There was a pleasant ceremony this morning to officially open Grandview Park on Commercial Drive. A few hundred people braved early drizzle to listen to speeches from the politicians behind the funding and, more importantly, to listen to speeches, songs and ceremonies from the Coast Salish people on whose land the Park stands.
A Coast Salish elder began by leading his family and others in drumming and singing the Salish anthem. I was fascinated to see that Mayor Gregor Robertson seemed to know all the words which he quietly mouthed as the song went on.
This was followed by the dedication of a water fountain to the memory of Curtis Brick, the aboriginal fellow who died in the Park two summers ago on one of the hottest day we ever had ( a wonderful cedar tree was planted here in his memory earlier this year). The Salish “journey” song was performed.
We then had a few — thankfully short — political speeches from the Mayor, a Federal MP, the Parks Board and Grand Chief Stewart Philip; and eventually a ceremonial ribbon was cut.
There were musicians and Britannia provided a barbecue, and soon enough the weather came on board with sunny skies. A good ceremony and a good day.