Totems at Stanley Park

van 2 015The nine totem poles at Brockton Point are BC’s most visited tourist attraction. Because many of the original totems were carved as early as the 1880s, they have been sent to museums for preservation. The totems you see at Brockton Point today are new ones commissioned or loaned to the park between 1986 and 1992.

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van 2 024van 2 029Luke Marston’s sculpture, Shore to Shore, stands at the site of his family’s ancestral village site X̲wáýx̲way, and celebrates Portuguese adventurer Joe Silvey (“Portuguese Joe”) as well as his first and second Coast Salish wives, Khaltinaht and Kwatleemaat. The artist Luke Marston is the great-great-grandson of Portuguese Joe and Kwatleemaat.

Joe Silvey was born and raised on Portugal’s Altantic Azores Islands, though after several adventures, Joe found himself on the Pacific, and an early pioneer of Vancouver’s Gastown.

The sculpture honours the link between Portuguese and Coast Salish First Nations cultures, marks the land’s rich heritage, and symbolizes unity for the Vancouver’s present-day diverse inhabitants. The large bronze sculpture is surrounded by engraved Portuguese stone, prominently installed in Stanley Park’s Northeast shore, overlooking downtown. You can read more about Shore to shore here.

van 2 020The Skedans Mortuary Pole is a replica as the original was returned home to Haida Gwaii. In the late 1980s, the remaining totem poles were sent to various museums for preservation and the Park Board commissioned and loaned replacement totems.

van 2 019 In March Dear and I had an overnight trip to Vancouver B.C. and we were able to spend a few hours in Stanley Park on March 18th. We stopped at the Totems at Brockton Point for a while. You can buy an all day parking pass for $6.00 which worked well for all our stops. I’ll share our other stops at the park soon.

I’ll be linking up to Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom the Backroads Traveller.

10 thoughts on “Totems at Stanley Park

  1. Totems have fascinated me since I was a Boy Scout. Those created on the west coast have a very interesting geometric style that is wonderful. These are indeed treasures. Thanks Ellen for sharing this amazing collection. I hope that you find more treasures to share.

  2. This post was an absolute delight! Loved seeing the beautiful, historic totems, and learning a bit about the Portuguese also in Vancouver. The carving and symbolism are just wonderful!

  3. I am sorry to be so slow coming to your Tuesday’s Treasures. These are just so, so neat. I think they would be even more interesting to see in real life.

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