BC Ferries, in partnership with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC), has commissioned two Indigenous artists to design artwork that will adorn the Northern Sea Wolf.
The two artists selected to design artwork for the Northern Sea Wolf are Richard Hunt of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation in T’sakis (Fort Rupert, B.C.) and Danika Naccarella of the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola, B.C. The Northern Sea Wolf was named in honour of a First Nations legend in which the Sea Wolf is a manifestation of the Orca.
The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those travelling their waters. FPCC issued a call for artists last December and invited artists to submit their portfolios for consideration.
In February, a jury of Indigenous artists respected in their fields, joined by representatives from BC Ferries, shortlisted the submissions. The adjudication committee based their decision on artistic excellence, artistic style, ability to reflect the character and life of the waters the vessel will traverse, ability to provide materials suitable for fabrication and ability to meet the project timeline.
FPCC then commissioned the shortlisted artists to develop design concepts. This April, they selected Danika Naccarella and Richard Hunt’s designs. Danika and Richard are working with BC Ferries to prepare their designs for final refinement and application. The designs will be revealed to the public once they are completed.
The Northern Sea Wolf will provide direct summer service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola, with a connector service once a week between Bella Coola, Bella Bella, Shearwater and Ocean Falls. The Northern Sea Wolf will have a significant role in driving tourism, as well as providing ferry services for local residents.
“We received many beautiful submissions that showcased the rich culture and heritage of our coast,” said Janet Carson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience. “It was difficult to narrow it down to two artists, and we would like to thank all artists who expressed interest in designing artwork for the Northern Sea Wolf. This ship will serve the community and help drive tourism for years to come, and we look forward to introducing it into service this summer.”
“We were honoured to have the opportunity to work with Indigenous artists and BC Ferries to facilitate these beautiful commissions,” said Sarah Pocklington, Acing Arts Program Manager at First Peoples’ Cultural Council. “This important project will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about Indigenous artists and will contribute to a greater awareness of the living artistic traditions of the First Nations people who have resided on these lands for tens of thousands of years.”
“With an achievement like this, and through working with BC Ferries, it is important to me that I provide a strong image and message for our youth: that you can achieve your goals by always continuing to learn and grow,” said Danika Naccarella, Indigenous artist. “Bringing my art to new platforms through amazing opportunities like this, helps me to continue challenge myself as an artist. I am taking part in this partnership not only for myself but to also showcase the strength in my community.”
“I would like to thank BC Ferries and the First Peoples’ Cultural Council for collaborating on this project and choosing my design, Sea Wolf,” said Indigenous artist Richard Hunt. “In my culture, Sea Wolf comes from the Animal Kingdom of Komokwa (the Chief of the sea world). Sea Wolf comes from a big family and so do I. I am proud to have the opportunity to showcase my culture, Gilakas’la.”