By David F. Rooney
Laurie Schwartz’s one-woman play, Elizabeth Parker and the Alpine Club of Canada, delighted an audience of about 20 people who attended the performance in the basement of the United Church on Sunday.
Dressed in a period costume, Schwartz, who works with Parks Canada’s Mountain World Heritage Interpretive Theatre (WHIT) program, portrayed the assertive and witty Winnipeg journalist who was instrumental in the creation of the Alpine Club of Canada.
Schwartz utilized a simple set consisting of two small tables and lamps against a backdrop of slides showing the woman — and men — who pioneered the foundation of the club in the early 1900s. At that time mountaineering was just becoming known in Canada and without the formation of an independent Canadian club, which was heavily supported by the always canny officials of the CPR, most mountaineering today might be under the auspices of the American Alpine Club.
Schwartz’s performance was very accomplished and well worth seeing. She and other members of the Mountain WHIT troupe performed here during Homecoming and will be back again this autumn to perform at local schools. You can fin out more about these talented young performers from Banff at www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/edu/edu4f_E.asp.