Victoria-based artist Marlene Howell’s work is part of The Lost Fleet exhibit on through March 31 at the Maritime Museum of B.C. The exhibit looks at the seizure of Japanese-Canadian fishing vessels and the internment of citizens during the Second World War. Courtesy Maritime Museum of B.C.

Dark chapter in Canadian history recalled with Maritime Museum exhibit

The Lost Fleet tells story of Japanese internment, decimation of their West Coast fishing fleet

A history both proud and troubling is being explored with The Lost Fleet, a new exhibition on at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia in Victoria now through until March 31.

Proud, because of the long history of Japanese-Canadian fishermen in BC. Troubling, because of the decimation of this story and a way of life for so many people during the Second World War.

With the start of the war between the United States and Japan after the Pearl Harbour attacks in 1941, Canada entered into a dark chapter of its history with the internment of Japanese-Canadians, a policy the Canadian government apologized for in 1988.

Along with internment, the government confiscated property and businesses, including nearly 1,200 Japanese-Canadian owned fishing boats on the B.C. coast, most of which were eventually sold to canneries and non-Japanese fishermen.

The Lost Fleet explores this sad history while considering the lessons that have been learned from it and how Canadian society has changed, or hasn’t, since. Through the exhibition and with the guidance of featured Artist-In-Residence Marlene Howell, visitors will be encouraged to consider how current political policies and climates relate to this chapter of history, and whether this type of injustice could happen again.

For more information visit mmbc.bc.ca.



editor@mondaymag.com

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