The Westbank First Nation Public Art Committee (PAC) established the WFN Public Art Program in September 2014. The Program is a collaborative, collective, creative process between WFN, practicing artists, and community members. Public art creatively addresses the needs and aspirations of the WFN community while also acknowledging WFN and syilx/Okanagan heritage.
The PAC promotes syilx culture through the arts; provides advice and supports activities that advance public art; and administers a selection process for commissioning and/or purchasing public art.
Promote syilx culture through the encouragement of local artists and the display of art throughout the community, both on and off reserve.
New Public Art
- Veterans Memorial at WFN Community Core (2014)
- Residential School Monument at WFN Elders Hall (2013)
- Elk Monument (2013)
- Readerboard (2013)
Other Public Art Program Initiatives
- An exhibit at the Kelowna International Airport
- Art at Tourism Information Centres
- Banners along Lakeshore Road in Kelowna
- Renaming of the City of Kelowna boardroom to the “Kiláwnaʔ” Boardroom, as well as the installation of a WFN Pendleton blanket display in the boardroom
- Installation of a Grizzly Bear lights statue at Stewart Park, which recognizes the syilx meaning of Kelowna
- Installation of a Grizzly Bear sculpture at Big White Ski Resort (coming soon)
- Installation of the Chief Sookinchute bronze sculpture at Kelowna City Park (coming soon), to compliment the Father Pandosy sculpture. This project was the catalyst for creating the WFN
- Public Art Committee
Interpretive Trail Signs
Since September 2014, WFN and the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) have worked closely together to develop awareness about syilx language and culture through the installation of interpretive signs along park trails, including Glen Canyon, Kalamoir, Rose Valley, and (upcoming) Black Mountain / sntsk’il’nYn (including pictures). The new signs acknowledges the cultural significance of the lands by explaining the historical syilx usage of a specific area and providing the nsyilxcen translation of the trail’s current name (e.g. “Bitterroot” to “spitƛ̓əm”). The cost of this project was paid for by the RDCO.