Public art at the North Vancouver City Library was included in the original building design and can be seen throughout the library. The artwork maintenance and development is facilitated through the North Vancouver Public Art Program. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind work meant to reflect the culture, heritage and environment of the North Shore.
Marianne Nicolson’s carved glass mural is installed in the circular space leading from the underground parkade to the upper level of Civic Plaza on the west side of the building.
The artwork is inspired from an excerpt of Chief Dan George’s speech, “A Lament for Confederation,” given on the occasion of Canada’s centennial in 1967:
"Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man’s success — his education, his skills, and with these new tools, I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society…So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations."
The carving style mimics aboriginal petroglyphs found along the west coast that were created to record significant events and mark places of spiritual importance.