Penelakut First Nation artist Maynard Johnny Jr.’s art is now displayed on BC Ferries’ Salish Heron.
Johnny Jr.’s work was inspired by herons on the west coast and he wants his art to inspire others.
“The idea is to send a message to the people of British Columbia, Canada and the world that Indigenous People have been here since time immemorial,” said Johnny Jr. “That’s the message I want to share with people travelling on the Salish Heron.”
Johnny Jr., whose Indigenous name is Thii Hayqwtun, is from Campbell River and now has a studio in Duncan.
The wings, tail and beak of the Salish Heron are nearly the size of a seven-storey building.
“My heron started out as a six-inch by two-inch sketch, so to see it on such a grand scale on a BC Ferries’ vessel is amazing,” said Johnny Jr.
The ferry is expected to begin service this spring in the Southern Gulf Islands.
“I’m hoping that my daughter and grandchildren will see the Salish Heron and know that you can achieve something special when you put your mind to it,” said Johnny Jr.
“When they see my art on such a grand scale, I hope they’re influenced by it and have ambition to chase their goals. I’ve always wanted to influence my daughter and grandchildren to move forward in a positive way.”