CANOE: A Canadian Convention

Long before the iconic sails of Canada Place were hoisted, the Vancouver Convention Centre site was the terminus of the CPR's transcontinental rail line, which united Canada from sea to sea for the first time. Prior to the rail line, goods were traded along a vast network of rivers and streams by canoe.

At Expo 86 the site became home to the Canada Pavilion, the nautically themed building that would later hold the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. Twenty-five years later, the sails that had come to define Vancouver's waterfront were replaced.

CANOE repurposes the sail material as a tribute to the original icon of Canadian culture. The form of this uniquely Canadian vessel varies from region to region, but is celebrated nation wide. Our interpretation of the canoe takes the durable, waterproof material of Canada Place's retired sail and stretches it over a light Douglas Fir frame. It celebrates Canada's history of trade and reflects the nautical reference of the original architectural feature of Canada Place.

CANOE Exhibitions