10,000 Ships

February 23, 1–3pm | 10,000 Ships: Afternoon Reception

Featuring a truly unique photographic archive created over the past three decades by local “ship-spotter” and photographer Rod Logan (b. 1942, Vancouver, Canada), this exhibition showcases some 10,000 ships which have entered the Burrard Inlet since the early 1980s.

During the postwar period in Europe and North America, a tradition of amateur hobbyists fascinated with “spotting” trains took hold, spurred by the publication of compendium guides showing locomotive varieties. Train spotters set out to “collect” as many sightings as possible, keeping an eye out for different categories, makes and/or model of trains, with the goal of completing a set. Other modes of transportation—including automobiles and airplanes—subsequently grew to have their own unique enthusiasts, and now “spotters” are as diverse as is modern technology.

For local Vancouverite Rod Logan, shipping became a keen and pervasive passion in the early 1980s. From then on, Logan began documenting the comings and goings of every manner of ship, tug, barge and boat entering and leaving Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. He continues to shoot today, printing each roll of film at one-hour photo shops and carefully annotating the date, time and name of the depicted ship and vessel on the back of each print. To date, Logan has produced well over 10,000 individual pictures of maritime vessels.

Logan’s photographs are taken from a variety of locations. Many are shot from the Lion’s Gate or Second Narrows (Ironworkers Memorial) Bridges, while others are from the inlet’s shoreline. Day after day, year after year, the workings of the Vancouver inner harbour have been laid bare through Logan’s eyewitness account of its unremitting comings and goings. Taken together, the sheer quantity of images paints an indelible picture of the nautical life of Vancouver’s harbour.

Sponsored by:




Press Release - 10,000 Ships 2019

Vancouver Sun
North Shore News


Tours of 10,000 Ships will be hosted every Saturday at 2PM. To join the tour, meet at the ground floor lobby at 1:55PM. These tours are recommended for general visitors as an introduction to the exhibition.

For a more tailored experience, visitors are encouraged to book a private guided tour with a member of our curatorial team. For more information about private tours, visit the Contact Us page, or email tours@thepolygon.ca.

Image: Rod Logan, untitled photographs, c. 1994-2015; Courtesy the artist and Chris Wright


Relatedevent: 10,000 Ships: Afternoon Reception

10,000 Ships Installation view
10,000 Ships Installation view
10,000 Ships - Opening Reception
10,000 Ships - Opening Reception
10,000 Ships installation view
10,000 Ships installation view