Dignitaries, guests and members of the Port Edward Historical Society gathered at North Pacific Cannery on June 29 to unveil new interpretive signs that outline the canning process from boat to box.
The signage walks visitors through the five major processes step by step, breaking each major process down to intricate details described in a series of panels that look at the evolution of mechanical canning. The signs have been a long time in the making, and were supported in the form of a $20,000 donation from the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund made in 2011 and a $7,500 contribution from Heritage B.C.
“It is such an exciting thing for the port authority to have a hand in the development of these types of community resources, places where people gather, celebrate and most importantly where they remember history. It is hard to imagine a better example of that value than North Pacific Cannery,” said Michael Gurney, manager of corporate communications for the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
“If you have walked around the cannery as a museum, you can see that the history of it could be told through the different kinds of signs that appeared along the way – from photocopied hand-written signs that appeared a few years ago to more advanced signs. This signage is the best yet. These signs … were designed by a designer in Vancouver, the content is derived from a variety of sources and the text was written by our assistant curator of last season.”
Among those at the ribbon cutting was Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem who talked about the importance of the cannery to the North Coast.
“This place is so much a part of our history and so much a part of our family that we can’t let it slip away … this is a very rich history and we will continue to do what we can to protect it,” he said.