The Lake / n’-ha-a-itk is a documentary film that was years in the making.
It depicts the story of the original European settlers at the Quails’ Gate Estate Winery property and the Syilx / Okanagan peoples.
The film recently made its B.C. premiere at the DOXA documentary film festival. It was created by Heather Pawsey and Delphine Derickson, as they wanted to share a story from the past.
“When that first contact happened, some people really did try and build a bridge,” said producer and film subject Pawsey.
“Something that Delphine Derickson and I really wanted to create in the opera was two women who maybe reached out, two women who maybe tried to build a bridge.”
The film is a collaboration between the Astrolabe Musik Theatre, Westbank First Nation and Opus59 films.
Filming spanned across the Quails’ Gate property and one major location was the historic Allison house, which was home to the first settlers.
The opera was written in the 1950s, but was not discovered until the late 1990s by Pawsey.
She eventually met Derickson and they started working on the piece together.
“It started 28 years ago. The project worked its way through until today. So to me, it’s really a bit emotional in that,” said Tony Stewart, chief executive of Quails’ Gate Estate Winery.
Quails’ Gate wanted a sculpture that would commemorate the work that’s been done on the film and the history being shared.
The sculpture brings the two cultures in West Kelowna together in a really positive and collaborative way, Stewart said. “We’re really happy that everybody worked so hard on this.”
The two women in the sculpture not only depict Pawsey and Derickson, but two women coming together to learn more about each other’s culture and past.
“Having a sculpture here to me means, they’re finally collaborating with the people that I want to collaborate, work together, learn more about us,” said Delphine Derickson, associate producer and film subject.
Showings for the film will be at the West Kelowna Landmark Theatres starting June 22. Free tickets are currently available for pickup at the Quails’ Gate Estate Winery.