It's a whale of a display. An eight-foot high fibreglass orca embellished by artist Sheila Williams in honour of the Vancouver Aquarium's late whale, Bjossa, has been dazzling Gibsons since its unveiling in Williams' front yard on April 17.
Bjossa is one of two Coast orcas that will join others in Vancouver in a project that showcases B.C. artists and raises funds for children with disabilities. The orca sculpture arrived at Williams' Shegon Mosaic Works studio unadorned, but it now glitters with an estimated 12,000 handmade pieces depicting the ocean, silver foam, fish, boats, trees and Vancouver's shoreline rendered in a mosaic of mirror and ceramics. William's sponsor, Vancouver's Pan Pacific Hotel, will exhibit the whale in an indoor water feature. Across town, artist Nadina Tandy has had only one week to paint her orca with a vivid blue and green network of roadways, mountains and trees. Country Drives was the design selected by her sponsor, the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside. The orcas will be on display until October when they will be auctioned to raise funds for the B.C. Lions Society for Children with Disabilities.