Honouring the Chinook Salmon

The 12-minute scenic ride takes me from Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.  

Each ferry can seat up to 195 passengers at a time and departs every 15 minutes during the day, in sunshine or rain, seven days a week from early in the morning to late at night (TransLink)  

I have boarded TransLink’s new SeaBus, the Burrard Chinook, wrapped in art designed by local Indigenous artists, making it the first SeaBus displaying artwork by local artists. 

The Burrard Chinook welcomes passengers to the lands and waters of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples. Kelly Cannell, Siobhan Joseph, and Angela George, who represent the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, respectively, have worked in collaboration to wrap the Burrard Chinook in designs representing their Nations and the shared, sacred waters in which the SeaBus travels.

Their design illustrates the lifecycle of the Chinook salmon and the historical significance of this species of fish to British Columbia’s ecosystem. Chinook salmon are the largest Pacific salmon species, with some individuals known to grow to over 1.5 metres in length and weigh over 50 kilograms. 

Thank you for joining me on the Vancouver Seabus honouring the Chinook salmon.

 Until next time we meet, dear friends, keep safe and be well.

52 Thoughts

  1. Lovely to hear you introduce me to the seabus and its gorgeous decoration, Rebecca. The video is stunning; you live in a beautiful part of the world. It was good to learn about the chinook salmon too – I had no idea of the size of these beautiful fish 😄

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Coast Salish people of the Canadian Pacific coast have a strong connection to and reverence for the Chinook Salmon for is served as a source of wealth and trade. It is deeply embedded in their culture. I think you will be interested in this link to Simon Fraser University’s Indigenous studies: “Tea and Bannock Stories: First Nations Community of Poetry Voices.” https://www.sfu.ca/lovemotherearth/02poetry/tea_and_bannock.pdf

      “Learning the Salmon’s language
      with the help of this paddle…
      They are close just as water
      Controls life for them.

      The paddle moves me to their home
      And they ever fail to come back and say to me…
      “My brother I know your ancestors.”

      By Robert Dhadhiyasila Hall

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for joining me on the Burrard Chinook. We take the Seabus every week to meet up with my mother Frances and sister, Sarah. Public transit is essential if we are to meet our our low-carbon targets. Every little act that reduces our personal carbon footprint makes a difference. Thank you for travelling to my side of the world. Your visit and comments are very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WOnderful. SO quirky I can’t help but love it. And what a way to travel. It reminded me of how when I was wee and there was no road bridge over the Tay…also famous for its salmon!… there were ferries that went over and back. Fifies they were called. I always looked forward to a trip on the and I was on the very last sailing. .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I had to find out more about the Fifies!! What a remarkable history, Shey. I love ferries for there is a sense that we are connected to the water, rather than overcoming the water with a bridge structure. This is what I found.

      “The Tay Ferries, known locally as the “Fifies” they were the main means of crossing the Tay with a vehicle until the opening of the Tay Road Bridge

      The first regular scheduled steam powered ferry was the “Union” which started service in 1821 and ran six days a week with up to 11 crossings per day. Only a short while later in 1839 pleasure trips over the river became available and were an affordable day out for many Dundonians working in the City industries.

      The ferries could typically take around 10 vehicles at a time. Today the Tay Road Bridge is crossed by 26,000 vehicles per day.

      The same day as the Tay Road Bridge was opened on August 18th 1966, the Ferry “Scotscraig” made it’s final crossing. “ https://www.dundeemaritime.co.uk/Fifies

      The idea of change and impermanence comes through this story. But how wonderful that you experienced the Fifies. Sending hugs!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you came to my side of the world to join me on the Burrard Chinook. I read that the name Chinook came from the Chinookan peoples, which include several groups of indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. Many thanks for your visit and comments.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it amazing that we can travel the world from our kitchen tables. This past year, I learned that if we stand still, the world comes to us. Thank you for sharing your side of the world. Always a joy to stop by for a visit.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I believe you! It must give a beautiful moment to take a trip on the water and have such a wonderful sight. Thank you, dear Rebecca. And I am so happy that you remain immune from the flood and storm. 😊💖

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you! The sun came out for a couple of days and it felt fabulous. We still have rain in the forecast but not like it was when the Pineapple Express came through. I couldn’t believe the amount of rain that came so quickly. I am delighted that you joined me on the Burrard Chinook. It was a great day for sailing.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined me on the Burrard Chinook and traveled in the sacred waters between Vancouver and North Vancouver. I agree that when we recognize the beauty and power of diversity, we come to understand what gives life meaning. Sending many hugs your way.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that there will be more of this type of art on public transit vehicles. I have seen buses fully wrapped in artwork, but wasn’t quick enough to take a photo. I believe that public transit is essential if we are to respond to climate issues. Art allows us to look more closely at our communities and choose a better option for transportation. Here is a quote and link that I think you will enjoy: “Public transit is an extension of the city and its people. Metro Vancouver is considered a vibrant and colourful city and these images on the buses offer an opportunity to explore the connections we make – between these visual elements and movement. Thus, the question – ‘How far do you travel?” https://buzzer.translink.ca/2019/01/stunning-new-art-wrapped-buses-coming-to-a-bus-loop-near-you/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi REbecca, thank you for going to the trouble of providing this link. I enjoyed the art-decorated bus, it is very pretty. South Africa is very far away from affording something like this but there is an increase in street art. I must make an effort to take some pictures of it and share.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Oh, please do share your street art when you can, Robbie. Street art is the soul of a country. Resa introduced me to street art through her blog several years ago! I now see how murals have added colour and beauty to our city.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The artwork is bold on this ferry ride, Rebecca. In 2017 we took a ferry ride from Swartz Bay to Tsawassen on The Spirit of Vancouver Island. I don’t remember any amazing artwork but do recall lovely scenery and smooth passage to the island. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments, Martina! Very much appreciated. The history of ferry service between the North Shore and Vancouver dates back to the 1860’s when a private rowboat was “captained” by a man called Navvy Jack Thomas, a deserter from the Royal Navel. There are so many stories held in the folds of history. I always feel that I am going on a treasure hunt when I head back into the past.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dave! I am thrilled that TransLink is featuring Indigenous artwork on public transit. It is a reminder that our cultures and mythologies are connected. And that connection goes deep into the environment. I especially appreciated the idea of “sacred waters.” TransLink showcases Indigenous art with installations at the Broadway and Commercial SkyTrain station, the Surrey Central Station, and the Evergreen Expansion. So I will be heading out to take photos of these art installations. The CEO of TranLink spoke of the idea of reconciliation: “We look forward to future collaborations with First Nations as we continue our journey toward true and meaningful reconciliation.” Check out this link from The Canada Council for the Arts to learn about “The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.”

      https://canadacouncil.ca/spotlight/2021/09/the-national-day-for-truth-and-reconciliation

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for this extraordinary trip through the moving waters with the city skylines in view. I enjoyed the trip with you on the sea bus, a truly unique experience, an joy offered in this part of B. C. And. thank you for the story and information about the Chinook Salmon.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for joining me on the Seabus Frances. I look forward to the voyage every week to meet up with you and Sarah for coffee. The history of the Seabus is fascinating. I found out that ferry operations between North Vancouver and Vancouver started in 1900 – 122 years ago and growing ever stronger as our city’s population grows and more people are choosing public transit!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. What a beautiful ride, makes me miss my youthful navy days, now so long ago, but never forgotten. Thus said and above all what fantastic talent! producing this marvellous art, depicting the famous Chinook salmon. The whole of your well chosen presentation, makes me long for the sea!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so pleased that you enjoyed this video, Jean-Jacques. The ascendancy of indigenous artwork adds so much dynamics to our communities as well as understanding of cultural values. I especially appreciated the idea of sacred waters, which gives honour and respect to our environment.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed this short trip across to North Vancouver. I agree – the design was clever and thoughtfully brought together by the three artists. I can only imagine the excitement and joy they had bringing their culture alive. It is a pleasure seeing the Burrard Chinook from afar when riding in the Burrard Otter or the Burrard Beaver. These past days there has been so much rain that it was difficult to see across the water, except for the vibrant colours of the Burrard Chinook

      Liked by 2 people

  7. That was wonderful, Rebecca! Vancouver is a gorgeous city.
    It’s not just the city itself per se, but the gift of nature it languishes in.
    Your sea bus ride brings back images.
    I lived on Princess at Union. When I walked north on Princess, there was a mountain at the end of the street.
    The art on the Chinook Salmon is a joy to behold. I am so proud of our First Nations ancestors!
    Cheers and hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that area – Union and Princess – of Vancouver – close to everything!! And the houses are vintage Vancouver, that hold many stories. I am proud of our First Nations ancestors. There is a profoundly moving exhibition on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery that remembers children lost at residential schools. https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/local-news/vancouver-memorial-pays-tribute-to-215-children-found-buried-at-bc-residential-school-photos-3822477

      Liked by 1 person

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