Nanaimo, B.C., unveils new city drain covers featuring art honouring Snuneymuxw Nation

Click to play video: 'Nanaimo debuts new utility covers with local Indigenous art'
Nanaimo debuts new utility covers with local Indigenous art
Nanaimo debuts new utility covers with local Indigenous art. It's a collaboration between the city, Coast Salish design house 'Ay Lelum' and artist Joel Good.. – Feb 16, 2024

The City of Nanaimo has unveiled new utility covers honouring Snuneymuxw that will be rolled out throughout the city over the next decade.

The covers, which will be used for storm, sanitary and water utility access points, feature designs by Ay Lelum — the Good House of Design, with artwork by Joel Good.

“From an Ancestral lens, art holds important knowledge and reminds us of our connection and responsibilities to the natural world,” Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Michael Wyse said in a statement.

The new Nanaimo utility cover project by Ay Lelum featuring art by Joel Good. Courtesy: Sean Fenzl

“We extend our gratitude to our Snuneymuxw artists who generously share their gifts with the community.”

Story continues below advertisement

In a Friday media release, the city said it anticipates 20 to 40 new covers will be installed ever year over the next decade.

The storm cover features two supernatural eagles, representing resilience and protection. The sanitary cover features a frog, symbolizing the purification of water sources in nature. The water cover features an orca, symbolizing power and strength in hul’q’umi’num’ culture.

“Ay Lelum and Joel Good honour Snuneymuxw knowledge through traditional Coast Salish art, as taught by their father, Dr. William Good,” the city said.

“They have gifted the people of Nanaimo with this powerful hul’q’umi’num’ artform.”


Sponsored content