Blanketing the City IV: Cathedral Square

A Mural Series Celebrating Coast Salish Weaving

Three pillars with Coast Salish weaving mural designs

Meet the Musqueam artist who inspired the series

QuadReal is excited to be the Presenting Sponsor of a public artwork that will spark a remarkable transformation of Cathedral Square Park in the centre of downtown Vancouver.

Blanketing the City is a public art mural series and Reconciliation process designed by acclaimed xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) weaver and graphic designer Debra Sparrow in collaboration with Vancouver Mural Festival. This year’s project is one of the first of its kind to involve a collaboration of women artists from the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

Portrait of Debra SparrowDebra Sparrow has invited master weavers Chief Janice George (Squamish) and Angela George (Tsleil-Waututh) to collaborate on the design of seven landmark murals that will blanket Cathedral Square Park and explore Indigenous visibility in public spaces.

The designs are all translations of the traditional weaving patterns of the three Coast Salish Nations. Each weaver was assigned two pillars to blanket with their designs, while the tops of the pillars are circled with a bracelet pattern that links all the weavers’ artwork.

Cathedral Square Park, located at the corner of Richards and Dunsmuir Streets, sits atop a large below-grade BC Hydro substation that extends many stories below the park. The park was one of a few permanent structures designed by Bruno Freschi for Expo 86, when Vancouver welcomed the world. Today, the park’s six massive bare cement pillars present a ready canvas to re-establish and proclaim the visual culture of three local Nations and create a welcoming space for the community.

VMF is a non-profit art consultancy and production agency dedicated to artistic and cultural development. VMF produces the annual Vancouver Mural Festival and VMF Winter Arts. It also collaborates with clients and community groups throughout the year to transform urban space, connect communities, and spark change. To date, VMF has created over 250 murals and continues to reimagine public art and events in our city.

Three pillars with Coast Salish weaving mural designs