FIRST NATIONS ART

1. The Jade Canoe

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Haida artist Bill Reid’s awe-inspiring bronze creation is the second casting of The Black Canoe. Thirteen characters from Haida mythology paddle an imposing 20-ft (6-m) canoe.

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The Jade Canoe, a bronze sculpture by Bill Reid

2. Carved Doors

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The entrance to the Museum of Anthropology at UBC is itself a work of art. Made of red cedar by four Gitxsan master carvers, the double doors convey a narrative from the Skeena River region. When closed, these images form the shape of a Northwest Coast bentwood box, objects used by First Nations people for storage and burials.

3. Hetux

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Travelers at Vancouver airport are greeted by Hetux, a huge birch-and-aluminum sculpture. Connie Watts here combined the form of the mythical thunderbird with features of wolves, wrens salmon, and hummingbirds to reflect the untamed spirit of her grandmother.

4. Chief of the Undersea World

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Orcas were still kept at the Vancouver Aquarium when Haida artist Bill Reid’s sculpture was installed outside it in 1984. The 16-ft- (5-m-) tall bronze killer whale leaping into the air remains as a tribute to this native West Coast creature.

5. Thunderbird House Post

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A majestic thunderbird stands atop a grizzly bear, which is depicted holding a human being. The house post is a replica of one of a pair carved in the early 1900s by artist Charlie James. After 40 years in Stanley Park, the deteriorated poles were restored and moved indoors. Carver Tony Hunt re-created the post now in the park’s Brockton Point Visitor Centre.

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The legendary Thunderbird House Post totem pole

6. ‘Ksan Mural

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Five artists carved this red cedar frieze showing Northwest Coast raven myths. The nine panels tell stories of how the Raven created the elements of the world through his mischievous activities.

7. One of the World’s Tallest Totem Poles

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Raised in Beacon Hill Park in 1956, the pole, by Kwakwaka’-wakw chief Mungo Martin with David Martin and Henry Hunt, took six months to carve from a 128-ft- (39-m-) tall cedar.

8. Kwakwaka’wakw Totem Pole

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This pole, at Victoria’s Royal British Columbia Museum, provides a chance to see a modern interpretation of traditional carving by Kwakwaka’wakw artists Jonathan Henderson and Sean Wonnock. The pole features a mythical thunderbird on top of the tail of an orca.

9. Coast Salish Welcome Figures

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Two 17-ft- (5-m-) tall red cedar figures welcome airport arrivals in traditional Musqueam style. Northwest Coast artist Susan Point carved both from the same log.

10. Inukshuk

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Made by Alvin Kanak for Expo ‘86, this granite sculpture is an Inuit welcome figure, a traditional traveler’s marker, although much larger than those found in the Arctic.

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Inukshuk sculpture by Alvin Kanak

TOP 10 PUBLIC ARTWORKS

1. A-maze-ing Laughter

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Crowds tend to gather around these playful figures in Morton Park.

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A-maze-ing Laughter, Morton Park

2. Photo Session

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Join Seward Johnson’s family of bronze figures posing for a snapshot.

3. The Crab

prac_info 1100 Chestnut St

Admire George Norris’s stylized stainless-steel sculpture of a crab.

4. Gate to the Pacific Northwest

prac_info Vanier Park

Alan Chung Hung’s sculpture invokes 18th-century navigation instruments.

5. Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca

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This piece captures the spirit of Vancouver’s harborfront.

6. Salute to the Lions of Vancouver

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Gathie Falk’s steel lions align with Lions Gate Bridge and The Lions mountain.

7. Angel of Victory

prac_info 601 W Cordova St

Coeur de Lion MacCarthy’s bronze angel lifts a World War I soldier heavenward.

8. Street Light

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Panels showing images of historic events cast shadows onto a walkway.

9. Pendulum

prac_info 885 W Georgia St

This stunning seven-story kinetic sculpture is by Alan Storey.

10. Should I Be Worried?

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This neon sign by Justin Langlois aims at initiating dialogue on sustainability.

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