First Nation Art at Vancouver Airport

First Nation Art at Vancouver Airport

For many visitors to Vancouver, YVR Airport provides the first and last impression of British Columbia. We are so proud of the Vancouver Airport Authority Foundation for its dedication and sponsorship in supporting and displaying the art works of our First Nation and Yukon artists, reflecting the province’s diverse landscape and people.

For our visitors landing in Vancouver, we hope you won’t be so weary you will not want to stop and gaze at these beautiful and varied art pieces that draws on the themes of land, sea and sky.

In the International Terminal, you will be greeted by two Musqueam Welcome Figures (see main image; source YVR), standing near the bottom of the escalators / stairs in the Canada Customs Hall, representing a traditional Coast Salish welcome to travelers. The deeply carved frontal aspects of both figures are inspired by historical Coast Salish house posts, while the back panels reveal the artist’s innovations on traditional images and motifs.

The esteemed artist, Susan Point, carved these in 1996 in Red Cedar with glass.

Susan Point also carved Flight, the Spindle Whorl in 1995 from Red Cedar, which is located on Level 3.

“Flight” is the world’s largest Coast Salish Spindle Whorl and relates to the large-scale weavings included in this contemporary art installation. The artwork is presented in a setting of water and stone, symbolic of this land. The spindle whorl uses traditional images to depict the theme of flight. The eagle, which is considered a symbol of power, is designed around the image of a man whose arms are raised, welcoming visitors and also gesturing flight. On the chests of the men are salmon motifs to represent the Coast Salish people, who still live and fish along these shores.

Also on Level 3 are four large weavings, titled Out of Silence, representing an esteemed and enduring art form among the Coast Salish people. For many centuries before European contact, intricately woven Coast Salish blankets were worn or distributed during social and religious ceremonies. The women who created Out of the Silence chose to use a number of traditional patterns, made up of diamonds, squares and zigzags, to honour the endurance of their craft and to signify their identities as weavers.

These artists are Krista Point, Robyn Sparrow, Debra Sparrow, Gina Grant and Helen Callbreath who hand-dyed, and hand-spun sheep’s wool, in 1996.

For more background info and to see more art, click on our source:

And while you’re browsing through the YVR website, you may want to book your flight to Vancouver, if you haven’t done so already. Have fun preparing for your trip, and please let us know if you need assistance with anything. We’re happy to help!

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