Helping Hand sculpture selected from Call For Artists


The City of Penticton and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, have selected a sculpture from their Call For Artists issued last fall. David Jacob Harder’s proposal for Helping Hand was chosen by a jury of three local artists and City and Valley First representatives for a permanent spot in front of the Valley First branch at 184 Main Street.

“The City and Valley First representatives invited proposals for outdoor sculptures that reflected the values of both organizations including innovation, authenticity, diversity and community spirit,” says Robin Robertson, local art supporter and member of the selection committee. “Mr. Harder’s sculpture reflected these values and the jury loved the opportunity for the public to get involved in the work.”

The Helping Hand sculpture will be made of steel and is estimated to weigh between 800 and 1000 lbs. It will stand nearly 12 feet high and stretch 10 feet across. The colour in the proposal is blue but the final colour is still to be determined. A live tree will grow up through the hand structure at its final location.

Residents invited to lend a hand

Mr. Harder’s submission was set apart from other proposals by the opportunity for the community to get involved in the sculpture. Residents will be invited to suggest a series of words that convey the spirit of community in Penticton to be etched on the exterior of the hand. On March 28, the artist will visit a number of locations across the City to talk about the work with citizens and get their suggestions for words to include on the sculpture. Members of the public are invited to drop by the following locations on March 29 to speak with the artist and provide their suggestions.

  • Penticton Art Gallery (10 am to 11 am)
  • Downtown at the corner of Main St. and Westminster Ave. (12 pm to 1 pm)
  • Cannery Brewing (3 pm to 5 pm)

At each event, citizens can write their suggested words on a blue paper hand that will be part of a display at City Hall. Once the words are collected, a shortlist will be created and members of the City’s website will be invited to vote on the final words to be used on the sculpture. The final list will be translated into nsyilxcən (Syilx Okanagan) in collaboration with the Enowkin Centre, as well as some of the languages commonly spoken in Penticton in collaboration with the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services Society (SOICS). Anyone unable to make an event can submit their words through or at City Hall.




Bregje Kozak

Recreation and Facilities Director

City of Penticton



JoAnne Kleb

Engagement Strategist

City of Penticton