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Art in the parks of Revelstoke.

Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks are areas of immense natural beauty, steeped in history, and full of fascinating flora and fauna. They are incredible places and incredible places often inspire incredible art- the national parks around Revelstoke are no different. 

The Parks Canada team in Revelstoke use this inspiration to create projects that tell the stories of our national parks; from their storied pasts to the incredible ecosystems that the parks sustain. Rob Buchanan and Zuzana Riha spearhead these efforts, creating projects that offer visitors a new way to understand the parks, celebrate nature, and understand the journey of the parks through time. Working with local artisans, their creations are as unique as the areas that inspire them. Each exhibit is different and captures the essence of the parks around Revelstoke. The pieces they create need to work with the environment and be able to stand the mountain climate which often leads to creative uses of materials. Many pieces also echo the eco friendly focus of our community and reuse objects that might otherwise have been thrown away.

Of course, the best way to experience the art work is to see it. Here are some of the places you can see the art work:

MOUNT REVELSTOKE NATIONAL PARK

Beaver Lodge Bike Park

This bike park for kids is about more than sharpening up bike skills. Look for the sculptures of creatures hidden about the park and learn more about the flora and fauna who call the area home. The team are always adding to these “creature features” and you’ll be able to find new sculptures hiding out near the track soon. 

Beaver Lodge Bike Park

Nels Knickers

Find out first hand what it was like to stand at the top of the ski jump that used to be located at Mount Revelstoke National Park from 1916 – 1975. This sculpture allows you to lean into the start of the jump and truly experience the size and scale of the record breaking jumps that the skiers completed there. Prepare to be impressed- it’s higher than you’d think!

Nels Knickers

ROGERS PASS DISCOVERY CENTRE

Ski skin mosaic

Head to Rogers Pass to see Rob Buchanan’s favourite installation, a mosaic using old climbing skins from skis. The piece captures both the spirit of resourcefulness and the essence of the ski touring community in the area. 

Ski skin mosaic

Breeches of Miss Conduct

The Breeches of Miss Conduct statue at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre is a fantastic opportunity for an Instagram snap. It’s also a celebration of the women who broke the trail for women in the outdoors. It commemorates Georgia Engelhard (1906-1985) who climbed 38 peaks in the area and caused a scandal by daring to do it in men’s breeches instead of the acceptable ankle length skirt. It’s a little bit of history brought to life. 

Breeches of Miss Conduct

Banners

Keep an eye out for a series of 1920s art deco style banners and posters use historic photos used to promote the parks. See if you can spot them all!

Banners

Next projects

The creativity isn’t slowing down any time soon. Future projects include a working with local artists to create a sculpture of the endangered white bark pine cone, a mountain goat sculpture using salvaged cable which will be displayed at the Cave and Basin site in Banff (for the summer. It will hopefully make it back to Revelstoke in the fall), and the guides quarters at Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, which brings the history of the area to life, drawing on the heritage buildings that make Revelstoke so unique. 

Upcoming Events

  • Caribou Cabin Artists Retreats– stay up to 5 nights to experience all the inspiration the park can provide by taking part in an artists retreat at the Caribou Cabin. Book with Parks Canada in advance.
  • Art in the Park – this 5 day event, held in conjunction with Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, takes place in Rogers Pass bi-yearly.  It is 5 days of wilderness and inspiration amongst like minded artists. The art inspired by this event tours Western Canada, spreading the beauty of the pass to a wider audience. Find out more here.

Images courtesy of Parks Canada


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