Convoy PQ-17: The Art of History
The Maritime Museum shares the story of one of the biggest maritime tragedies in World War II, convoy PQ-17 which carried relief supplies to the Russians and how the event inspired art in Canada generations later.
In July 1942, this convoy traveling from Iceland to Russia was attacked by German planes and submarines. Upon receiving intelligence, the escorts were ordered to withdraw and 22 out of the 33 ships in the convoy were sunk and 153 men were killed. Winston Churchill described the incident as “one of the most melancholy naval episodes in the whole of the war.”
One survivor of that fateful convoy was Joseph Coleman, father of choreographer Bill Coleman. Joe’s story later became the base for the Requiem for Convoy PQ-17, as conceived by his son Bill together with Victoria composer Christopher Butterfield whose father was also a merchant navy veteran.
In addition to telling the artistic story of the Requiem for Convoy PQ-17, the Maritime Museum of BC will honour merchant sailors who may have connections to PQ-17 as well as other sailors who served in convoys during World War II. The exhibit will give them or their families’ space to share their personal stories.
The exhibit, PQ-17: Art of History opened on October 18 and explores the artistic process behind the Requiem for Convoy PQ-17. It is presented as part of the Victoria and the Sea project in partnership with the Victoria Symphony and supported in part by the CRD Arts Development Service. The exhibit runs until February 28, 2014.
Guardians of the Coast
The Maritime Museum of BC opened a new exhibit on October 23 2012, honouring the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard. Last year, the Canadian Coast Guard celebrated 50 years of service and safety; however, their origins can be traced back to the early 1700s on the East Coast.
Guardians of the Coast: Celebrating more than 50 years of the Canadian Coast Guard on the Pacific, highlights the earliest live-saving efforts on the Pacific Coast, from light stations to the West Coast trail and the pioneers who made the Canadian Coast Guard what it is today.
Visitors to the exhibit will experience a vast array of Canadian Coast Guard material, including photographs, early and new lifesaving equipment, courageous stories in dangerous storms and on high seas, and information on the latest research and Arctic trips.
We would like to thank our sponsors:
Seaspan Marine Corporation | Virtual Marine Technology Ltd. | Canadian Coast Guard
Zodiac Hurricane Technologies | Scott Plastics Ltd. | Mustang Survival Gear
Nanaimo Port Authority | J&L Moving | Cloverdale Paint
Future Shop | Phillips Brewing Company