VICTORIA -- BC Ferries has revealed the name of its newest vessel and is inviting Indigenous artists to help design the ferry's exterior artwork.

The new ferry, called the Salish Heron, is a Salish-class vessel which will join the fleet and sail between the Southern Gulf Islands starting in 2022.

It joins the three other Salish-class vessels, the Salish Orca, Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, which first joined the fleet in 2017.

Each Salish-class vessel is fuelled with liquefied natural gas (LNG), which is more environmentally friendly than diesel, according to BC Ferries.

The use of LNG will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 to 25 per cent, will cut sulphur oxides by more than 85 per cent and will lower nitrogen oxides by more than 50 per cent compared to traditional ferry, according to the company.

Now, BC Ferries is looking to work with Indigenous artists, particularly Coast Salish artists, to help design the artwork for the new Salish Heron vessel.

Coast Salish artists previously helped design the exterior art on the last three Salish-class vessels in the fleet.

Design submissions will be reviewed by the First Peoples' Cultural Council and a committee made up of Indigenous artists and BC Ferries representatives.

Expressions of interest for the project must be submitted to BC Ferries by May 10. Shortlisted artists will then by contacted by June 14 and asked for conceptual designs, before a final selection is confirmed in late June.

"We are excited to be continuing this partnership with BC Ferries as they celebrate this new vessel by honouring living Coast Salish art forms that have survived through generations," said Sarah Pocklington, arts program manager for the First People's Cultural Council.

"This project raises the profile of Coast Salish artists in B.C. and shares the beauty of their work with an international audience," she said. "Providing space for Indigenous artists is a positive step towards reconciliation and a visual acknowledgment of the thriving cultures of the First Peoples of these waters."

To submit an expression of interest or for further details on the project, visit the First Peoples’ Cultural Council website here