BC Ferries gives new ship a First Nations name, launches art design competition

Mar 23 2021, 12:02 pm

The fourth Salish-class vessel on the BC Ferries fleet has gained the name of Salish Heron, and like the existing three vessels it will also feature First Nations artwork on both the exterior and interior.

The ferry corporation made the name announcement today, and called on interested eligible BC Coast Salish artists to reach out to the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, which is facilitating the commission of the original art designs.

Up to four artists will be shortlisted, with each provided with a $500 honorarium to further develop and refine their design concept, and an additional $200 to an elder or “knowledge keeper” for research and concept development.

A single artist will be selected and awarded a $15,000 licensing fee for their final design.

“It is an honour to partner with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council and draw on their expertise in commissioning artwork through their network of talented Coast Salish artists,” said Brian Anderson, BC Ferries’ vice-president of strategy and community engagement, in a statement.

“We look forward to reviewing the submissions and selecting designs that will celebrate the unique culture of Coast Salish peoples for years to come.”

bc ferries salish orca

Salish Orca with artwork designed by Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation. (BC Ferries)

bc ferries salish eagle

Salish Orca with artwork designed by Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation. (BC Ferries)

bc ferries salish raven

Salish Raven with artwork designed by Thomas Cannell from Musqueam. (BC Ferries)

The Salish Heron is currently under construction at the Remontowa shipyard in Poland, and it is expected to begin its operations in 2022, serving the Southern Gulf Islands.

This adds to the Salish Orca, Salish Eagle, and Salish Raven, which entered service in 2017 on the Comox, Powell River, and Southern Gulf Island routes.

Each Salish-class vessel uses liquefied natural gas as their primary fuel, and carries a capacity of 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. The Salish Heron will allow for the retirement of the diesel-fuelled Mayne Queen vessel.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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