Exploring Flight: Street Banner Contest

This summer, Vancouver Airport Authority and YVR Art Foundation launched a street banner contest to celebrate First Nations art in B.C.  For many visitors, Vancouver International Airport provides the first and last impression of British Columbia. The airport has long reflected the beauty of the province and its diverse landscape through unique architecture and design, as well as our world-renowned Northwest Coast First Nations art collection.

This commitment to creating a unique sense of place at YVR inspired this first-ever Street Banner Contest.B.C. artists of First Nations origin were invited to participate, and fourteen artists from across B.C. submitted original designs. In the end, two winners were chosen: Valerie Malesku from Queen Charlotte City and Michelle Stoney from Hazelton.


Contest Winners

Artist: Michelle Stoney
Hazelton, B.C.

Michelle became interested in art thanks to the influence of her grandfather, a master carver.  Michelle was first recognized by YVR for her artistic ability in 2001, when she won a scholarship from YVR Art Foundation. She decided to pursue art full-time and was inspired to attend Emily Carr after taking a First Nations art class as an elective at the University of Northern B.C. During her time at Emily Carr, Michelle learned how to meld contemporary art and new techniques with the traditional First Nations practices she had learned from her grandfather. 

Artist: Valerie Malesku
Queen Charolotte City, B.C.

Valerie Malesku is of Cree ancestry but has lived in Haida Gwaii for the past 40 years.  Valerie's art was inspired by many legendary Northwest coast artists including Captain Gold, Robert Davidson, Reg Davidson and Bill Reid – whose iconic sculpture The Jade Canoe resides in YVR’s International Terminal.  Valerie has worked with many traditional styles of art including carving, button blankets and jewellery.  Valerie’s work can be found in galleries around B.C. and has been displayed in New York.

alerie Malesku winning submission

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