Galiano Gallery

Feature Type:Cliff (2) - Steep rock face projecting nearly vertically from the surrounding land.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Just S of Malaspina Point at NW end of Gabriola Island, facing Nanaimo Harbour, Nanaimo Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°11'29''N, 123°52'17''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92G/4

Origin Notes and History:

"Galiano Gallery (not Malaspina's Gallery)" adopted in the 6th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 30 June 1906, located on the south side of Malaspina Point as identified on early Spanish charts and on 1905 edition of British Admiralty Chart 2512. Location confirmed 24 November 1970 on C.3456; this feature is located on the south side of Malaspina Point.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Incorrectly labelled on the northeast side of Malaspina Point on all 3 editions of federal 1:50,000 map 92F/4.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"A remarkable natural overhanging gallery about 300 feet in length and 12 feet high, situated at the water's edge... The gallery was discovered in June 1792 by the Spanish naval officers Galiano and Valdes, who anchored in Descano Bay with their exploring vessels, Sutil and Mexicana, on 15 June of that year. The gallery is named after the commanding officer of the expedition, Dionisio Alcala Galiano, from whose his sketch and report it was ultimately made known to Europeans. An original and interesting picture of the gallery is given in Captain Malaspina's "Voyages", p.200, edited by Lieut. Pedro de Novo y Colson, published in Madrid in 1885. Thus for nearly one hundred years, before being given to the world, were the journals and papers of Malaspina hidden in the archives of that city. The Spanish name of the bay where Galiano's vessels anchored, though overlooked or forgotten until revived in the successful search of 1903 to rediscover the gallery, appeared on maps of the district as late as 1859. The position of the gallery is given on the Admiralty chart of Commander John F. Parry, HM surveying vessel Egeria, on resurveying the neighbourhood in 1904."

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)

"The endless action of wind and waves has given us many beautiful works of art and such artwork has resulted in the Malaspina [sic] Galleries on Gabriola Island. When sighted by the explorers in June 1792, these galleries were sketched by the explorer Galiano and marked on the chart... as Galiano Galleries. These galleries, sometimes called 'the caves' were known to the native Indians long before being examined by the new adventurers on our shores and the Indians buried their dead along the sheltered steps of the galleries. The washboard and honeycomb effect seen on the walls and floor of the gallery continues along the rocky beach measuring about 300 feet in length and at least twelve feet in height. The concretionary nature has made the sandstone into grotesque shapes forming a massive stone umbrella along the shore. Confusion existed for many years about the location of these galleries since they were listed as the Galiano Galleries and naturally sought on Galiano Island...." (excerpt from "The People of Gabriola" by June Lewis-Harrison, 1982, pp.265-266, including reproduction of Galiano's 1792 sketch.)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office