Posted on: December 5, 2015 


Big White Ski Resort Ltd. unveils grizzly statue donated by WFN

As part of Westbank First Nation (WFN)’s Public Art Program, a 10-foot tall statue was unveiled on Big White Mountain today with representatives of both organizations in attendance including 12341229_1005069799554712_6975831565851676658_n.jpgBig White’s President, Board Members, Senior Staff, Resort VIPs, and WFN’s Chief, Youth Snowboard Team and Public Arts Committee, along with MLA’s Larson and Letnick.

Created by First Nation Artist Smoker Marchand, the design of the statue is based on the WFN logo, featuring kiʔlawnaʔ (grizzly bear), sənk̓lip (coyote) and nx̌aʔx̌ʔxitkʷ (Ogopogo). The base of the statue was created in a circle/medicine wheel representing the circle of life. With no beginning and no end, meanings of the circle range from the sun, moon, mother earth and stars, to the concept of life.

“We recognize Big White is built upon the traditional territory of the Okanagan Sylix people” says Peter Plimmer, President, Big White Ski Resort Ltd. “This statue will stand as a symbol of that, as well as our continued relationship with Westbank First Nation, for years to come.”

After searching the landscape of Big White Mountain by foot and chairlift last summer, the Black Forest location was determined to be the optimal spot for the statue’s installation. The area provides the perfect backdrop for photos of the sculpture and also coincides with the idea of new growth, which is something both organizations value and work towards.

“WFN shares a great relationship with Big White; we appreciate the opportunities and benefits the resort offers our communities, and are happy to provide the art sculpture for everyone to enjoy,” says WFN Chief Robert Louie. “We wanted a symbol in place to acknowledge the positive relationship WFN shares with Big White. We have seen a number of excellent skiers, snowboarders and community members engage in winter sports because of Big White. The resort has supported us as an organization as well as individual community members, over the years, and the gift of the sculpture is our way of saying limləmt, thank you.”

WFN and Big White Ski Resort Ltd. invite the public to visit the new sculpture located next to the new Black Forest Day Lodge which also officially opened today.




Westbank First Nation

T 250 769 4999


Michael J. Ballingall, Senior VP Sales & Marketing

Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

T 250 491 6150  C 250 470 7350



About Big White: Big White Ski Resort is located 56 km (35 mi) southeast of Kelowna in the SouthernInterior of British Columbia, on the highest summit in the Okanagan Highland, an upland area betweenthe Monashee Mountains and the Okanagan Valley. Its village is 1,755m (5,758ft) above sea leveland is the second most popular ski resort in British Columbia, after Whistler-Blackcomb. With amountain summit of 2,319 m (7,608ft) and a vertical drop of 777 m (2,549 ft), Big White is servicedby 16 lifts and receives an average of 750 cm of annual snowfall. It has 2,765 acres (11 km2) ofoverall skiable terrain and 38 acres (150,000 m2) of night skiing, making it the largest resort for nightskiing in all of Western Canada. For more information, visit

About WFN: Westbank First Nation is a proud leader in aboriginal self-government, providingprogressive economic, cultural and social services for its members, residents and businesses. One ofseven bands that comprise the Okanagan Nation, WFN is located in the beautiful South Central Interiorof British Columbia, just minutes from Kelowna. With a history rich in culture and tradition, and apopulation of over 800 members and 10,000 residents, WFN places high value on the responsiblemanagement and protection of its culture, language, environment and resources.For more information, visit

About WFN’s Public Art Program: In 2014, the WFN Public Art Committee (PAC) established thePublic Art Program, a collaborative, collective, creative process between WFN, practicing artists, andcommunity members. Public art creatively addresses the needs and aspirations of the WFN communityand acknowledges the WFN and Syilx/Okanagan heritage. The PAC promotes Syilx culture through thearts; provides advice and supports activities that advance public art; and administers a selectionprocess for commissioning and purchasing public art.For more information, visit

About WFN’s Youth Snowboard Team: The team currently consists of six WFN Members, aged 8-18yrs old, with two full-time WFN Youth Leaders who are certified coaches. They train December-Aprilstarting with dryland training once per week and training at Big White every Saturday. The program hasbeen in existence approximately 11 years with partnership from the First Nation Snowboard Team(FNST) and the 2010 Olympics and International Children’s Games. Big White has been the mainsponsor throughout the program’s existence, providing passes for the snowboard teams. With 25 WFNMembers holding spots on the teams over the years, there has been multiple Members successfullyplaced in Provincial Series Competitions. The mission of the program is to, “Improve the quality of lifeand empower WFN youth by using the winter sport of snowboarding as a fundamental tool forexcellence.”