Father Pandosy sculpture set for Kelowna's Pandosy Mission site

Kelowna council has thrown its support, and money, behind a six-foot, eight-inch tall bronze sculpture of the man credited with establishing the first  Euro-Canadian settlement in the Okanagan Valley.

The sculpture of Obate priest Father Charles Pandosy, will be installed at the Pandosy Mission site on Benvoulin Road May 26.

On Monday, the city agreed to accept the sculpture into its collection of public art and lend it back to the Okanagan Historical Society to display at the Father Pandosy Mission site on Benvoulin Road.

While the project was spearheaded by the artist Crystal Przybille and the Okanagan Historical Society, and was paid for through grants secured from local and federal sources, at its meeting yesterday, council agreed to contribute $5,000 to help pay for the installation and accept the sculpture into its collection of public art in order to look after it in future.

"It looks fabulous, I love the attention to detail," said Coun. Mohini Singh of the sculpture that depicts a leaning Father Pandosy dressed in a sweeping robe and carrying a staff.

Two years ago, the city's public art committee approved the project in principle but had questions when Przybille turned to the city looking for funds to help pay for the creation of the work, the city's Pat McCormick told council.

The sculpture will mark the 150 anniversary this year of the founding of the first Euro-Canadian settlement here by Pandosy and his band of Catholic priest missionaries in 1862. Pandosy is credited with, among other things, introducing grape vines to the valley and making the first wine .

The project cost $112,500 and was funded through grants from the the federal Canadian Heritage Legacy Fund ($49,000), the Central Okanagan Foundation ($10,000), the Okanagan Mission Residents Association ($5,000), with the rest, both cash and in-kind services, donated by private local sources and non-profit groups.

Przybille worked with the city to identify the Pandosy Mission site as the final location for the sculpture.

The mission site is owned by the Bishop of the Archdiocese of Nelson and operated by the Okanagan Historical Society. In agreeing to take the art and lend it back to the historical society for display, the city has the right to move the sculpture in future if the society should ever stop operating the Mission site.

The sculpture is to be unveiled at the site during a public ceremony on May 26, not May 6 as previously reported, said McCormick.









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