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The Heart of the Airport

Image of "Jade Canoe" art piece at YVR
  • The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe

    Year: 1994
    Artist: Bill Reid
    Dimensions and materials: Bronze cast, 2.2, jade green patina | 6.05 x 3.89 m
    Terminal: International
    Level: Level 3
    Security access: Before security

    Often described as the Heart of the Airport, this acclaimed sculpture was inspired by nineteenth-century miniature canoes carved in argillite, a soft sedimentary rock that is found near Skidegate on Haida Gwaii. As with many historic examples of miniature canoes, this vessel is crowded with creatures and beings, their identities drawn from legends and oral histories of the Haida, and their forms energetically and sometimes fiercely interacting with each other in the manner of rivalrous siblings. Originally conceived and created for the new Canadian embassy in Washington D.C., it was installed in YVR to welcome visitors to the world.

Image of "The Great Wave" art piece at YVR
  • The Great Wave
    Year: 1996
    Artist: Lutz Haufschild
    Dimensions and materials: Glass | 10 x 40 m
    Terminal: International
    Level: Level 3
    Security access: Before security

    Ever changing with the light and seasons, this dynamic glass wall depicts the power and strength of the ocean along British Columbia’s rugged coastline. Thousands of 2.54 cm-wide strips of float glass were cut and assembled to enable the various tints that create a seascape in which large waves are rolling towards the viewer and an imaginary shore and to relate, symbiotically, with Bill Reid’s monumental sculpture The Spirit of the Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe.
Image of "Welcome Figures" art piece at YVR
  • Welcome Figures
    Year: 1986
    Artist: Joe David
    Dimensions and materials: Red cedar | Male 3.3 x 1.2 x 1.1 m; Female 3.0 x 1.1 x 1.1 m
    Terminal: International
    Level: Level 2
    Security access: Before security

    Carved in the Clayoquot tradition of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, these welcome figures are based on those that would be placed on the beach in front of a village or a big house to greet guests invited to special events. Each figure is designed to look out to sea, arms raised, palms facing upward. The male figure wears the traditional knobbed hat denoting a high-ranking personage, possibly a whaling chief. The female figure wears the common domed hat. Both wear an apron-like garment traditionally made from the shredded, beaten and woven inner bark of the cedar tree.

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