Sun Peaks Resort (SPR) is celebrating the 60th anniversary of skiing on Tod Mountain with artwork by local artist Zuzy Rocka.
The piece by Rocka, titled Dreams Aglow, is her perspective of Tod Mountain, the village and the surrounding nature. It will be printed on lift tickets and season passes this season, as well as sold as poster prints and on the label of Red Collar beer cans.
Rob McCloskey, director of marketing for SPR, said the resort knew they wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary even though it may not be seen as important as a 50th or 75th. Inspired by Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort in Colorado, McCloskey decided SPR could feature a local artist’s design on lift tickets and season passes.
“I kind of reached out to Zuzy, being a well known local artist here,” said McCloskey. “We were really inspired to connect with Zuzy directly because her style is very focused on nature and the natural environment around us, and that’s such a big part of living here.”
McCloskey said they didn’t give Rocka any parameters on what they wanted from the piece except for the colours. The uniform patches originally worn by Tod Mountain staff consisted of dark blue and bright orange, so SPR wanted the artwork to also include those colours.
McCloskey said they met with Rocka once and didn’t see the work until it was completed. Initially, Rocka’s painting was only intended to be a design for SPR lift tickets and season’s passes. But once McCloskey saw the final print, he knew it had to be more than that.
“It kind of spun into how we could continue to grow that piece because, you know, it was so beautiful,” he said. “Her style really came through and I was really blown away by that.”
McCloskey contacted Gemma Harris, the owner of Alpine Images, to see if she could create prints of Rocka’s painting. They decided to do a limited run of prints, signed and numbered by Rocka, and a non-limited run that are smaller and available throughout the whole season.
Harris printed 60 limited edition runs to reflect 60 years of skiing. They went on sale on the exact date of the anniversary, Nov. 18, and sold out in under five hours.
“Based on how the sale ended up going the demand was certainly there to sell more, but there’s something special about keeping the authenticity of those original runs,” said McCloskey. “It was so reassuring to know that other people were as excited about this as we were.”
McCloskey said extra-limited larger versions were also printed, to be sold or auctioned at events to raise money for local non-for-profits. The first print was auctioned off at the Sun Peaks Gala on Nov. 20.
SPR also collaborated with Kamloops brewery Red Collar to toast the season with Rocka’s art printed on the label. The beer, Altitude Adjustment White IPA, is distributed at any store Red Collar is sold at. It can be found at Masa’s Bar & Grill and a few other locations within the village.
“Overall, it was a really fun project,” said McCloskey. “Really celebrates how far this place has come in 60 years and what our future is, and really looking forward to a great winter.”
Rocka’s original painting will be displayed in the village this winter, but the location is yet to be confirmed.