Support the North Shore Culture Compass! This online culture map is a treasure trove of stories, history, events and more. For the community, by the community.

North Shore Culture Compass


Play until May 31!


The NORTH SHORE CULTURE COMPASS is a free online map that helps residents and tourists connect with the arts, heritage, and stories of the North Shore. Explore cultural gems across the North Shore, picking up clues along the way in this year’s Tourism Challenge. Clues can be found in person or online via northshoreculturecompass.ca. Enjoy!




  1. Below there are 7 clues that will lead you to a hidden letter that you can find on the free online culture map or in person if you fancy getting outside for an excursion, or a mix of the two! Each clue has two visual hints (a puzzle piece at the top of this page, and category icon(s) showing you where to find the answer on the Culture Compass).
  2. Find the answer for each clue/question.
  3. Once you have found all seven letters, you’ll have the code word that completes this sentence:

Whether you’re a local or a resident, use this free online map as your personalised tour guide to find local hidden gems off the beaten track. From festivals to events, galleries to hiking trails, _ _ _ _ _ _ _s to public art, treasure hunts to heritage buildings, there is so much to explore!

4. Got the correct code word? Congratulations! Visit Cityscape Community ArtSpace during opening hours to get your stamp (HINT: you can also find Clue 7 here!).




Want to open a listing? Click the wayfinder triangles!

Want to know which category a listing is in? Use the icons with each clue question that correspond with each category! Use the puzzle above if you need an additional hint!

Know the name of the listing you are looking for? Use the search bar! (hint: putting the % symbol before the search term works well)

Have a hunch about the location? Pan and zoom into that neighborhood.



Download the pdf cluesheet below
Follow the clues below on this page

North Shore Culture Compass


Find the answers at NorthShoreCultureCompass.ca

Tourism Challenge Treasure Hunt 2024
Clue 1

 cultural & natural heritage, North Shore Culture Compass

Located in the aptly named Lighthouse Park, is Atkinson Lighthouse! The 70-acre site and lighthouse was designated as National Historic Site in 1974 because of the structure’s innovative design that appeared in Canada in the early 1900s, characterised by its hexagonal, tapered construction.

Prior to the current lighthouse (built in 1912 by contractor W.H. Rourke) there was an earlier wooden structure built in 1875. A sign nearby says that this structure was the first settler structure built on the North Shore, and could only be reached be boat at the time it was built. The need to maintain the lighthouse attracted some of the earliest settlers to West Vancouver to act as lighthouse keepers living on-site. They would have had to climb up every two hours to wind the weights to sound the foghorns until the facility became fully automated in 1996! The lighthouse served the Port of Vancouver in protecting the budding international shipping trade and today, the lighthouse continues to aid in the navigation of all marine traffic in the Burrard Inlet.

Nearby in the forest, you will find an old army hut built during the second World War that is now called the Phyl Munday Nature House! Did you know that the Nature Room is open for tourists and locals on Sundays from 2pm to 4pm? Inside you will find a small hands-on nature exhibit that showcases the forest, plants, seashore, animals and birds of the Park. It is maintained by the West Vancouver municipality and operated by West Vancouver District Girl Guides.


What material is the present-day lighthouse made of? The second last letter of this material is your first clue!

If you’re there in person, you can find it on the info sign! If not, you will find it on the Culture Compass listing northshoreculturecompass.ca. If you need help locating it on the online map, try finding the category icon, typing key words into the search bar, zooming into the location (if you know it) or find the listing with the corresponding jigsaw puzzle piece!



Clue 2


First Nations, North Shore Culture Compass 

Clue 2 can only be found on the online map, or in person if you are very, very lucky!

When you open the First Nations category on desktop , you are greeted by a splash screen that acknowledges the North Shore as unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səl̓ilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). The acknowledgement speaks to how the First Nations Category was developed in partnership with both Nations  and welcomes suggestions or corrections to the category. One of the unique features is a slider tool, which enables you to wipe away many of the North Shore’s settler elements, bringing attention to the land and better representing Indigenous relationships to this place.

Recognizing that this area has been home to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) since time immemorial, it is important to reflect their placenames on the map so you can find 18 place names in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim (Squamish language) accompanied with audio files. These names are also very descriptive, adding to the story of this place. The Culture Compass are currently working with Tsleil-Waututh Nation to add placenames in downriver hunq’eme’nem/hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.

Another unique feature of the First Nations category is the Animal Art, indicated on the map with paw prints. Local səl̓ilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) artist Olivia George created depictions of local animals, insects, birds, and supernatural beings in Coast Salish style for the Culture Compass. Each animal is accompanied by a story or legend with its name, spelling and pronunciation.

To the southeast of the lighthouse is an animal paw print featuring an animal (called Ḵwenís in the Squamish language). This animal teaches us to be humble, gentle and kind. These giants are very loving, forgiving, and great communicators – singing their beautiful songs to communicate with all their families.


What is the English name for this animal? The second letter is your second clue!

Clue 3

festivals & events, North Shore Culture Compass

After a three-year hiatus, West Vancouver’s Ferry Building Gallery reopened a year ago. During their closure, the building was given seismic upgrades, improved accessibility and was raised to protect it from rising sea levels. This much-loved heritage gem used to be a ferry terminal in the days before the Lion’s Gate Bridge was built. A ferry service connected Downtown Vancouver to Ambleside, carrying thousands of passengers each year. The terminal building was built in 1913 (making it one of West Vancouver’s oldest settler-built structures). Soon after, more local businesses popped up nearby, including the Shamrock Tea Rooms, Pierre Paris Shoes, a confectionery store, and a second-hand emporium.

The gallery has served as a hub for arts and culture run by the District of West Vancouver since 1989 and specializes in showcasing both emerging and established artists from the North Shore, Sea-to-Sky Corridor and Sunshine Coast. With the nearby sea wall boasting sweeping views of Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet, and a new exhibit scheduled roughly every 3.5 weeks, visiting the Ferry Gallery Building will make for a great day out. Once a mere waiting room, the gallery has been upgraded to the destination.

Head to the gallery or the Festivals and Events section of the online map! You can do either/or!

If you get there before May 5, ‘Transformation & Adaptation’ artists Carol Demers and Anthea Cameron are featuring artworks that reflect the profound connection both artists share with the _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _? Take the first letter as your next clue!


If you arrive after May 9, which Graduate Show is running June 2? Take the second letter of the event title for your clue!


Clue 4

public art, North Shore Culture Compass First Nations, North Shore Culture Compass

Public art is an amazing tool for learning about the North Shore. There’s only so much you can fit on a plaque so navigating to the Public Art Category of the North Shore Culture Compass is a great way to learn about an artist’s intentions for the piece, and the history, stories and traditions that they the art can uncover.

Did you know that there are many pieces of art at Park Royal Mall? Try to find the one featuring a spindle whorl (a traditional Salish hand-spinning tool used to turn animal and bast fibers into yarn for weaving). This yarn was then used to create ceremonial regalia and woven blankets.

 The animal featured on this artwork by Jody Broomfield represents the circle of life. They swim up Xwemelch’stn and are of the utmost importance because their rich nutrients and abundance in numbers have fed the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people of the land for thousands of years and continue to do so. On the edges of the whorl are the sacred eyes of ancestors, watching over in all four directions.

Whether you’re there in person for a spot of shopping, or navigating the categories on the Culture Compass (the icons above are a hint), here is your next clue:

Which animal is represented on this piece? Take the second letter of the name of this animal as your next clue.

Clue 5

cultural & natural heritage, North Shore Culture Compass First Nations, North Shore Culture Compass

Another gem for tourists and locals on the North Shore to visit is Maplewood Flats – a 300-acre conservation site with 5km of trails. It is the last undeveloped waterfront wetland on the North Shore and has been managed by the Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia since the 1990s. The intertidal lands and foreshore provide ecosystems that support a large population of wildlife. It is a vital wild bird habitat on the North American Pacific Flyway (200+ species are spotted here annually) and an important rearing area for young Pacific salmon.

Wild Bird Trust works collaboratively with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation to develop stewardship opportunities that reflect, repair and acknowledge ecological and cultural relations. This landscape has many layers of history and use as portrayed by public artists such as Ken Lum, James Harry, Ocean Hyland, Zac George Jordan. On site there is also a Coast Salish Native Plant Nursery which provides education and sales of native plants.

Did you know that in late 1972, a community of hippie squatters lived in Maplewood and staged the Dollarton Pleasure Faire, a two-week celebration of the counter culture? Shortly afterwards the District stepped in, evicted them and burned the buildings to make way for a shopping centre which wasn’t ever built! Remember, you can visit the Intangible and Stories Category of the North Shore Culture Compass to discover other anecdotes and important details of the history of this place!

Whether you’re visiting Maplewood Flats in person (which is definitely worth the trip!) or browsing the online map, finish this sentence and take the third letter of the missing word as your next clue.

The _ _ _ _ _ _ House is open weekends and features exhibitions and public events.  

Clue 6

cultural & creative industries, North Shore Culture Compass cultural & natural heritage, North Shore Culture Compass First Nations, North Shore Culture Compass

If tourists or locals are looking for a tour of the area, we can’t recommend Takaya Tours enough! This premier, cultural tourism business is owned by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation of North Vancouver and tours offers a range of safe and exciting activities that mix outdoor adventure with an authentic interpretation of Coast Salish culture. At the core of the business are guided, interpretive paddles in replica ocean-going canoes, similar to those used by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation historically. Guests gently paddle in the protected waters of the Burrard Inlet and beautiful Indian Arm while guides from the Coast Salish Nation sing songs, tell legends and point out ancient village sites.

Every July, Tsleil-Waututh Nation holds an annual canoe race out of a place called Whey-ah-wichen.  Teams compete against other First Nations from all over Coast Salish territory: the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and Washington state. 400 people come to enjoy the competition, arts and crafts, traditional foods like barbecued salmon and bannock and fun landraces and activities for kids.

Where does Takaya Tours operate out of? Take the third letter of the second word!

Hint: Whey-ah-wichen is the name in Downriver Hunq’eme’nem/hən̓q̓əmin̓əm (the traditional language of the səlilwətaɬ Tsleil-Waututh).

Clue 7

cultural spaces & facilities, North Shore Culture Compass

CityScape Community ArtSpace is a contemporary, interactive gallery giving an opportunity for both emerging and established artists to exhibit and promote their work. All exhibitions are group based, themed and have an interactive component to engage the public.

The space is run by North Van Arts (founded in 1969) which is a grassroots, social-profit, charitable cultural organization dedicated to maximizing the intrinsic value of the arts in all media. The mandate is to enable emerging and professional artists in all disciplines, to bridge cultures, and to build strong and healthy communities through the arts. And guess what, the North Shore Culture Compass is just one of their projects!

Navigate to the listing on the map, or visit in person to work out your final clue!

As well as displaying 8 exhibits per year displaying the work of over 750 artists annually, you will also find The Shop here which is an excellent place for tourists (or locals!) to pick up a souvenir.

Who has made these souvenirs? Take the third last letter as your final clue!

P.S. The Shop also sells sets of Flashcards featuring the same animal art as seen in Clue 2! Each card features an animal, insect, supernatural being with the animal name in Downriver Hunq’eme’nem/hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language or in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim and a QR code linking to an audio recording of it being spoken aloud.

Have you got all your letters and found the word? Congratulations! Head to the volunteer or front desk at cityscape during opening hours to receive stamps in your passport. good luck with the rest of the Challenge!