspiration.

Video Transcript

My name is Angela George and I carry two ancestral names sits’sáts’tenat and qʷənat. I’m very blessed to carry those names on behalf of my families. I’m a weaver, I’m a Coast Salish weaver. Bringing my weaving designs into a graphic space has been very exciting.

I’m Kelly Cannell my traditional name is ʔəy̓xʷatəna:t and I’m from the Musqueam Nation. I paint wood. I’ve worked on metal fabrication. I paint acrylic on canvas. I’ve done polymer castings. I’ve found my own contemporary style. I enjoy pushing the boundaries in Coast Salish art, while staying true to the fundamental and traditional elements.

My name is Siobhan Joseph. I am a Coast Salish artist. I am a Squamish Nation member. In my earlier work, I would work with acrylic paints. I feel that I’m more of like a multimedia artist because I’m dabbling and experiencing all these different mediums and I started developing my own Coast Salish designs.

[Kelly] The design that I created for SeaBus is intended to bring awareness of the importance of the Chinook salmon to our Pacific Northwest waters. Salmon was the main food source for First Nations for the West Coast and are so fundamental to our culture. Each side of the vessel has salmon paired. In our Coast Salish culture, this is the symbol of good luck.

[Siobhan] In my design, I decided to do the eggs, and then the alevin, and then to the smolt into the parr, and the adult life, and then to spawn in. And then to the end of their cycle, which is the bones.

[Angela] I was also inspired by the two engines on the vessel of the SeaBus and that to me spoke to the history of the double-headed serpent in this inlet. The double-headed serpent really speaks to the strength and resiliency of the Tsleil-Waututh people.

[Siobhan] Coast Salish art is a revival art and I take pride in doing that art because it’s a lost art.

[Angela] And, a lot of the work that we do in modern times is to reconnect us to that rich history that was interrupted by colonization and by the residential schools. We’re reconnecting and weaving together the best of the best.

[Kelly] It’s an honour to create artwork for the vessel and work alongside two fantastic Indigenous female artists. Now that Indigenous artwork is being showcased in public spaces, I believe it gives us back our voices and a chance to share our history.

[Siobhan] Also to show that you know my children, my nieces, my nephews, and my community, youth, that something like this is possible.

[Angela] I have great passion for North Vancouver and our home of what we now call Vancouver. And these lands and waters are very near and dear to my heart, so I’m extremely blessed to have the opportunity to showcase a little bit about the lands and the waters that the people are visiting, when they come and they they aboard this vessel and they cross these waters. And they get a little bit of an understanding of the history that very important and vital history of our people of Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish and Musqueam.


Want to know more about our latest SeaBus? Click to learn more about the Burrard Chinook.