Heritage displays grace the trail — go see for yourself

Brett Lawrence installs the sternwheeler display in front of the Community Centre. David F. Rooney photo

By David F. Rooney

Take a stroll from The Community Centre south along the river this weekend and you’ll be among the first people in town to glimpse our past through the five brand-new heritage panels that have been erected along the Riverside Trail.

The five new panels commemorate the roles played by First Nations people, sternwheelers, the railway, forestry and electricity in the development of

Rob Parkin and Toni Johnston finish up work on the base of the historical display dedicated to First Nations people on Thursday. David F. Rooney photo

our modern community. They join the existing farming panel along the paved trail above Downie Marsh and the Illecillewaet Greenbelt.

“We got $10,000 in grants through the City and the Columbia Basin Trust and $5,000 from BC Hydro for the new panels,” said Toni Johnston who originally conceived the project more than five years ago.

The displays were created by Rob Buchanan under the guidance of Revelstoke Museum  Archives Curator Cathy English and the laser-cut designs in the decorative steel panels on the front of the displays were designed by David Walker.  Rob Parkin and Brett Lawrence performed the actual installation of the new displays.

“It has taken quite a while to finally see this through to completion but I think it’s quite worthwhile,” Johnston said.

The Current agrees and wonders if this wouldn’t be an appropriate time to change the trail’s name from Riverside — which no one ever uses — to Heritage.

If you get a chance to got for a walk down there this weekend be sure to start up at the entrance to the Community Centre. The sternwheeler panel is right in front of the circular greenspace that the City’s Public Art Committee has identified as perfect location for a sculptural/architectural work by Rob Buchanan and Rudy Magirena that harkens back to the sternwheeler’s wooden blades. The Committee is currently seeking grant money to pay for the installation of that particular work.

Here, below, are images of the actual displays created by Rob Buchanan:

The first of the six panels to be erected, the farming panel harkens back to our agricultural history. This particular panel was erected in 2005. The rest are brand-new. Image courtesy of Rob Buchanan
Despite the lack of a permanent, year-round presence, the area has always been a so-called "traditional-use area" for the Shuswap, Okanagan, Ktunaxa and Sinixt peoples. Image courtesy of Rob Buchanan
Forestry may not be as potent an industrial force as it once was, but it remains a major driver of the local economy and significant presence within our culture and society. Image courtesy of Rob Buchanan
Electricity plays a hugely important role here. Revelstoke is, after all, the home of one of the largest dam's in British Columbia. The Revelstoke Dam produces about 30 per cent of the province's electricity. Image courtesy of Rob Buchanan
Our connections to the sternwheelers, such as the SS Minto, is captured in this display. Image courtesy of Rob Buchanan
Our connection to the railway, unlike the sternwheekers, has kept pace with the march of transportation technology. Image courtesy of Rob Buchanan