The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says the Unity Wall at the Breakwater is one of its most high-profile projects. The authority recently created a web page explaining the origins of the art on the mural. (Facebook/Greater Victoria Harbour Authority)

Interactive web page delves into stories of the Victoria breakwater mural

Lekwungen teachings ingrained in Unity Wall’s images, stories

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has created an interactive web page to explain the stories behind the Unity Wall – the breakwater turned canvas filled with art by South Salish artists.

Located at the Breakwater District at Ogden Point near Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal, the GVHA sponsored the development of the wall in 2009. It’s now one of the largest murals in Canada. For the first phase of the wall, artists Butch Dick and Darlene Gait designed images representing a Lekwungen teachings about people as caretakers of the land and ocean.

“The web page is really demonstrating the importance of the Unity Wall to us as an organization and our guiding principles to First Nations relationships,” says GVHA communications director Brian Cant. “It’s a beautiful wall and we get to share it with the community and this just kind of enhances that.”

READ ALSO: Unity Wall murals receive a First Nation’s blessing

The second phase of the Unity Wall honours traditional lands of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations as well as the “sacred relationship between the “land, the sea and Coast Salish peoples.” The wall includes a Lekwungen blessing describing the importance of the natural world.

The GVHA web page provides detailed images of the mural with buttons linking to more information on different portions of the mural. For example, one design shows a killer whale transforming into a mythical sea wolf. The murals description explains how a “pod or pack of sea wolves is said to have gone in many directions, establishing villages along the way.”

The third phase of the mural illustrates the signing of the Douglas Treaties and the founding of the City of Victoria and the Township of Esquimalt.

Cant says the mural has been hugely popular with tourists and locals alike, and a powerful way to introduce cruise ship passengers to the origins of the land they’re arriving at.

“Its probably one of the most high profile parts of what we’ve done down at the Breakwater District,” Cant says. “It’s a really cool project for us to have been apart of [and] we want to highlight that it’s there.”

READ ALSO: Indigenous youth painting mural on Seaton tunnel



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mysterious Brazilian honey barrel appears at Saanich intersection

Barrel spotted on West Saanich Road part of intersection construction project, district says

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Sidney joins federal government in Reay Creek improvements

Coun. Chad Rintoul says contract to renovate Reay Creek dam makes him ‘nervous’

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Addition pending to Cape Scott Provincial Park?

BC Parks will wait before announcing plans for nearly $1 million old growth land purchase

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help B.C. boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

North Shore Black Bear Society said it was local residents who created a ‘death sentence’ for bear

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Central Vancouver Island’s Green Mountain fire under full control

Fire fighters still monitoring site between Cowichan Lake and Nanaimo River

5 B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Most Read