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Photos: Gondola Gallery art series comes to Whistler

First Nations artists Chief Janice George, Buddy Joseph and Levi Nelson designed new looks for the Peak 2 Peak

The Peak 2 Peak is receiving a makeover.

Local Indigenous artists Chief Janice George, Willard “Buddy” Joseph and Levi Nelson have partnered with Vail Resorts and Epic Pass to contribute to the new Gondola Gallery series. They’ve each emblazoned Whistler’s most recognizable cable cars with a variety of iconography that harkens back to their First Nations cultural roots. 

George and her husband Joseph are two of Squamish Nation’s finest who often involve themselves in graphic design projects in and around Vancouver. Each has a solid resume: George is a trained museum curator and Salish weaver in addition to being a Squamish hereditary chief, while Joseph formerly directed Squamish Housing and Capital Projects. The couple founded L’hen Awtxw Weaving House to share the practice of traditional Coast Salish wool weaving. 

Their piece, “Wings of Thunder,” embodies the story of the most powerful being in Squamish mythology and its familiar roosting spot upon Black Tusk. 

“It’s more than just the techniques of weaving—it’s about ways of being and seeing the world. Passing on information that’s meaningful,” say George and Joseph in a release. “We’ve done weavings on murals and buildings, reviving something that was put away all those decades ago now.

“The significance of the Thunderbird being on the gondola is that it brings the energy back on the mountain and watches over all of us.”

Nelson of Lil’wat Nation emphasized reddish hues in “RED,” his aptly-titled characterization of Coast Salish and Northwest Coast society. The Columbia University graduate is known best for his contemporary Indigenous art made using oil paint and a variety of media formats on canvas. Nelson also designed the brand for the 2025 Invictus Games alongside Mack Paul, Olivia George and Ray Natraoro. 

“Red is a sacred colour within Indigenous culture, representing the life blood of the people and our connection to the Earth,” said Nelson. “These shapes come from and are inspired by my ancestors. To be inside the gondola, looking out through an ovoid or through the Ancestral Eye, maybe you can imagine what it's like to experience my territory and see home through my eyes.”

The Gondola Gallery series first launched ahead of the 2023-24 winter season at Park City Mountain and Stowe Mountain Resort before coming to Whistler. It features one-of-a-kind art installations and a film series celebrating the unique backgrounds of artists who love the mountains and the possibilities they unlock. 

“Wings of Thunder” and "RED" now adorn two cabins on the Peak 2 Peak system. Learn more about these works and their creators at