To acknowledge that we are fortunate to be able to gather on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish People, these lanterns are created with the designs of Indigenous artists from the Stó:lō, Dené, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh nations in 2020 to celebrate one of the most important traditions in Asia – Lunar New Year. Celebrate like no other – LunarFest, with support from Tourism Vancouver, Vancouver Convention Centre and Indigenous Tourism BC, is proud to present these lanterns that are truly unique to the City of Vancouver.
This design is a Salish Sea motif featuring the teachings and culture of the artist’s ancestors. This contemporary iconography of the Pacific Northwest includes representations of Black Fish, Dog Fish, Eagles, & Salmon. The Salmon symbolizes instinct, determination and persistence. Salmon is also a symbol of abundance, wealth and prosperity because the Salmon is the primary food source for the Coast Salish. It is also symbolic of dependability and renewal, representing the provider of life. Salmon in pairs are good luck.
The Black Fish (Orca/Killer Whale) symbolizes family, community and protection. He is said to protect those who travel away from home and to lead them back when the time comes. Orcas travel in large family groups, working together to preserve themselves. Orcas will often stay their whole life with the same family. It is believed that humans and orcas are closely linked, and that when great chiefs die, they become killer whales.
Thomas Cannell / Musqueam
Born on Musqueam traditional territory in 1980, Thomas has worked alongside his mother, Coast Salish artist Susan Point as a carver and designer. In 2014, Thomas was awarded a British Columbia Achievement Award for First Nations Art and is currently a board member on the British Columbia Arts Council.
A lost lone wolf who’s been separated from its pack, calls out each night to communicate for others who may feel similar. During the day he hunts and travels seeking shelter to survive. Often he’ll need to compete to feed himself, as a lone wolf is unrecognized by other packs. He gains strength throughout his journey that gives him abilities other wolves lack. Senses that are heightened gaining an edge in combat.
This piece is a reflection of some people’s lives, who are abandoned, separated or forgotten and as the world keeps moving without them, they keep fighting for themselves.
John Velten / Dené
Born and raised in Coquitlam, John has been an illustrator from a young age. John has studied Business and Fine Arts production under the mentorship of Alano Edzerza, and Design Foundations through the mentorship of Rick Adkins. He continues his practice carving and sculpting today with artist Phil Gray. John has been commissioned by the City of Vancouver for multiple installation works and is a recent recipient of the Museum of Anthropology Shop Emerging Indigenous Artists Contest for his Hummingbird design. John continues into the New Year with aspirations to continue creating pieces and connections of admiration.
The piece is a combination of Coast Salish design principles, from hand drawn or carved mediums and also from woven textile patterns. The red fawn in this piece, is representative of the medicine that a fawn offers, in its curiosity, exuberance for life, and its gentleness. The zigzag patterns and coloring in the background depict paths travelled in the forests.
Carrielynn Victor – Xémontélót / Sto:lo
Born into an Indigo generation with an innate desire to make progressive change through art, voice and action, Carrielynn is fueled by the passion to leave positive imprints within the earth and the people. Carrielynn was born and raised in Coast Salish territory, or the Fraser Valley, nurtured by many parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Carrielynn currently lives in the community her late father came from, Cheam, and works for the Stó:lō Tribal Council & The People of the River Referrals Office, providing research for Rights & Title matters as well as serving in a liaison role to community leadership.
The face on top is a representation of the artist’s ancestors sending prayers out to cover the land and people. The mountains are shaped like salmon heads because the snowmelt is the water they swim in and represents a strong connection in the artist’s Salish culture.
Zachary “SKOKAYLEM” George / Tsleil-Waututh
Born and raised in North Vancouver and now living in Chehalis, BC. His work is inspired by his late grandparents, Chief Dan and Amy George, and Robert and Betty Edge. Zac studied carving with Don Joe of Chehalis and is proud to use the Coast Salish artistic style. He lives the rich cultural lifestyle of the Salish People: he is a hunter, fisherman, and follows the traditional spirituality practiced by his people for centuries.
Venue / Time
Jack Poole Plaza
Jan 18th – Feb 9th, 2020