Feb 052015

Musqueam presenters Larissa Grant and Morgan Guerin at the Museum of Vancouver exhibit Photo: Ann Cameron


Exhibitions about the history and living culture of the Musqueam people, cesna em, City Before the City, have opened at three museum locations in Vancouver: the Musqueam Cultural Centre, the Museum of Vancouver and the UBC Museum of Anthropology (see The Beat January 2015).

UBC Museum of Anthropology Photo: Ann Cameron

Each venue has approached differently the telling of the story of the long human habitation of Vancouver before European occupation of the land around the mouth of the Fraser River.

Visit http://www.thecitybeforethecity.com for tour dates at the three institutions from May to November.

The Musqueam Cultural Centre gives an environmental and cultural context for the traditional life of the Musqueam. Musqueam young people are providing special guided tours of the city before the city exhibition on the Musqueam reserve and invite the public to learn about traditional and contemporary Musqueam culture. The first tour is on April 12 2015.

The Museum of Vancouver explains the history of the Musqueam nation, and shows some of the artifacts in the museum collections in context.

The UBC Museum of Anthropology, with many images but no objects, highlights language, oral history, and the community’s recent actions to protect cesna em.

On Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 pm, February 8, 2015, MOA is having a special Family Day around the exhibition themes, with hands-on activities in the Archaeology Lab. Email members@moa.ubc.ca

Jan 122015

Musqueam Cultural Centre & Gallery


Vancouver, far from being a “new” city as commonly described, has been inhabited for over 5,000 years. These Musqueam people still live here, many on an reservation area south of Marine Drive near the mouth of the Fraser River. A joint project to present the long cultural traditions, and the current profile of the community, culminates in three exhibitions at the Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Centre and Gallery, the Museum of Vancouver and the UBC Museum of Anthropology, which open in the last week of January. The remains of this flourishing civilization, many at what archaeologists called the Great Fraser Midden, have been excavated at different times during the last century.

The Musqueam nation finally forced the BC provincial government to respect the site and stop development at the site of their ancestors’ graves in 2012. (See The Beat October 2012.)

An article with background on the exhibition project is at: http://www.vanmag.com/News_and_Features/The_City_Before_the_City_The_Musqueam_First_Nation

Musqueam,ancient Bird Pendant Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

It is a large project, involving staff and research from many sources. Each venue has a different focus, and at each the project has been undertaken jointly the institution working with the advice of community leaders.

More information and programming events at any of the museums can be found at http://thecitybeforethecity.com

On the evening of January 29 at 7 pm, a Musqueam cultural researcher and MOV’s curator of Contemporary Culture, Viviane Gosselin will speak at the Museum of Vancouver on several themes in the exhibition:  from the importance of traditional teachings, to the revitalization of the h?n?q??min??m? language, and the history of relationships between Indigenous and settler societies in Vancouver.??

The exhibitions will run at least one year.

The Beat will present more information about the project over the next few months.

Apr 142014

Weaving by Robyn Sparrow, Krista Point and Debra Sparrow Marpole Safeway on Granville Street, Vancouver Photo: Ann Cameron

A retail and condo development at Granville Street and by Westbank Developments has showcased the fine weavings of Musqueam artists Robyn Sparrow, Krista Point and Debra Sparrow as part of the Safeway façade on Granville Street at 70th Avenue.

Debra Sparrow says in her artist’s statement: “I am honoured to exhibit my weavings in this space; a space where my ancestors, the Musqueam of the Coast Salish, have lived since the beginning of time. Not far from here, along the Fraser River, we gathered our supply of salmon; today we gather here to buy it.”

Other art works have been commissioned for the large site from Susan Point and Thomas and Kelly Cannell.


Apr 142014

Artist Susan Point

The Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver’s Gastown is planning a large exhibition of the work of master Musqueam artist Susan Point, set to open on June 28 until July 19 2014.

The core of the work in the exhibition sale is a private collection of every limited edition print produced by the artist from 1981 to the present, over 300 works in all. As well as her prolific work in printmaking, Point has created many sculptures and significant art installations in Canada and the United States during her influential career.

Susan Point Works On Paper

Susan Point Works On Paper

Dale Cross, Gary Wyatt, and Susan Point herself have written Susan Point, Works on Paper, illustrating in colour 160 of these works. The book is available in late April, in both a deluxe hardcover edition, and also in paperback.

For more information see http://www.spiritwrestler.com



Feb 012014

The youth of the Musqueam nation in Vancouver are working to raise money for a youth exchange with the Maori in Rotorua New Zealand. 2012 Juno Award winner Murray Porter and the Musqueam Rez Blues will perform at a fundraising event at the Musqueam Cultural Centre on February 8 2014 at 7 pm.

For more information call 604 260 3349 or visit the Musqueam website http://www.musqueam.bc.ca/events/future/2014-01

When you go to the website, stop for a few minutes to enjoy the video Musqueam Through Time, a beautiful video about Musqueam history and the culture of this community along the Fraser River.

Dec 082012

First Nation's Basket

The Surrey Museum and the Musqueam and Sto:lo communities are presenting an exhibition of First Nations’ baskets selected from collections at the Royal British Columbia Museum, the New Westminster Museum, the Musqueam First Nation, the Surrey Museum and private collections.

Baskets for Barter shows 3,500 years of the tradition of weaving and exchange along the lower Fraser River.

The catalyst for the exhibition was an assessment of the Surrey Museum’s largely unexamined basket collection by Coast Salish expert Dr. Sharon Fortney. To provide context in the show, elders and contemporary weavers are given a voice through videos, photographs, and display boards.

There are maps of the communities along the Fraser, from Musqueam, located at the mouth of the Fraser, to New Westminster, and along the traditional territory of the Sto:lo, located upriver from Chilliwack; many sites are now suburban and commercial, with an aboriginal heritage nearly forgotten.

The exhibition continues until December 22 2012. The Museum is at 17710-56A Avenue in Surrey.