A new interactive online map has just been launched by North Van Arts, to showcase the arts, culture, and heritage of Vancouver’s North Shore.
Culture Compass connects users with the cultural institutions and destinations of North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and local Indigenous communities.
The free digital map includes everything from historic museums and natural heritage to art galleries—and public art you can visit simply by taking a stroll.
Nancy Cottingham Powell, Executive Director of North Van Arts, has spearheaded the project and says it is a great way to appreciate all the North Shore has to offer.
“The North Shore was a bedroom community of Vancouver for a long time—however over the past few decades it has grown exponentially, establishing a distinctive cultural identity,” said Powell in a press release.
“The North Shore Culture Compass will help define what North Shore culture is today, by making culture more visible and convenient to access, fostering collaborations, and encouraging a better understanding of our shared home.”
You can access Culture Compass on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, with no need to sign up or download an app.
Listings are submitted by local cultural organizations and organized into 10 distinct categories:
- Creative & Cultural Industries, like Bluedog Guitars, which boasts an artistic cathedral-like ambience and a cascade of original artwork by the owner.
- Cultural & Natural Heritage, like the Kia’palano area in Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, home to a vast collection of totem poles, some carved a century ago.
- Cultural Organizations, like Ballet Bloch, a professional training and performance school, where audiences can explore the benefits of dance at community events.
- Cultural Spaces & Facilities, like oil painter Lorn Curry’s Copping Street Art Studio, where you can view his artwork inspired by the European hyperrealist movement.
- Festivals & Events, like the Horseshoe Bay Art Walk, a free stroll around the neighbourhood, showcasing the work of local artists in the community.
- Indigenous, like the Ancient Sun, an 8-foot cedar carving at City Hall. In many Indigenous cultures, the sun is known to provide healing energy and ancient wisdom.
- Intangibles & Stories, like the tale of balloon logging, an ill-fated attempt by the lumber industry to lift felled trees in North Shore forests using a helium balloon.
- Public Art, like By Water Breathe, a contemplative poem about the stream and forest featured on artistic panels of seven bridges along the Wagg and Mission Creek trail.
- Public Institutions, like the West Vancouver Fire Museum, a display and repair facility for 3 vintage fire trucks and memorabilia of fire fighting history on the North Shore.
- Service Organizations, like the North Shore Celtic Ensemble, which inspires youth to go further with music and use music to build and strengthen community connections.
You can find the Cultural Compass at https://www.northshoreculturecompass.ca/. Have fun exploring online or on foot (socially distanced of course)!
Written for West Coast Curated by Jenni Sheppard
Featured image: Grizzly by Ken Clark