Salmon Cannery – Oil on Canvas



Oil on canvas.

Dimensions 30 × 40 in

1 in stock




The Inspiration

At one time, there were 90 canneries on the BC Coast stretching all the way to Alaska.

Since there was no refrigeration, literally every salmon river run had to have a cannery in the vicinity. The fish had to be canned within three days or they would spoil.

A whole lifestyle grew up around the life-cycle of the five species of Pacific Salmon. When the season began, a mass migration took place from the lower mainland as workers and their families left to work for the lucrative fishing industry. The union steamships dropped off people and cargo at all th logging and fishing camps up the coast.

Many fascinating stories have been written about this unique period in British Columbia’s history. The early “gillnetters” operated with sails. Each cannery rented their fleet of sailing gillnetters and at the beginning of a fishing day, one lone power boat would tow the whole fleet out to the fishing grounds.

Today each fish boat packs ice onboard, and some of the larger boats have their own refrigerators on board.

The glory days of the canneries are finished, with most having rotted away in the damp West coast climate.

I love painting these relics, but only a very few of these treasures remain.