Vancouver International Airport

First Nations Welcome Figure lands at Vancouver Int’l Airport

‘The Story of Frog Woman and Raven,” by Dempsey Bob, courtesy Vancouver Airport Authority

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is well-known for its impressive art program featuring the work of many First Nations people.

Throughout and around the airport, passengers see art that draws on and invokes the themes of land, sea and sky. 

This week, the Vancouver Airport Authority righted a past cultural wrong in the airport art program by installing a new Musquem Indian Band welcome figure near the International Arrivals Area, in Chester Johnson Park.

The newly raised welcome figure, carved by ʔəy̓xʷatələq (Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow), is visible when you exit YVR’s International Terminal and is in a spot significant to Musqueam culture.

Courtesy Vancouver Airport Authority

Musqueam are the original stewards of Sea Island, which is the land where the airport is now located. And, per an agreement made between the airport and the Musqueam in 2017, the Indigenous artworks at the airport and on Sea Island are to be created by Musqueam, reflect their culture and tradition, or be approved by the Musqueam.

That’s why the airport also moved three traditional Gitxsan poles from the airport to a nearby park.

The poles were created in 1970 by Gitxsan hereditary chiefs and students, and have been on loan to YVR from the Museum of Vancouver since 1995. The poles at YVR predate the airport’s agreement with Musqueam and were moved because, while Indigenous artwork, they do not represent the Musqueam, whose land they were on.

Celebrating the history of airports

The history department here at StuckatTheAirport.com is a big fan of anything having to do with the history of airports.

Airport libraries? We’ve read up that.

Moving walkways at airports? We’ve researched that too.

And we’re always glad to learn more about airport history over on the AirportHistory.org site.

The team there recently posted their top five illustrated airport history stories from 2021, starting with #5: a photo feature celebrating Vancouver International Airport on its 90th anniversary. You can see that feature here.

#4 on their list is a great story about the history of Montréal–Mirabel Airport. #3 is a story about Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the 1960s (see that story here).

And #2 on their list is a roundup of the world’s 10 busiest airports at the dawn of the Jet Age in 1961. See that story here.

And we are not surprised to see that their #1 story for 2021 is a piece featuring some great photos celebrating the 40th anniversary of Singapore’s Changi Airport, one of our favorites. See that story here.

“Smell Your Journey” with YVR’s Eau de Baggage.

We’re not sure how we missed this one, It’s not like we’ve been too busy traveling.

But we just love this Eau de Baggage video put out by Vancouver International Airport (YVR) back in February that parodies a perfume commercial and urges travelers to ‘smell your journey.’

Evidently, others loved this too, because it just won an award.

Face masks required at more airports in the US & Canada

In trying to keep people safe during the current COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of government entities around the country now require people to wear non-medical masks or face coverings when out in public.

In many cities, those rules now apply to airports.

Two examples: San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS).

Starting this week, Canada’s Minister of Transport is requiring all air passengers traveling to, through or from Canada to have a non-medical mask or face covering to cover their mouth and nose.

“Aviation passengers on all flights departing or arriving at Canadian airports will also be required to demonstrate they have the necessary non-medical mask or face covering during the boarding process otherwise they will not be allowed to continue on their journey,” Transport Canada said in a statement.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) jumped right on this rule – and had some fun with it (maybe too much fun?) in a Twitter thread.

Holiday tips from Vancouver Int’l Airport

Vancouver International Airport is having fun with travel tips this holiday season.

First, Scuba Claus stopped by to visit the fish in the airport’s aquarium.

Then Vancouver International Airport (YVR) shared travel tips inspired by the classic holiday movie “Home Alone.”

Here’s part of the thread.