Shore to Shore: Portuguese Joe Statue in Stanley Park

Comments 2 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Tucked between Hallelujah Point and the famously photographed Stanley Park totem poles, there’s a 14-foot sculpture that highlights some important local history. Unveiled in 2015, Shore to Shore, by Coast Salish master carver Luke Marston (Ts’uts’umutl), was also the first sculpture depicting historical female figures in a Vancouver park.

Shore to Shore

Portuguese Joe Statue near Totem Poles in Stanley Park

[Source: Shore to Shore]

Shore to Shore is a tribute to Portuguese adventurer Joe Silvey (“Portuguese Joe”). He was born and raised on Portugal’s Altantic Azores Islands, though after several adventures, Joe found himself on the Pacific, and an early pioneer of Vancouver’s Gastown.

[Source: The City of Vancouver]

Standing at the village site of X̲wáýx̲way, the sculpture was carved in yellow cedar, then cast in bronze. The three figures are:

  • The man known as Portuguese Joe Silvey, pioneer whaler, fisherman and one-time Gastown saloon-keeper who migrated to BC around 1858 from the Portuguese Azorean island of Pico
  • His first wife Khaltinaht, a Musqueam noblewoman who died of tuberculosis at a young age, leaving two children
  • Silvey’s second wife, Kwatleematt of the Sechelt First Nation, with whom Silvey had nine more children

Artist Luke Marston is the great-great-grandson of Portuguese Joe and Kwatleemaat.

Portuguese Joe Statue near Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Silvey and Khaltinaht, and later Kwatleematt, lived in a mixed-race community at Brockton Point, near where the sculpture is located, until the family moved to Reid Island around 1878 to escape growing racism.

Portuguese Joe Statue near Totem Poles in Stanley Park

The large bronze sculpture is surrounded by engraved Portuguese stone. It marks the land’s rich heritage, and symbolizes unity for the Vancouver’s present-day diverse inhabitants. You can follow the story of Shore to Shore here, and be sure to visit it next time you’re in the park.

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2 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. ClaireThursday, October 11th, 2018 — 7:55pm PDT

    Thank you so much for this article and video. This is my favorite sculpture in Vancouver. Luke Marston is truly talented. The story behind the sculpture touches me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing.The Portuguese were realy wourld travelers.Evan thenSunday, May 12th, 2019 — 5:23pm PDT

    Thanks for sharing ,the Portuguese were really wourld travellers. It required lot’s of fortitude and curiosity to get in those tyne ships and explore the world.We often hear about the Portuguese on the east cost, did not know about this getleman.

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