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Musqueam and YVR unveil artwork on new fire truck

Musqueam Territory / Richmond, B.C. (July 27, 2023): As part of the ongoing commitment to the principles of their 30-year Sustainability & Friendship Agreement, Musqueam Indian Band and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are proud to unveil custom artwork designed by Musqueam artist, Summer Cannell, wrapped on Red 5, YVR’s new highly specialized fire truck.

Summer was selected through an open call for Musqueam artists to create a design that would weave her Musqueam culture onto every edge of her latest canvas, which happens to be YVR’s newest fire and rescue truck.

Using the familiar colours of an emergency vehicle, Summer’s artwork embraces traditional Musqueam design and features six magnificent thunderbirds decorating the sides and rear panels of the truck.

“In my culture, everything has a purpose, a meaning behind its stories. The thunderbird is known for its protection, it is a giver of life, and it is known for bringing water,” said Summer Cannell. “I wanted to tie both my Musqueam culture and YVR. I think this truck helps to connect the two.”

The new truck, an Oshkosh Stryker 4500 with capacity for 17,000 litres of water known as Red 5, is now in operation as the sixth fire truck in YVR’s Fire & Rescue fleet. The truck is an integral piece of firefighting equipment and will ensure the team is equipped to continue performing their essential role of keeping the airport and community safe.

The truck was first introduced into operation in June and was on display in Musqueam community on June 21 during National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations.

“Congratulations to Summer Cannell on this exciting new artwork for YVR, where she is proudly showcasing the generations of familial cultural knowledge that has been passed down to her,” said yəχʷyaχʷələq, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “Summer is part of the next generation of Musqueam artists bringing our traditional design elements to new mediums throughout our territory, and we look forward to working with YVR to showcase more of our young artists at the airport.”

"Summer’s artwork on Red 5 is striking and bold. We are privileged to showcase her creation and Musqueam culture on such an important piece of equipment at YVR,” said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO. “I am proud that we continue to walk together with Musqueam on our journey toward true reconciliation and that our work has resulted in new opportunities for Musqueam and YVR across our business and operation. I look forward to many more projects where we can collaborate with intention and pursue mutually beneficial opportunities that strengthen our partnership and our community.”

Musqueam and YVR enjoy a strong and enduring partnership, guided by a shared vision of collaboration, respect, and sustainability. Rooted in the principles of social, economic, environmental, and governance sustainability, the 30-year Musqueam YVR Sustainability & Friendship Agreement was the first of its kind when it was signed in 2017 and has set a benchmark for intercultural partnerships in the region.


Since 2017, YVR and Musqueam have together created and continue to walk a path of reconciliation. Outcomes of the work performed under the agreement include employing more than 100 members of Musqueam at the airport and across Sea Island, 39 scholarships awarded to Musqueam students, and three additional agreements signed between Musqueam and businesses operating at the airport.

More than the numbers, YVR has incorporated Musqueam culture and protocol throughout its business and operation and continues to increase representation across the airport community. The work of both organizations has resulted in improvements to the ecosystem and the return of salmon spawning in the Fraser River estuary as well as showcasing local Musqueam artisans and providing space for them to sell their goods in the airport.

YVR has also integrated some of the 94 Calls to Action put forward by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, with more work to follow. 

YVR and Musqueam are located in the same community on land that is traditional Musqueam territory. Musqueam now play an integral role in many areas of YVR’s business and operations, from noise management and environmental advisory to development planning and cultural engagement.

About the artist:

Summer Cannell is an emerging Coast Salish artist from the Musqueam First Nation in British Columbia. Currently, Summer is a West Point Grey Academy high school student, where she has designed a new school logo for the athletics department and a mural within the school representing the community. She has been an avid artist since she was old enough to hold a pencil.

Summer has been exposed to Coast Salish Art and culture from birth; coming from a renowned artistic family, she is the granddaughter of Susan Point. Together Point and Cannell designed a new lobby floor artwork for the leləm̓ Community Centre.



For media queries please contact:

YVR Media Relations


[email protected]

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