BC Ferries names new intermediate-class vessels

The following is the text of a news release from BC Ferries:

(VICTORIA, British Columbia) – Following a contest in which BC Ferries received more than 7,100 entries, a panel of judges has selected Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven as the names for its new intermediate-class ferries currently under construction. Salish Orca will enter service on the Comox-Powell River route late next year. Salish Eagle and Salish Raven will begin operations in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2017.

A panel of 12 judges comprised of representatives from local media, Ferry Advisory Committee members and BC Ferries’ employees selected the three names after reviewing the entries submitted during the "Name a Ferry" contest that ran from May 19 through June 9.

The names Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven were chosen to honor the Coast Salish people and the Salish Sea where these vessels will operate. To celebrate Salish culture, BC Ferries is working with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council to select Coast Salish artisans to design artwork for the exterior and interior of the vessels. BC Ferries anticipates beautiful designs that both preserve and advance Coast Salish culture.

The Salish Orca is scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in the late summer of 2016 and is expected to be in service replacing the 50-year old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox-Powell River route in the late 2016, following extensive crew training and familiarization.

The Salish Eagle is scheduled to arrive in the fall of 2016 and will replace the 51-year old Queen of Nanaimo, sailing on the TsawwassenSouthern Gulf Islands route. It is expected to commence service in early 2017. The Salish Raven is scheduled to arrive in the winter of 2017 and will also service the Southern Gulf Islands. It is expected to start service in the summer of 2017.

“These names honor the Coast Salish people and truly reflect both the west coast travel experience and the culture of British Columbia,” said Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ president and CEO. “I would like thank the members of the judging panel who had a difficult job to select only three names from the thousands of great names that were submitted. I also want to thank all the people who embraced the contest and enthusiastically submitted their suggestions.”

“We are looking forward to working with Coast Salish artists and the BC Ferries team on this inspiring project to adorn the new ferries with Coast Salish Art,” says Tracey Herbert, executive director of the First Peoples’ Cultural Council. “This collaboration is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the vibrant and thriving cultural heritage found on the coast of the Salish Sea.”

Chief Clint Williams, Sliammon Nation, said, “I am pleased that BC Ferries has chosen the names for the ferries as they honor the elders, chiefs, people and the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed working with the other members of the judging panel and felt it was a good process,” said Kim Barton-Bridges, contest judge and chair of the Northern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee. “It is cool to think that these vessels, and the names that we helped to choose, will be a part of BC’s history!”

Christa Grace-Warrick, owner of Island Tides Regional newspaper, commented, “I enjoyed being a member of the judging panel and appreciated the amazing number and variety of submissions. Discussing and narrowing down the choices was a fantastic daylong team process. Now, hearing the final selection is exciting. Thanks to contest participants, our new ships will have names of which British Columbians can be proud.”

Under contract to the Province of British Columbia, BC Ferries is the service provider responsible for the delivery of safe, efficient and dependable ferry service along coastal British Columbia.

By Professional Mariner Staff