The multi-million dollar Heritage Crystal Tipi was unveiled at Vernon’s Sparkling Hills Resort last Saturday as a thank you from Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the patriarch of the Swarovski crystal family and visionary behind the Sparkling Hill Resort near Vernon, to the First Nations Peoples of the North Okanagan. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

Sparkling spotlight put on Okanagan First Nations

Sparkling Hill unveils Heritage Crystal Tipi

The unveiling of the multi-million dollar Heritage Crystal Tipi at Sparkling Hill Resort near Vernon last Saturday afternoon brought together First Nations Peoples and community members in celebration.

The gift allows onlookers to take a moment and reflect on the history of the land while gazing up at the many paintings and symbols encrusted in Swarovski crystals.

Entrepreneur Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the patriarch of the Swarovski crystal family and visionary behind the Sparkling Hill Resort near Vernon, was unable to attend the event.

Okanagan Indian Band Chief Bryon Louis was present Saturday to welcome guests to the North Okanagan for the unveiling.

Chief Louis explained the lands where Sparkling Hill Resort sits was important land for the Indigenous People of the Okanagan. It was home to many trails that were used to travel to what is known today as Oyama, and later it was the site of a reserve that was established in 1977.

Langes-Swarovski wanted to find a special and unique way to show his gratitude to the Okanagan First Nations people for allowing him to build on their natural pristine ancestry lands.

In his search, Langes-Swarovski reached out to his visionary friend, Stephen Cipes, the proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery who has embraced Indigenous cultural history into his business.

Cipes was able to find an artist who could create paintings that tell the story of the First Nations heritage in the valley.

Cipes introduced Okanagan artist Ron Hall to Langes-Swarovski, who then worked closely with Sparkling Hill Resort CEO Hans-Peter Mayr as well as the Swarovski creative team in Austria on the project.

“Without you both (Cipes and Hall), we wouldn’t be here this afternoon to celebrate a very unique step forward to respect the traditions and the heritage of our First Nations,” Mayr said.

They produced 16 oil paintings, all of which have been cast in crystal in Austria and are now to be exhibited in the Heritage Crystal Tipi.

These crystal paintings, each with a deeply meaningful story that accompanies each painting, are intended to serve as an inspiration to respect the historic traditions, heritage and ancestry of the First Nations peoples.

“This is a very special time here, unveiling a very wonderful gesture of appreciation of the First Nations People,” Cipes said.

As for the motifs chosen to be emblazoned in crystal: ”We picked as best we could the legends of our people for thousands of years. “

The unveiling Saturday, by invitation only, was led by First Nation Elder Pauline Gregor, who led the grand opening of the spectacular 149-room “healing resort” in 2010.

Future guests of Sparkling Hill and the public will be able to visit the magnificent three-story high Heritage Crystal Tipi and experience the magic of the colourful Swarovski crystals as they reflect off the sun during the day and the evening lights.

There are over 3.5 million Swarovski crystals throughout the resort, meant to create an ambiance of calm and serenity.

Opened in 2010, Sparkling Hill Resort quickly became one of the premier health and wellness spa resort destinations in North America.

READ MORE: Spallumcheen farmers to be recognized for ‘generous’ land donation

READ MORE: Vernon homeboy NØX knocks out new tracks


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Okanagan rinks have mixed results as BC Seniors Curling finals begin

A total of 15 rinks are competing in Vernon for right to go to nationals in Manitoba

Vernon Chamber says 2020 budget lacklustre for small buisnesses

‘There was absolutely nothing meaningful in the budget for entrepreneurs,’ Chamber GM

Vernon paying more at pumps than Central Okanagan

Central Okanagan pump prices fall, North Okanagan lags behind

Dust advisory in effect for Vernon

Keep strenuous exercise away from busy streets, intersections

Vernon reporter’s roots linked to Montreal school fire that killed 17

Vernon and District Family History Society runs open house during Heritage Week

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Most Read