We are inching closer to a new ferry experience: BC Ferries has revealed the names of the third and fourth ‘Island Class’ ferries bound for Campbell River.
During today’s naming ceremony at Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime, Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a were announced as the names of the newest ferries to enter the fleet, allowing two-ship service to begin on the Campbell River – Quadra Island route in 2022, together replacing the existing Powell River Queen.
The ceremony began with a few words from BC Ferries, representatives from We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum nations, and dignitaries, followed by the unveiling of the ferries’ names and the christening of the hulls.
Names Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a, selected following a community engagement process, celebrate the important connection to some of the coastal communities the ferries will serve. “In both Kwak̓wala and Lik̓wala, two of the Kwakwaka’wakw dialects, Nagalis means ‘dawn on the land’ and K’ulut’a is the name for Porpoise,” BC Ferries notes.
The new ferries are battery-equipped with future full electric operation, suited to carry 47 vehicles and up to 400 passengers and crew. From the exterior details to the engines, BC Ferries says their design helps reduce underwater radiated noise, lowers emissions, and improves customer service.
According to the company, staff is partnering with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) once again to commission original artwork from Indigenous artists for the interior of both ferries.
“For the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, this project provides a unique opportunity to share the exceptional work of Indigenous artists with people from across B.C. and around the world. We hold our hands up to BC Ferries for partnering in a fair and equitable Indigenous-led selection process and for acknowledging the Kwakwakaw̓akw language in the vessel names,” adds FPCC Acting CEO, Karen Aird.
In keeping with maritime tradition, BC Ferries also selected sponsors for the ferries, who bestow each with good luck and protection for all those who travel on them. Each ship has a community sponsor and a sponsor from the BC Ferries family.
LEFT – Island K’ulut’a sponsors: BC Ferries’ Crewing Advisor Jennifer Thacker and June Johnson from We Wai Kai Nation.
RIGHT – Island Nagalis sponsors: BC Ferries’ Strategic Planning Manager Joanne Doyle and Lorraine Henderson from Wei Wai Kum First Nation.