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Culture Days will return September 20 – October 13, 2024.

  • Rachel
  • Workshop with Katie Green
  • Freesia
  • Sarah

Behind the Mask Project Documentary


Interdisciplinary Nature & outdoors Photography Storytelling Visual arts
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Date and time

This activity runs the duration of Culture Days.


Vernon, BC



Offered in English.


Behind the Mask is a community art project that highlights 10 special individuals in Vernon who have shared a vulnerable, beautiful exploration of the unseen sides of themselves. At a time when mental health challenges have affected so many of us—Behind the Mask is a story of hope, courage, and community.

Through a workshop process, the VPAG engaged with marginalized individuals in Vernon with Katie Green and a mental health support professional. They led participants through a series of workshops where masks were created through an intimate, story-telling process, creating an experience in which individuals from different community cohorts could come together in a shared experience, rather than existing in separation.

Participants were then photographed wearing their masks in a setting of their choosing and the end photographs were included in an exhibition at the VPAG. There were plans to display the photographs as ten muraled public art installations throughout Vernon to represent our marginalized citizens in a positive vision surrounding the emotion they are communicating from ‘Behind the Mask.’ Unfortunately, the City of Vernon shot down the murals portion of the project after funds had already been guaranteed, as some members of the community who were in opposition of the project raised concerns.

Controversy over the project will not stop the VPAG from having a travelling exhibition of the photographs continue to showcase the important dialogue around mental health that 'Behind the Mask' provides. Plans for the travelling exhibition are still underway, with local Art organizations like the Penticton Art Gallery set to see the travelling exhibition. If your organization would like to find out more or to organize for this travelling exhibition come to you, please reach out to [email protected]

“We all deserve connection and love.”

-Freesia, participant who created the mask titled ‘The Higher Self’

What does it mean to be seen—and accepted—in our authenticity and wholeness? To have a space to explore the vastness of our emotional experiences without judgment, but rather with curiosity?

Behind the Mask explores a space where our emotions, whether joy or grief, aversion or delight, can all be welcomed and celebrated as vital experiences that contribute to our individual and collective growth, self-awareness, and healing.

About the Facilitator

Katie Green is a globally recognized multi-disciplinary artist, best known for weaving formidable and evolving studio and social practice, as a painter, muralist, sculptor, mask and puppet fabricator.

As a public figure and facilitator, Katie lends her practice by working within various communities, helping to uncover social, relational and individual complexities. Her process empowers a shared experience for her audiences to access their own profound source of magic, expression and healing.

Funded in Part by Tourism Vernon

Produced, Filmed & Edited and Funded in Part by Sproing Creative

Special Thanks to:

Turning Points Collaborative

City of Vernon

Regional District North Okanagan

Social Planning Council of North Okanagan

Nor-Val Rentals



Vernon Public Art Gallery

The Vernon Public Art Gallery is an important part of cultural tourism in the region, and is a centre for educational and cultural activities in the Okanagan. VPAG presents exhibitions featuring emerging, mid-career and established artists working in a variety of media, including paintings, sculpture, video and installation art. VPAG is the largest public gallery in the North Okanagan and offers approximately 20 exhibitions per year for public viewing. The Gallery also offers an Art Rental Program and Gallery Shop. VPAG delivers programming and events for the community including artist talks, film screenings, workshops, and signature events such as Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts, Riot on the Roof and Art After Dark.


The Vernon Public Art Gallery will broaden its connections within the community and become a critically acclaimed regional art gallery.


The VPAG exists to connect our community to the creative presence and possibilities within the visual arts through its exhibitions and activities.


The mandate is five-fold:

• to exhibit, collect and preserve local, regional, national and international art of the highest possible standards;

• to promote visual arts in the broader community;

• to provide information, education, challenge and inspiration in the visual arts;

• to encourage appreciation of and participation in the visual arts; and

• to provide a meeting place, facility and institution for the benefit of the citizens of Greater Vernon.

This event is part of a hub:

Sundog Festival - Vernon Culture Days

Arts Council of the North Okanagan Vernon, BC

The Sundog Festival - Culture Days is an immersive public experience for all ages that elevates and celebrates Arts and Culture in Greater Vernon. Join us between September 22nd to October 15 for Culture Days – a national celebration of ar...