The artists being commissioned to produce artwork for the new ships are Darlene Gait from Esquimalt Nation for the Salish Orca, John Marston from Stz’uminus for the Salish Eagle, and Thomas Cannell from Musqueam for the Salish Raven. The vessels are named to recognize the Coast Salish as the original mariners of the Salish Sea.
A call for artists was issued by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council last August, and Coast Salish artists were invited to submit their portfolios for consideration. From 37 expressions of interest, a jury of artist peers and BC Ferries representatives identified a shortlist of nine artists. Their decisions were based on artistic excellence, Coast Salish artistic style, ability to express the vessel names through artwork, ability to provide digital images for fabrication and ability to meet the project timeline.
The shortlisted artists were commissioned to develop design concepts for one or all of the three vessels. From a total of 27 concepts submitted, three were selected. The artists who were chosen are working with BC Ferries to prepare their designs for final refinement to technical specifications. The designs will be shared publically as each is finalized over the coming months.
The Salish Class ferries are currently under construction at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland. The Salish Orca will be the first ship to arrive in 2016, and will sail on the
Comox – Powell River route. The Salish Eagle and Salish Raven will arrive in 2017, and both of these ships will sail in the Southern Gulf Islands.
Salish Class ships. These ships will serve coastal communities for years to come and we look forward to seeing the artists’ work adorn the vessels and represent the rich culture and heritage of our coast.”
Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.