November 21, 2023 – North Vancouver, BC – If you commute during peak hours on the North Shore, chances are you have already caught a glimpse of Seaspan’s two new electric employee shuttle buses in action. The shuttles feature custom, Indigenous artwork designed by Olivia George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation (səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ), and Ray Natraoro of the Squamish Nation (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw).
“I was very honoured to work with Seaspan on this project and to create a contemporary art piece on a bus was fabulous because it expands our art and tells stories of the people of the land all while creating wonderful artwork for people to see,” said Ray Natraoro of the Squamish Nation. The visibility of our people and our art in our own territory is very significant because the city grew around us and for this to be around the North Shore is important for our people.”
“It is great to acknowledge the land and what territories that Seaspan resides on and the waters they work in; it’s really respectful,” said Olivia George of the Stsleil-Waututh Nation. “By introducing these electric shuttle buses, Seaspan is demonstrating their environmentally friendly commitment; it’s a great way to reduce local employees’ carbon footprints, in addition to adhering to other rigorous environmental standards.”
Seaspan’s new electric shuttle buses help transport Seaspan’s workforce to and from Pemberton Campus in North Vancouver and represent Seaspan’s commitment to inclusivity and collaboration with its Indigenous neighbours. The shuttles have a range of approximately 160 km on a single charge and utilize ChargePoint’s first level 3 charger installed in Canada and can be fully re-charged in 30 minutes, greatly reducing Seaspan’s carbon footprint.
“The delivery of these shuttles is nothing short of revolutionary for Seaspan and our province. This represents another step forward in our sustained, continuous journey to be responsible stewards of the lands on which we call home, and what a privilege to showcase this beautiful artwork across North Vancouver every day. We’re honoured to partner with these talented Indigenous creators and to support local artists,” said Scott Boylan, Transportation lead at Seaspan.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Artist Olivia George: “The design I created for the Seaspan shuttle bus depicts Chief Waut-Salk in Inlailwatash (Indian River) with the salmon, as he would often drum and sing a song to them. This is showing his connection. Behind him on the side of the river is his family, a village of Tsleil-Wautt people witnessing that the salmon had returned, taking in the view of a full salmon run once again. They’re important sustenance to thrive throughout the winter. Waut-Salk was a sacred protector, a keeper of knowledge, land and people. He kept the balance with our teachings on how to treat all beings and the environment. We can strive to protect each other, the land and animals like Chief Waut-Salk did.
Artist Ray Natraoro: “The design I created for the Seaspan shuttle bus depicts the killer whale, which represents the family and unity of the sea kingdom. When the killer whale comes to land it transforms to the wolf. The killer whale is the protector and one who bonds balance to the sea kingdom with strong family connections. It supports knowledge sharing from one generation to the next.”
Watch Olivia and Ray explain their artwork after seeing it on the buses for the first time in this video.
ABOUT SEASPAN SHIPYARDS
Seaspan Shipyards, a division of Seaspan ULC, is a leader in Canada’s ship design, engineering, building and ship repair industry. With modern facilities and a dedicated workforce of approximately 3,900 in North Vancouver and Victoria, the company has proven itself to be a trusted and strategic partner on a range of complex projects for both government and the private sector.