Public Artwork


Melinda Mollineaux, Canboulay, 1993
201 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Mollineaux, Melinda
Text author(s): 
Mollineaux, Melinda
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

Installed in brochure racks on the British Columbia Ferries, at the Vancouver Tourist Information Centre and at various other locations


Flyers placed in various displays

Text of the artwork: 



(kan-boo’lă) n. [Patois<Fr.cannes brulées.]

1. Orig. a celebration of freedom from slavery.

2. A traditional nighttime procession with

Costumes, drumming&music to announce the

Beginning of Carribbean Carnival Masquerade.

Var. Mardi Gras, Caribana, Caripeg, Carifest,





At the time carnival flourished the

elite of society was masked or

disguised. The favorite costume of

the ladies was the graceful and costly

'mulatress' of the period, while

gentlemen adopted that of the garden

Negro, in Creole, negue jardin,  or

black field slave. At carnival time

our mothers and grandmothers have

even danced the belair to the African

drum whose sound did not offend

their dainty ears, and our fathers and

grandfathers danced the bamboula,

the ghouba and the calinda…Sometimes

also the negue jardin united in bands would

proceed on evenings to the cannes brulees.

Their splendid march with torches through

the town streets imitated what actually took

place on the estates when a plantation was

on fire. In such cases labourers on the

neighbouring estates were conducted there

alternately, day and night, to assist in

grinding the burned canes before they went

sour, thus the cannes brulees.




Paris · Orleans · Santo Domingo · Port-Au-Prince

· Pointe-à-Pitre · Soufrière · Roseau · Fort-de-France

Castries · Kingstown · Bridgetown · Scarborough

Port-of-Spain · Kingston · Havana · Rio de Janiero

New Orleans · London · New York · Toronto

Winnipeg · Calgary · Edmonton · Vancouver




Canboulay : We dance to the drum whose sound does not offend our dainty ears. Melinda Mollineaux, 1992.




A project with the Vancouver Association for Non Commercial Culture.

Thanks to Harry and to Bill Boutin at Key Colour Photo Lab Ltd.

Text theme: 
Etymological definition of Canboulay; encyclopaedic or anthropological account of Canboulay; tourist destinations here and abroad
Artwork theme: 

Blurring of categories between exotic and domestic and between home and other; ethnocentricism, passivity and commodification of tourism, recreation and leisure.

Exhibition Out of Place, organized by the Association for Noncommercial Culture
Event date(s): 



In the text, special characters, which are present in the work in postcard form, are omitted, namely phonetic information on the first letter "a" and on the two "o"s in "(kan-boo 'la)" (second story of the text).


Out of Place

Larson, Jacqueline, Monika Kin Gagnon, Sandra Edmunds (1993).  Out of Place. Vancouver : Association for Noncommercial Culture