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Where Did the New Musqueam Banner Design Come From?

Summer, Thomas and YVR/Musqueam VIPs with new bannersIt has been just over two years since the historic Musqueam-YVR Sustainability and Friendship Agreement was signed. This 30-year agreement formally acknowledges our ongoing working relationship that has always, but unofficially, existed. It is based on friendship and respect and ultimately supports our mutual drive to achieve a sustainable future for our communities.

Last year, we put out a call to Musqueam artists for submissions of a design that represents the friendship agreement. The competition sought an approach that captured the strong YVR-Musqueam relationship and showcased our foundation of respect for each other and the environment, while tying into YVR’s award-winning Sense of Place theme.

On July 11, 2019, YVR celebrated the unveiling of the agreement's new official emblem and formally recognized the winners of the Musqueam-YVR Partnership Design Competition. As you drive to the airport, you will now see the champion design proudly displayed on the banners along Grant McConachie Way. The winning design is by well-known Musqueam artist Thomas Cannell and his daughter Summer.

About the design: 

“Our ancestors taught us to raise our open hands whenever we give thanks and as a friendly greeting. It’s symbolic of opening our hearts and minds – and showing our strength and vulnerability. We’ve included this teaching within our design by using Summer’s hands to validate this action; her hands are up welcoming this new friendship.  

The stylized Coast Salish face represents our ancestors, who watch over us and guide us. The artwork is contained by four arrows, signifying a circle of life, also a metaphor of a spindle whorl and how this spindle whorls defines us as Coast Salish people.

We commonly use the number four in our artwork. Here we use it by way of the owls/people and the four arrowheads representing worldly existence: the four winds, the four directions, the four moons, the four seasons, the four peoples, the cycle of the salmon and so on.”

Thomas and Summer Cannell

There will be more done with this design inside the terminal so keep an eye out for that to come!

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