An Indigenous, three-year-old Vancouver Mural Festival installation project is being erected in Cathedral Square Park.
Blanketing the City has been a part of the Vancouver Mural Fest since 2018. Founded by celebrated weaver and graphic designer Debra Sparrow (ΘƏLIΧwƏLwƏT) of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam) Nation, the goal of the semi-permanent art installation project is to shed light on Indigenous peoples and their culture on their ancestral lands, as well as highlight the importance of Coast Salish weaving. In doing so, the project hopes to build a deeper understanding of Indigenous culture and boost visibility for xwməθkwəyəm, Sḵwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
This year, Sparrow has partnered with fellow master weavers Chief Janice George of Sḵwxwú7mesh Nation and Angela George of səlilwətaɬ Nation to design seven new landmark murals in Cathedral Square Park.
“There’s a beautiful saying ‘without a vision, people perish’,” Sparrow said in a news release for the mural announcement. “Our vision was [uprooted] by history and yet it didn’t fully disappear, but we brought that vision back because this is a vision of not only our ancestors but a vision of our people today.... This is about how we tell the story of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-waututh.”
The Blanketing the City project has been showcased through semi-permanent installations on the Granville Street Bridge, the Biltmore Hotel, the Canada Line Vancouver City Station, and other Vancouver landmarks in previous years.