Signs and Signals – Communications in the Canning and Fishing Industry

New at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site,¬†Signs and Signals¬†is both a virtual¬†four-part video series¬†and onsite display that looks at the theme of communication through a wide range of artifacts from the Cannery‚Äôs collections.¬†Curated and created by our 2020 summer Museum Assistant, Michael Jaworski,¬†the¬†exhibit shows how signs and signals¬†are an essential part of everyday life in the West Coast fishing industry, and¬†explores how information can be transferred in many ways ‚Äď some familiar¬†and other more unexpected!¬†

According to Michael, “This‚ÄĮwas an exciting exhibit to work on‚ÄĮbecause there are so many unique and fascinating items in the (Society’s) collections.‚ÄĮThe biggest challenge was‚ÄĮactually narrowing down which artifacts I wanted to include! The theme of communication‚ÄĮwas‚ÄĮa common thread which‚ÄĮlinked‚ÄĮthe variety of items‚ÄĮwhich‚ÄĮI was interested in; further‚ÄĮgrouping the items into sub-categories helped‚ÄĮexplore the nuances between what exactly is considered a sign or a signal.‚ÄĮWhile many‚ÄĮof the artifacts had mundane uses,‚ÄĮtogether‚ÄĮthey‚ÄĮpaint a vivid picture‚ÄĮof daily life in‚ÄĮthe West Coast Fishing‚ÄĮindustry.”‚ÄĮ¬†

To help interpret the theme, the artifacts have been grouped into the following sub-categories: Measurements;¬†Marks and Markings;¬†Beacons;¬†Sounds; and¬†Telecommunications.¬†Ultimately, the goal of the exhibit is for people to gain a greater appreciation‚ÄĮand‚ÄĮunderstanding of‚ÄĮhow these artifacts‚ÄĮare used to‚ÄĮcommunicate important information‚ÄĮat sea and on land.‚ÄĮ¬†

Visit the Cannery to see the onsite display, and check out the four-part video series from the comfort of your own home on our YouTube channel.

Museum Assistant Michael Jaworski installing the new Signs and Signals exhibit display.
Posted by m.horita
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