Blanketing The City Part II - The Biltmore

Title: Blanketing The City - Part II - The Biltmore Hotel

Artists: Debra Sparrow - Musqueam (xwməθkwəy’ əm ) & Gabriel Hall

Produced by: Vancouver Mural Festival

Year: 2018

Supported by: Vancity


This mural focuses on the powerful connection of Vancouver and it’s local indigenous nations to the spirit and animals of the ocean. It includes more than one hundred unique and vibrant colours sampled from images of both above and below the ocean surface. The mural reflects a dive deep into the ocean starting from the top with shapes of our ice-age fjords, followed by the rainbow spectrum of the shallow waters, all the way down to local sea life like the wolf eel and glass sea sponges that live in the depths of Howe Sound. All of the shapes used are inspired by local traditional weaving patterns.

At more than 8 stories tall, this mural is the largest piece of public art by an artist from one of the city’s three host nations (Musqueam, Squamish, or Tsleilwaututh) on whose unceded territory Vancouver currently resides.


The Blanketing The City Mural Series:

Artist Debra Sparrow and Vancouver Mural Festival celebrate the resurgence of Coast Salish weaving in profoundly visible, public and accessible spaces across the city by transforming Coast Salish textile patterns into giant murals that will also incorporate contemporary design elements. This series is rooted in an emerging practice of cultural reclamation of the visual spaces of Vancouver for the Coast Salish people and is part of a process of creating new channels of transmission of indigenous knowledge across generations, cultures and communities.  

4-minute overview video of Part I & II of the Blanketing The City Mural Series

About Debra Sparrow:

Debra Sparrow is a self-taught Musqueam designer who was born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve. She is an acclaimed weaver who has been weaving for twenty years and is deeply involved with the revival of Musqueam art and culture. She integrates her peoples' history into her work which can be seen in various museums and institutions. It is Debra's hope to educate others about the beauty and integrity of her people's history through her art.


About Gabriel Hall:

is an acclaimed local graphic designer specializing in production design, photography with the award winning Vancouver marketing firm, 123West. He is also a founding team member of Vancouver Mural Festival, heading up design and brand for the event. This is the second project Gabriel has worked on with Debra Sparrow, helping to bring her weaving/design concepts to life through digital rendering before the mural design is set in place.


Vancouver Mural Festival’s Indigenous Programs supports artists and organizations in the creation of public art and workshops for youth. We believe Coast Salish and other Indigenous artists have the power to reshape urban spaces by reflecting their contemporary and traditional values, stories, experiences, and ideas in this lasting and tangible way. 

Vancity’s generous support enables us to better connect the stories of these programs with the public. Below you will find information in the form of videos, pictures, interviews, articles, and more.

Note: Our definition of Indigenous includes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.