New BC Ferries ship used as canvas for First Nations art (PHOTOS)

Apr 26 2022, 11:25 pm

Another vessel on the BC Ferries fleet has received a First Nations art treatment.

This week, the ferry corporation unveiled the applied design onto the exterior of its brand new Salish Heron vessel.

The wings, tail, and beak design of Maynard Johnny Jr., whose Indigenous name is Thii Hayqwtun, spans a seven-storey building laid on its side, and its replicated around the hull of the ship.

Johnny’s design was selected in Fall 2021 from 36 artist submissions from the First Nations community. Shortlisted artists were provided with an honorarium to further develop their designs. As the winning artist, Johnny was awarded a $15,000 licensing fee for the use of his final design.

bc ferries salish heron maynard johnny jr first nations art

Indigenous art design on the exterior of the Salish Heron vessel by Maynard Johnny Jr. (BC Ferries)

“I’m hoping that my daughter and grandchildren will see the Salish Heron and know that you can achieve something special when you put your mind to it,” said Johnny in a statement.

“When they see my art on such a grand scale, I hope they’re influenced by it and have ambition to chase their goals. I’ve always wanted to influence my daughter and grandchildren to move forward in a positive way.”

bc ferries salish heron maynard johnny jr first nations art

Indigenous art design on the exterior of the Salish Heron vessel by Maynard Johnny Jr. (BC Ferries)

bc ferries salish heron maynard johnny jr first nations art

Indigenous art design on the exterior of the Salish Heron vessel by Maynard Johnny Jr. (BC Ferries)

Salish Heron is scheduled to enter service later this spring, allowing for the retirement of the 1965-built, diesel-fuelled Mayne Queen ship.

This is the fourth ship in BC Ferries’ new Salish Class of intermediate-capacity vessels, joining the Salish Eagle, Salish Orca, and Salish Raven, which went into service in 2017. The first three vessels were also adorned with unique Indigenous art.

Salish Heron is an additionally order for its class of vessel, and arrived in BC earlier this year.

Each Salish Class vessel carries a capacity of at least 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. They are dual-fuel-powered vessels, capable of using liquified natural gas or diesel.

bc ferries salish heron maynard johnny jr first nations art

Indigenous art design on the exterior of the Salish Heron vessel by Maynard Johnny Jr. (BC Ferries)

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