Celebrating Indigenous art and partnership: Musqueam and YVR unveil artwork on new fire truck

In a momentous celebration of Indigenous art and collaboration, the Musqueam Indian Band and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) have come together to unveil a stunning display of custom artwork on YVR's newest fire and rescue truck, Red 5.

The artwork, designed by talented Musqueam artist Summer Cannell, beautifully weaves her cultural heritage into the vibrant design, signifying a powerful connection between her Musqueam culture and the airport.

Selected through an open call for Musqueam artists, Summer's artwork adorns the truck with traditional Musqueam design elements, featuring six majestic thunderbirds gracing the side and rear panels.

The thunderbird holds significant meaning in Musqueam culture, symbolizing protection, life-giving qualities, and the essence of water. Through her art, Summer encapsulates the power of her heritage while bridging it with the airport's identity, creating a visually striking and meaningful masterpiece.

The newly introduced fire truck, Red 5, an Oshkosh Stryker 4500 with an impressive capacity for 17,000 liters of water, marks the sixth addition to our Fire & Rescue fleet. Its plays a vital role in ensuring the safety of both the airport and the community. By incorporating Summer's artwork onto this essential piece of firefighting equipment, YVR demonstrates our commitment to showcasing Musqueam culture and promoting inclusivity within our airport operations.

The collaboration between Musqueam and YVR embodies a long-standing and profound partnership built on our shared values of collaboration, respect, and sustainability. Our 30-year Friendship & Sustainability Agreement, signed in 2017, remains a pioneering example of intercultural partnerships in the region, setting the benchmark for future collaborations.
Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow expressed his pride in Summer's achievement, praising her for showcasing the generations of cultural knowledge passed down through her family. He also emphasized the importance of supporting the next generation of Musqueam artists as they continue to infuse traditional elements into contemporary mediums throughout their territory.

Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority, echoed Chief Sparrow's sentiments, hailing Summer's artwork as striking and bold. Vrooman emphasized that this project reflects the ongoing journey towards true reconciliation, fostering new opportunities for Musqueam and YVR across their business and operations. She expressed eagerness for more collaborative endeavors that strengthen their partnership and contribute positively to the community.

The unveiling of Summer Cannell's artwork on Red 5 represents more than just a striking visual addition to YVR's fleet; it embodies a profound celebration of Indigenous art, culture, and the enduring partnership between Musqueam and YVR. This extraordinary project serves as a testament to the power of art in connecting cultures and fostering mutual respect and understanding within a community.