History of the First Nations Workshops

Hosted by Mollie Bono on September 23

Mollie Bono, Okanagan-Similkameen, has a deep and personal understanding of the history of the Okanagan/Similkameen and other Interior Salish First Nations people which makes her an excellent choice for any group that is motivated to change or is willing to look within to succeed.  She grew up in the Similkameen and has maintained strong ties with community and family members living in the Valley of the Eagles.  Mollie has worked for the Okanagan Indian Band, School District #22 and the First Nations Friendship Centre in Vernon.  She has been reelected for her third term as a Trustee for School District #22, has served as an Okanagan Band Council Member for her community at N’kamplqs, volunteers for a number of local groups and escapes from it all through travel and quiet time with her grandchildren.

Join Mollie in a series of workshops focused on the History of the First People on September 23 at the RespectFEST Multicultural Celebration.

12pm – The Evolving Roles of Interior Salish Women – Sign up here
1:15pm – Value of Healing & Reconciliation – Sign up here
2:30pm – Smudging – Sign up here

Public Art Workshops

Over 250 people came together to create 125 ft of a mosaic river throughout August and September. Artist, Gabrielle Strong, led the workshops this summer to create a lasting legacy in downtown Vernon! As part of RespectFEST 2017, Gabrielle has been commissioned by the City of Vernon and the Downtown Vernon Association to create a participatory public work of art commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday.

photo marking the sidewark where art will be installed
Artist Gabrielle Strong (right) is joined by elected officials and representatives from the City of Vernon, The Government of Canada, the Social Planning Council, and the Downtown Vernon Association as they mark the spot where the public art will be installed later this year.



Artist Gabrielle Strong

“For RespectFEST, I wanted to create a work of art that honours our local waterways in their natural state, before confederation and infrastructure. Our need for water is the common thread that connects us all. It is my intention that this mosaic river acts as a reminder of what was here before, and becomes the fabric we weave together in mutual respect as a symbol of our community and its commitment to the environment. Moving water is more powerful than a concrete sidewalk, causing even the gentlest of streams to eventually polish the rocks it flows over; therefore my hope is that this art work symbolizing the flow of water, will be powerful enough to inspire momentum in all of us to care more and join together to respect and protect our waterways.”

– Gabrielle Strong

This project has been funded in part by the Government of Canada, the Downtown Vernon Association and the City of Vernon. The artwork will be owned and maintained by the City of Vernon upon completion.