Have you ever been wandering around downtown Victoria and happened to stumble upon a bronze hand statue? 

Have you wondered about the significance?

Erected in 2012 for the 150th year of Victoria’s existence, these 12 bronze statues were placed around the city to represent pieces of its history and encourage reflection. 

Over 80 artists submitted their applications in a “Call to Artists” three-stage, national competition in hopes of having their ideas brought to life.

Crystal Przybille won the opportunity to create and place these sculptures, and you can challenge yourself to find them all! 

Here’s a quick list for both a summary and the location:

Carving a Canoe Paddle

The paddle element of this sculpture was designed by First Nations artist, Clarence Dick – built to represent Lekwungen culture and traditions.
Location: On bedrock in Lime Bay Park, northwest of Songhees Walkway (near the waterfront)

Holding a Railway Spike

Represents the construction of the island railroad in the 1880s and the impact it had.
Location: Between Pandora Avenue and Johnson Street in proximity to the old E&N Railroad

Performing with a Fan

Captures the significance of Chinese culture in Victoria.
Location: Between Fisgard Street and Pandora Avenue in proximity to the McPherson Playhouse and the gates of Canada’s oldest Chinatown

Carrying Point Blankets

For the historical significance of the Hudson’s Bay Company during the North American Fur Trade.
Location: On west entrance of The Hudson at 1700 Block of Douglas Street

Carrying Books

These books symbolize education and governance in the Capital City of British Columbia.
Location: On the west wall of Victoria City Hall at the Pandora Avenue entrance

Holding Binoculars

References the compelling natural beauty that Victoria has to offer and the tourism industries that give us and visitors the opportunity to partake.
Location: On a brick wall on the west side of Wharf Street, near Bastion Square

Tying a Rope to a Mooring Ring

This references the arrival of the first tall ships to the area and Victoria’s nautical identity.
Location: On bedrock near David Foster Way, below Wharf Street (between Fort and Broughton Street)

Panning for Gold

Signifies the Gold Rush of 1858 that brought many people to Fort Victoria.
Location: On a rock within some landscaping, and below Wharf Street (near Broughton Street)

Raising a Tea Cup

Represents Victoria’s historical connections to Britain.
Location: At corner of Government and Humboldt Streets, near the Fairmont Empress Hotel

Holding a Mirror

This sculpture reflects the history of Inner Harbour and it reminds us of where we are now.
Location: On the Lower Causeway wall, below Government Street, and near the central staircase

Cupping Dogwood Blossoms

This sculpture symbolizes Victoria as British Columbia’s Capital City
Location: North side of Belleville Street, near Government Street

Digging Camas Bulbs

The gathering basket element of this sculpture was designed by First Nations artist, Carolyn Memnook, and honors Lekwungen territory and cultural traditions.
Location: On a rockbed in a landscaped garden on Beacon Hill at Beacon Hill Park

Use it as a checklist, if you wish, and get exploring!

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