(Island K’ulut’a sponsors: BC Ferries’ Crewing Advisor Jennifer Thacker and June Johnson from We Wai Kai Nation)

BC Ferries has revealed the names of their third and fourth Island Class ferries at a special naming ceremony this week. 

The ceremony, which took place at Victoria’s Point Hope Maritime, introduced the two newest vessels to enter the fleet. 

The Island Nagalis and Island K’ulut’a will begin service in 2022, providing a two-ship service between Campbell River and Quadra Island. 

Island Class ferries can carry up to 47 vehicles and 400 passengers and crew.

The ships, which are battery equipped, also feature a design that reduces underwater radiated noise and lowers overall emissions. 

The name selection was determined following a community engagement process, focusing on celebrating the important connection to some of the coastal communities BC Ferries serves. 

Nagalis means “dawn on the land” and K’ulut’a is the name for Porpoise in both Kwak̓wala and Lik̓wala, two of the Kwakwaka’wakw dialects.

The ceremony included a few words from BC Ferries, representatives from We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum nations and other dignitaries. The ships’ names were then unveiled,  and the hulls were christened.

BC Ferries also partnered with the First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) to commission original artwork from Indigenous artists for the interior of the vessels. 

“For the First Peoples’ Cultural Council, this project provides a unique opportunity to share the exceptional work of Indigenous artists with people from across B.C. and around the world,” Karen Aird, Acting CEOof the FPCC said. 

“We hold our hands up to BC Ferries for partnering in a fair and equitable Indigenous-led selection process and for acknowledging the Kwakwakaw̓akw language in the vessel names.”

The FPCC will manage an open call to artists to design the vessel interiors. Further details will be announced in the Fall. 

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