Victoria Airport Authority

201 - 1640 Electra Boulevard Sidney BC V8L 5V4

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Victoria International Airport (YYJ) is the 10th busiest airport in Canada and second in British Columbia with 1.93 million passengers/year.

YYJ is situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. As an essential air link to Victoria and other Southern Vancouver Island communities, YYJ has more than 100 daily flights throughout North America. An important economic driver, YYJ generates approximately $880 million in total economic output and 4700 jobs.

YYJ was rated among one of the top ten most-loved airports in the world by CNN Travel and twice named ‘Best Regional Airport in North America’ by Airports Council International (ACI).

Ease, efficiency, vitality, and friendliness. All part of our vision to make every part of travel interaction easy.

Photo Credit: Landon Sveinson

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Arrivals rotunda
Orca & Thunderbird

This totem depicts one of the most important historical legends in Coast Salish history.  The Thunderbird seen on the tail of the orca is a spiritual being and can only be accessed through communication with the creator.  It is usually a plea for help.

The orca is the most respected creature of the sea.  It is held in very high respect by Coast Salish people because of its physical powers and superior intellect.  They survive in packs like wolves and are sometimes designated in the same realm as wolves of the sea.

A coming together of thegreat spiritual power and awesome physical power can be seen as a balance of power beneficial to mankind as seen through First Nations beliefs.

Salish Welcome Figure

In the past, human figures were carved in much greter than life size.  They stood in front of villages with hands and arm held in a welcome gesture.

This welcome figure is based on a traditional Coast Salish welcome figure that would have been seen in front of villages.  They faced the water and welcomed arriving visitors.  The hands and arms of this figure shows the welcome gesture as well as an arm holding a paddle, showing that the people of the First Nation from Saanich are people of the canoe and paddle.  These are symbols of welcome and thanks as well as survival.

Raven, Wolf, and Bear

This totem is a depiction of a bird and animals held in high esteem bu the Saanich people.  In the days of the past, when forests, oceans, rivers and streams were in pristine condition, animals, birds, sea creatures, and mankind of the Saanich First Nations held a close relationship to each other.  They shared the space provided by our creator "XAIES"; along with a closer understanding and respect between mankind, our brothers and sisters, and other life forms which we believe we are a part of.

On this pole the Raven sits atop the head of the Wolf and below the Wolf is the Bear clutching a salmon.  The Raven is Saanich mythology is noted for its intelligence and is regarded as a messenger as it flies its daily path across the sky, waters, forests, and villages spreading the news of the day.  This intelligent bird loves to play tricks on all including mankind as it makes its daily journey.  In many First Nations culturs the Raven is acknowledged for its ability to transform into other deities further enhancing its reputation as the trickster and messenger.

The second figure under the Raven is the Wolf. The Wolf at one time inhabited this ground and surrounding areas.  Wolves were regarded as keepers of the night and could be heard talking to each other over great distances.  They were regarded as protectors and guarded our sacred places such as the top of Mt. Newton - a place reserved for survival of such things as the great flood as well as our place for meditation, purification, and fasting and coldwater rituals.  Wolf packs and Orca pods are revered by First Nations as one and the same.

The Bear on the bottom of this pole is holding a salmon to show that he or she is also a fisherman and survivor.  Bears are respected and regarded as our equal as family caretakers and will rigourously defend their young as does man.  Bears are respected as people and can be seen fishing in close proximity to our fisherman in the shallows of rivers as the salmon journey upstream.  We have a saying which says, "salmon for survival are survival for salmon."  Bears believe this as do we and we have a mutual respect for each in this regard.

Charles W. Elliott is an internationally recognized Master Carver and fine artist in the Coast Salish tradition.  His art works are in private and corporate collections worldwide.  Charles is a member of the T'sartlip First Nation and was born on the T'sartlip Reserve in Brentwood Bay, BC.  He continues to live there today on the shores of the Saanich Inlet with his wife Myrna and their children.

As a young artist, Charles carved designs on the bark of the cottonwood tr

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Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.