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’s 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 – some familiar and other more unexpected! 

According to Michael, “This was an exciting exhibit to work on because there are so many unique and fascinating items in the (Society’s) collections. The biggest challenge was actually narrowing down which artifacts I wanted to include! The theme of communication was a common thread which linked the variety of items which I was interested in; further grouping the items into sub-categories helped explore the nuances between what exactly is considered a sign or a signal. While many of the artifacts had mundane uses, together they paint a vivid picture of daily life in the West Coast Fishing industry.”  

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 and understanding of how these artifacts are used to communicate important information at sea and on land.  

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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