An interesting urban outing in Metro Vancouver is visiting Steveston located at the mouth of the Fraser River beside the Strait of Georgia (Salish Sea). Highlights include fishing boats, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site, the Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site, and of course the fish and chip shops. I had not been into the Gulf of Georgia Cannery on my previous visits so today I decided to take advantage of the free entrance as part of Parks Canada’s celebration of Canada’s 150 year celebration. This National Historic site preserves one of BC largest salmon canneries, which opened in 1894. Canning at the plant ended in the 1930’s and herring reduction ended in 1979.
The displays inside are well set up along the canning and herring reduction equipment, describing the process and displaying historical photos of the operation. From a photography standpoint, those displays often get in the way of documenting the machinery so I will usually concentrate on smaller vignettes or abstract patterns. I enjoy structural and industrial subjects, though I prefer when they have been left as is and not cleaned up. The weigh scale shown here was used in the hand packing station to ensure the cans were sufficiently filled. The next photo of the multi-coloured pipes is located in the herring rendering section of the plant. When I walked by this area, I was immediately taken with the pattern, form, and colour of the pipes. I also liked that this section of the site appeared to be less “cleaned and preened” than the canning section, and thus looked more authentic to how it would have appeared when the plant closed in 1979.
After several hours of photographing inside the cannery, I wandered out into the sunshine and took some photos of the fishing fleet adjacent to the cannery. As you can see from these photos, it was an enjoyable and productive outing.
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