The Vancouver Maritime Museum is full of artifacts, history and information. It has a permanent collection, but also special temporary exhibitions.
From September 16th, 2021, until July 3rd, 2022, the special featured exhibition is Canoe Cultures :: Ho’-ku-melh War Canoes and the Gifts They Carry Forward.
For information about the 2021/22 displays continue reading or visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum‘s website.
Canoe Cultures :: Ho’-ku-melh War Canoes
Canoe Cultures :: Ho’-ku-melh War Canoes and the Gifts They Carry Forward is a temporary exhibition that showcases Indigenous culture. It uses the war canoe as a vehicle through which to explore various issues like climate change, colonialism and more.
What to Expect
Ho’-ku-melh means “to gather” in Chinook, and the exhibition is a gathering of works from 20 or so different artists. While the focus is on the culture surrounding canoes in West Coast Indigenous communities, there is a variety in the types of displays at the museum.
Along with an old racing canoe from the Squamish Nation, there is a large mural, a highly-decorated jacket, photographs and other pieces of art. The exhibition begins with guests passing underneath a cedar archway, and the subtle scent of cedar is part of the exhibition.
As well, there is a room about the different issues that Indigenous communities continue to face. This includes the history and needed reconciliation surrounding residential schools, and other active challenges like climate change, various local industries and more.
The exhibition also contains information about the Canoe Cultures program. This Indigenous organization keeps the canoe pulling culture alive and teaches those in younger generations how to build new canoes themselves.
The program is led by Mike Billy Sr., a seventh-generation Squamish artist and canoe builder. Canoe Cultures hopes that the exhibition at the Maritime Museum can serve as a positive and informative showcase of the rich Indigenous culture in Vancouver and both up and down the coast.
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Canoe Cultures Exhibition Video
To give you an idea of what to expect at the Canoe Cultures :: Ho’-ku-melh War Canoes and the Gifts They Carry Forward exhibition, check out the video below. It shows what each of the special exhibition galleries looks like.
As you’ll see in the video, the Canoe Cultures exhibition fills a number of rooms. There are artifacts and lots of written information. There are all the other regular permanent collections at the museum to enjoy too (which you won’t see in this video). For videos showcasing other areas and the museum’s permanent collections, click Vancouver Maritime Museum.
About the Museum
The Vancouver Maritime Museum is located in Vanier Park at 1905 Ogden Avenue. It’s not the largest museum in the city, but it’s fairly sizeable with some large exhibits including full-size boats.
The highlight of the attraction’s permanent collections is the St. Roch, a historic vessel built in North Vancouver. It was the first boat to circumnavigate North America. There are also model ships and some fairly interactive exhibits.
As well, there is Heritage Harbour, an outdoor area that has boats on the water at a dock near the museum. When the weather is nice it’s an interesting place to explore. You aren’t allowed to go on any of the boats, however, unlike the St. Roch indoors.
To learn more about the attraction and its various exhibits, visit the Vancouver Maritime Museum‘s website.
Click Canoe Cultures :: Ho’-ku-melh War Canoes for more information on that exhibit specifically.
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