North Star of Herschel Island

Exciting news from the Vancouver Maritime Museum, which is raising money to acquire the North Star of Herschel Island for the museum’s collection, ensuring and enhancing her presence in our harbour!

Thank you to those of you who have donated to our Arctic campaign. Your support is deeply appreciated and directly funds the museum’s efforts to refresh our Arctic galleries.
We are writing to you again because of an exciting development regarding the North Star of Herschel Island; we have received a significant pledge of $100,000 from a local resident towards the acquisition of this vessel!
Built in 1935, the North Star worked the Arctic simultaneously with the St. Roch, so much so that they have been called “sisters of the ice”. Currently moored at Heritage Harbour, this ship carries the story of her Inuit owners and their contribution to the community they made as operators in the Arctic. The North Star is the last sailing representative of the Western Canadian Arctic fur trade and serves as a reminder of the success that Inuvialuit trappers had in that era.
As part of our Arctic Exhibition Revitalization plan, our goal is to create a one-of-a-kind floating exhibit that speaks directly to the Inuit experience. But we still need your help to make this historic project happen. We are a small charitable organization, so being able to respond to significant opportunities like this requires the support of the community. Not unlike the acquisition of the St. Roch, this is a pivotal moment for our institution. The unique and exciting opportunity to obtain the iconic vessel, the North Star of Herschel Island is a time sensitive and once in a lifetime event.
By donating before the November 30 deadline, you’ll be a vital part of ensuring the legacy of this vessel carries on for generations. Help us keep this historic ship in Vancouver so we may immerse students, kids and adults with Indigenous maritime heritage. 
This ship is a testament to Inuit ingenuity and survival and its stories deserve to be told alongside the St. Roch. Donate today and help acquire the North Star of Herschel Island!
Thank you for being an important part of the VMM community.  
Donate today!
P.S. We are excited to now offer special benefits to our donors. Use the button below to learn what your gift could mean for you!
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“We anchored near Tuktoyaktuk when we hit shallow water. A boat came out to welcome us and I saw that there were many white people in the boat and I thought there was only one Inuk with them but when they came up to our boat, it was the other way around. These people were all Inuit and there was only one white man with them.That was the first time I had ever heard Inuit talk English. The white man in the boat was the Hudson’s Bay Company manager” – From the Reminiscences of Joe Panipakuttuk, Inuit hunter and guide 

Friendships and Wooden Boats

During the summertime cruising season, a few of our members got together and wrote a very catchy theme song for the club – it really captures a lot of the best parts of our great little slice of paradise!!

Georgina and Tom composed the music and recorded the song, and then a couple of weeks ago, Duane stepped in and shot the video while a bunch of our club members did our best lip-syncing and/or singing along. It turned out FABULOUSLY!!! Warning – you will be singing or humming this tune for the next couple of weeks!

We’ve got a good start on the molds for the Gannett build – we’ve got 3 of 8 done (or nearly so), with 5 to go. We’re also looking through our wood supplies for the material for the centerline – stem, keel, and transom.

We’ve got a few good slabs of Black Locust that should be good for the stem, thanks to Arnt and his urban logging. We’re looking through our stock which is stored at some of our members’ places for Fir for the keel and transom, but we may end up with Yellow Cedar for the keel if we can’t find suitable Fir.

Now that winter is setting in, the storms have started – Duane posted this video from last week, showing the rough conditions at the harbour. Thank goodness for the refreshed decking and structure in the dock – the Museum and Eric have been working hard to get that work done, with the last bit of it happening today – don’t bother going down there today (November 11) unless you plan to help lift the ramp! (I think they’ve got it figured out though)

And, if you’re looking to stay out of the weather, head over to the Britannia Art Gallery for a couple of our members’ show – Valerie and Arnt do some pretty cool things with old musical instrument parts!

Hope to see you at the shop as we get up to speed on the new boat build!