Created at the Maritime Museum for the Vancouver Centennial in 1986, here’s a big story told in one place.  It’s about Vancouver’s working water, all too often little known or invisible, while we focus on and debate every other aspect.


Click for a larger version:  Gift to the city by Rand and Edgar. Artist: Frank Lewis

From Illustrated Vancouver.ca, with many thanks.

Through a series of interconnected images, this mural tells of the people and ships that played a vital role in shaping the history and culture of Vancouver. Two centuries of activity are traced in time from left to right.” (information sheet from the Maritime Museum)

In the upper left, the “Lions” represent the geographic outlook of Vancouver. The activity on the sea is represented by images of First Nations peoples and their canoes and Captain George Vancouver and his ship Discovery along with Valdes and Galiano and their ships Sutil and Mexicana from 1792.The image also shows Captain GH Richards who surveyed the area and his ship Plumber as well as the Beaver, the first steamship on the coast, a Hudson Bay Company supply vessel, along with others.

In the diamond in the centre of the image is the Empress of Japan and its famous dragon figurehead which is in the Museum’s collection. Modern freighters and luxury steamers complete this section of the picture. The Lions Gate Bridge, built in 1939, is depicted, as is the St Roch, the RCMP patrol vessel that worked the North-West Passage in the early 1940s, which is housed in the Maritime Museum. Also shown are the Ivanhoe and the Master, wood-hulled tugs from the early 20th century.

The harbour is depicted by Canada Place with its cruise ship facility and the Saskatchewan Grain Pool elevator and a Japanese freighter. The people who work in the harbour are also shown, identifiably Joe Fortes, the legendary English Bay lifeguard.

The mural was created for the Vancouver Centennial in 1986. It is a project of the Vancouver Legacies Programme in cooperation with the Vancouver Maritime Museum and a gift to the city from the firm of Rand and Edgar, Barristers and Solicitors.