The eight older totemsincluding the impressive Ga'akstalas poleare from First Nations groups outside the immediate Vancouver region, although all are from Nations within the province of British Columbia. However, the three new carved-cedar gateways that now flank the site are by Coast Salish artist Susan Point. The Coast Salish, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Watuth are traditional inhabitants of the Vancouver area, and all collaborated in developing the new Brockton Point art. Architecturally, the modern-looking gates echo a traditional doorway of a slanted-roof Coast Salish house.
One of the three new gateways by Susan Point. Photo: Ted Topping
In 2009, a new totem pole carved by Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation was also added. This unpainted pole pays tribute to Yelton's mother, Rose, who was one of the last residents of Stanley Park. The total number of totems at Brockton Point is now nine.
This summer, thereís also an Aboriginal Summer Village in Stanley Park at the Miniature Train Plaza. Until September 6, the Klahowya Village features aboriginal art, carving, crafts, dances, storytelling and food. The 13-minute miniature Spirit Catcher train ride through the forest highlights aboriginal history and culture in British Columbia.
Detail of the new pole carved by Robert Yelton. Photo: Ted Topping
For the Olympics, the Vancouver area gained many other brand-spanking new First Nations pieces of public art as well. Some are located at the Convention Centre (new and old), and I'll discuss these in future Vancouver's Coolest Public Art stories. And, if you arrive via Vancouver International Airport, you will see some of the region's most breathtaking First Nations art there.
Have you spotted any other cool outdoor art in Vancouver or other cities that you think deserves to be featured? Let us know in the comments!