It was a perfect summer evening. Dusk fell as a crowd of close to 500 people gathered under the Cambie Bridge. After years of planning, development, and production UNINTERRUPTED’s cinematic salmon were about to make their way across the bridge and into the heart of the city.
The voices and drums of representatives from the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations filled the air as they welcomed the audience onto their traditional territories. They also welcomed visiting Chief Oliver Arnouse and members of the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band from the Secwepemc Nation. The Adams River flows through their traditional territory in the interior of BC, site of much of the filming for UNINTERRUPTED.
Joining the event to offer their greetings were key partners of UNINTERRUPTED and government dignitaries. Almost everyone had a story or memory of plentiful wild salmon – as well as expressions of hope that declining numbers can be reversed to keep the salmon migration uninterrupted as it has been since before time began.
When all the words of welcome had been delivered, council member and spokesperson for the Squamish Nation Chris Syeta’xtn Lewis recounted the tale of the Salmon People as he prepared the audience for the Salmon Ceremony they were about to witness.
The honour songs began as a First Nations’ procession made its way a short distance to the water’s edge. The bones of a single Coho salmon were lowered into False Creek, in keeping with the Coast Salish tradition. A short distance away the technology that would send images of salmon overhead and far across the bridge was standing by. One ancient tradition, one modern manifestation – both honouring the enduring cycle of Pacific salmon.
UNINTERRUPTED was ready to launch its summer run. (more details below)
Participants in the opening event:
First Nations – Musqueam: Respected community member Alec Dan; Squamish: Councillors Chris Syeta’xtn Lewis, Carla George Kwitelut, Wilson Williams; Tsleil-Waututh Council Member Charlene Aleck; Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band Chief Oliver Arnouse, Councillor Dale Tomma
MP Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries & Oceans; City of Vancouver Deputy-Mayor Geoff Meggs; Vancouver Park Board Deputy General Manager Shauna Wilton
Vancity Board Director Jan O’Brien; Pacific Salmon Foundation Pres. & CEO Dr. Brian Riddell; Tides Canada Senior Advisor Ivan Thompson for the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation
UNINTERRUPTED’s Director Nettie Wild, Producers Betsy Carson & Rae Hull
MCs: Hilary Davis, Jen Fritz, Trevor Jurgens, Ingrid Turk of the UNINTERRUPTED team.
Read the story of the Salmon People.
Learn more about how UNINTERRUPTED came to be.