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Art installation a nod to the glory days of the railway – Calgary Herald

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Local developer Gerald Knowlton has developed a railway park and public piece of art, along with restoring a CP caboose, in the town of Standard. Here Knowlton is seen admiring the station he was born in.


Photo courtesy Spencer Purdy / Calgary

Many successful business people also have a keen interest in a hobby, offering relaxation from their difficult daily tasks.

Some find pleasure in collecting. For others, building landscapes for model trains is rewarding, but Gerald Knowlton prefers the full-scale rolling stock as an homage to the railways that helped build this country.

He has a fine model train set and wonderful railway memorabilia. But Knowlton likes full-scale, where he can climb aboard and relive his childhood in the station at Standard, which led to his development of Champion Park in Okotoks and his significant donation of a public art piece in the newly opened Memory Lane Park in Standard.

Formed and named as a hub for CP trains, Standard is a small farming community about 80 kilometres east of Calgary.

Knowlton grew up in the Standard railway station and moved to Calgary in 1960 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario. He began working for C.H. Noton but, by 1961, he had brought together some partners and purchased the firm, renaming it Knowlton Realty in 1962.

Over more than 30 years, he built his company from a one-office, $125,000-a-year operation to a five-office national firm handling more than $100 million worth of real estate every year.

He was responsible for transforming a collection of properties in Calgary’s downtown into the two towers that became home to Petro-Canada — now known as Suncor Energy Centre — and for creating a similar development that resulted in Bow Valley Square.

He says he was fortunate to be in the “right place at the right time,” but he was the visionary “right man” who took over the young company in 1965.

He sold the company in 1995 and established Congress Inc. in 2001 to oversee and enhance the Knowlton’s investments, but he also sought opportunities on behalf of a consortium of investors and remained involved in office and retail developments.

His successes enabled him to pursue his railway interests, and he set about developing the 54-acre Champion Park south of the city as an homage to CP and the former station agent at Standard, his father, Ted Knowlton, who served in that capacity for 42 years.

The old Standard station had been demolished, but Knowlton was able to transport a similar station from Champion, about 150 kilometres south of Calgary, that was built in 1911 and restored at Champion Park in 1980.

Gifted to the town of Okotoks and Foothills County in 2016, besides the fully equipped station the park features other period buildings including the section house, ice house, bunk house, outhouse and a number of huts and a tool shed.

Rolling stock includes the 60-foot-long Saskatchewan executive car, engine, boxcar, stock car and several cabooses.


The caboose Knowlton found in Leader, SK, that he fully restored to its CP glory inside and out.

Photo courtesy Spencer Purdy /

Calgary

CP had also donated a strip of land to the Village of Standard in 1923 to be developed as a park, but it wasn’t until 2015 that The Standard Community Facility Enhancement Society was formed to develop the space for the pleasure of its residents and to offer an interesting permanent display to attract visitors.

A sense of the historical role of Memory Lane meant the railway had to play a big part, and the society contacted the son of the former station agent to participate and support the venture.

Knowlton, who lived in the station until leaving for university, has been a driving force behind another full-scale exhibit that includes a public art installation of the station, platform and track, and a majestic caboose.

The Vanish Station design and construction is thanks to Knowlton’s grandson and Ted Knowlton’s great grandson, Vancouver-based architect Spencer Purdy, and structural engineer Patrick Wallain, whose company Exhibau creates and stages events worldwide for clients such as Nike, BMW and TED.


Vanish Station is a pieve of art that shows the former railway station disappearing as one walks or drives past it.

Photo courtesy Spencer Purdy /

Calgary

Before studying architecture at the University of Southern California, Purdy lived in the Calgary area and for three years in the station now at Champion Park. In his youth, he also spent time in Standard during visits with his grandfather and from both experiences learned of the importance of the station as a hub for the village; sending off shared goods from farm and ranch, sending off young folks in search of a future, and bringing in coveted products not available locally.

Standard Mayor Alan Larsen says he remembers excitedly waiting at the railway station for his first bike — ordered from the Eaton’s catalogue — to arrive on the train.

Purdy wanted the new station to be of its current era while still referencing and honouring the design of the original station. The newly erected Vanish Station is built in a series of panels printed with the original 1909 elevations arranged at a 45-degree angle. The alignment of the panels offers two ever-changing views allowing visitors to experience the station and beyond — what stood and what vanished in one installation.

While this was being planned and designed with input from the village, Knowlton searched throughout Western Canada for a suitable caboose to sit on tracks by the station platform. He found the perfect equipment in Leader, Sask., that he purchased, had shipped to Standard and had refurbished and repainted as not only true CP rolling stock but a facility that can be used as a meeting place for village events, surrounded by picnic area, benches, shelters and landscaping along the 1.1-kilometre pathway.

In honouring the CP and Ted Knowlton, the family and townsfolk have provided a commemorative display that will be enjoyed both by locals and tourists. The hope and intent of the project is that people of all generations will be encouraged to visit Standard to learn from the past and enjoy the present at modern Vanish Station.

Gerald Knowlton still has a passion for railroads and has enjoyed many train rides all over the world, but the CP is in his blood and he’s excited to show off his salute to its history in Alberta.

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Lakefield Jazz, Art & Craft Festival and Ennismore Shamrock Festival return to Selwyn Township in July – kawarthaNOW.com

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Lakefield Jazz, Art & Craft Festival logo

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Lakefield Jazz, Art & Craft Festival and the Ennismore Shamrock Festival are returning to Selwyn Township on the second weekend of July.

The Lakefield Jazz, Art & Craft Festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 9th at Isabel Morris Park on the Otonabee River in Lakefield and features live music, more than 25 artisan vendors, and food and drink.

The live music line-up includes Marsala Lukianchuk (noon), Barry Elmes Quintet (1:50 p.m.), Heather Bambrick Jazz Quintet (3:40 p.m.), Jozef Botos “Trio B” featuring Daniel and Frank Botos (5:30 p.m.), Alan Black and the Steady Band with guests Bridget Foley, Sian Wilson, and Rob Phillips (7:10 p.m.), Max Mouse and the Gorillas (8:20 p.m.), and Logan Murray and the Spoon Lickers (9:30 p.m.).

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Artisan vendors include Beadjools, Cutting Edge Greetings, Dunn Reim, Dwyer Art Studio, Elizabeth Popham Fine Art, Flytja, Goldfinch Glass, Hank’s Handiworks, Hard Rain Creations, Heart of Joy, Jackson’s Body Essentials, Jane Hall, Kawartha Arts Network, KGregg Visual Artist, Knitted & Twisted, Lakefield Art Group, LB Quilting & Embroidery, Leslee Waterston, Mary Derrick Art, Rude Awakening Granola, Seasons & Occasions, Sew Lynda, Sue Flanagan Creates, The Old Country Fence, Unique Wood Creations, Water colours by Dwayne, and Woodworks by Chris.

Food vendors include Cheeky Duck (wood-fired pizza), The Lakefield Pantry (savoury and sweet treats including ice cream), Kitchen Farmecy (smoked BBQ), and Hanoi House (Vietnamese cuisine and salads). Publican House Brewery will supply craft beer and wine, coolers, and local cider will also be available, along with iced coffee, limeade, and water.

Admission is $10 (free for children 12 and under). For more information, visit www.lakefieldjazzfest.ca.

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The Ennismore Shamrock Festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 10th at the Robert E Young Recreation Complex at 55 Ennis Road in Ennismore, featuring a variety of vendors and activities for all ages. This year’s festival is a one-day event, with the truck and tractor pull returning next year.

Along with Ennismore Optimist rookie ball, ball hockey, and soccer tournaments, there will be children’s activities including bouncy castles, ice cream sundae making, a petting zoo, face painting, a dunk tank, and more, an all-day BBQ (peameal bacon on a bun, burgers, hot dogs, and drinks), and booths for local organizations. The Cottage Country Craft Show featuring more than 80 vendors also is taking place indoors at the community centre.

Admission is free for all activities, other than admission to the craft show which costs $2 (free for children under 12). For more information including a full schedule of events, visit www.ennismoreshamrockfestival.ca.

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New James Bay wall art helps tell story of BC Black pioneers – Victoria News – Victoria News

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A recently unveiled piece of wall art is helping to tell the story and history of B.C.’s Black pioneers.

The project is the work of the British Columbia Black History Awareness Society and will now be on permanent display at the James Bay branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library after being unveiled June 11.

“It makes me happy to know that the Greater Victoria Public Library is making history by giving this exhibit a permanent home, where the history of B.C. Black pioneers in this province will be more accessible to everyone who visits this library,” said Silvia Mangue Alene, president of the B.C. Black History Awareness Society in a release.

The wall art connects with the digital exhibit BC Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character Influenced the Vision of Canada, which features 20 stories, nine videos, and 86 gallery items including photos, maps, and archival documents.

The exhibit helps round out the picture of Canada by showing how this group of about 800 invited settlers contributed to the richness of the developing society in the west and were an integral part of its early formation.

READ MORE: Saanich budget talks include contribution to flourishing library service


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

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Artist sculpts ecosystems in live-edge wood for Oak Bay art walk – Victoria News

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A board from a Douglas fir edged in thick bark stands strong, bolted to a concrete base on Cadboro Bay Road, bolstered by three similar planks from three other species of trees.

Extra thick bark protects them from the fire that helps refresh the area around that stand of trees, explains artist Andrea Fritz. Her vision of wildfire etches up the plank highlighting its place in the ecosystem.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay piano brings generations together before the music even begins

Fritz, a Coast Salish artist and author from the Lyackson First Nation of the Hul’qumi’num-speaking peoples on the west coast of Canada, strives to express her people’s history and everyone’s future with her art. That art primarily features natural events, animals, plants and habitat.

Natural Connections was her response to this year’s Oak Bay Arts Alive sculpture walk submission theme of kinship. Her mind immediately leaped to “connection” and the live-edge wood she’d just started working with.

Painted and carved on sustainably sourced wooden boards, it shows how plants and animals connect to each other and the environment. Each of the four planks represents its own ecosystem Douglas fir, Garry oak, Pacific yew and maple. Each is found on the west coast and each is threatened in different ways, she said.

Natural Connections, near Estevan Avenue and Cadboro Bay Road, is one of six works in this year’s Arts Alive sculpture walk. Each piece is on loan by the artist, and this year all are up for sale.

READ ALSO: Kinship connects 6 sculptures that make up Oak Bay Arts Alive

Oak Bay officially unveils the Arts Alive Sculpture Walk on Aug. 11, with maps potentially available as early as mid-July for self-guided walking tours. Following tradition, viewers can also vote online for their favourite sculpture – named Peoples’ Choice at season’s end. Full project details including a downloadable map featuring the locations of the artworks, sponsors, and voting information will be available online at oakbay.ca/parks-recreation/arts-culture/artsalive. The temporary public art exhibition was created by Oak Bay’s inaugural arts laureate Barbara Adams to build a legacy of permanent public art. Oak Bay now boasts 13 permanent sculptures, one mural and a series of painted pianos that go out each summer for the public to play.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

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Artist Andrea Fritz explains Natural Connection – and how the four panels of wood each representing its own ecosystem – to a passerby during installation of the artwork on Cadboro Bay Road. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Artist Andrea Fritz explains Natural Connection – and how the four panels of wood each representing its own ecosystem – to a passerby during installation of the artwork on Cadboro Bay Road. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

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