Heritage Interpreter Olivia G. writes about a colourful new addition between the Cannery and Garry Point Park. A new not-to-be-missed attraction in Steveston Village.
Steveston Village is undergoing exciting changes with the arrival of a beautiful mural near the waterfront. The giant 24 by 115 ft artwork can be found on the CanTrawl building, just steps away from the Cannery. It depicts six sockeye salmon swimming underwater. The mural is painted by Nanaimo artist Jeff King, and is commissioned by the Steveston Harbour Authority. This mural is just the start of a series of artworks to be displayed on different buildings in Steveston Harbour.
The mural is wonderfully colourful, with the salmon painted a vivid red and surrounded by green water. The red colour of the salmon as well as the hump on their back marks them as spawner salmon; they change to look like this when they make their way from the ocean back up the river where they were born, to lay their eggs and continue the life cycle.
Salmon, of course, are an incredibly important resource for Steveston as well as BC in general. They have been a staple in the diet and culture of the Indigenous peoples who live along the West Coast, and the rich salmon populations in BC’s waters were the reason that people from Britain and other countries settled here and built communities. Steveston was built on the fishing and canning industry, and still continues to be an important part of the culture here today. Salmon is the lifeblood of the West Coast, and it is only fitting that they are celebrated through art here in Steveston.