Two Canmore themed exhibits at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff

Coal Mining Stalwarts: Photographs by Lawrence Chrismas

Kathleen Daly and the Canmore Coal Mines

There’s still time to take in two exhibitions at the Whyte Museum in Banff that have strong ties to Canmore and its history as a coal mining town. Kathleen Daly and the Canmore Coal Mines and Coal Mining Stalwarts: Photographs by Lawrence Chrismas come down on April 1, which leaves three short weeks to check them out.

Kathleen Daly (1898-1994) was a Canadian artist who studied art at the Ontario College of Art. While her husband George Douglas Pepper, a famous Canadian war artist, served overseas as a war artist during the Second World War, Daly journeyed to the Rocky Mountains to recover from polio. While here in the Bow Valley, she began sketching and painting the Canmore mines and the coal miners. The book Kathleen Daly, Canmore workings May 19-June 28, 1987 by Joanna Dutka and Kathleen Daly is an excellent resource.

Lawrence Chrismas, meanwhile, is a photographer, storyteller and mining historian based in Calgary. Chrismas happened to be in the Bow Valley when the Canmore mines closed in 1979 after nearly a century of operation. Intrigued by the story and curious how the closing of the mines would affect the miners, Chrismas asked an acquaintance, who knew a number of these men, if he could meet some of Canmore’s miners. From that Chrismas made a series of remarkable environmental portraits, while at the same time collecting their stories. He has since done this in every coal mining community across Canada. More information about Chrismas and his work can be found at: www.cambriapublishing.com

Both exhibits are beautiful reminder of a Canmore that once was.

More information on both exhibitions can be found on the Whyte Museum’s website at http://www.whyte.org/exhibitions/index.html

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About Rob Alexander

I am a writer, photographer and historian and the author of The History of Canmore, published by Summerthought Publishing of Banff, AB.
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One Response to Two Canmore themed exhibits at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff

  1. Yes, “Coal Mining Stalwarts: Photographs by Lawrence Chrismas” will run until April 1 and includes intriguing images and stories about the Canmore mines. Unfortunately, the “Kathleen Daly and the Canmore Coal Mines” exhibition is now finished. The exhibition came down earlier than expected to make room for the production of the Whyte Museum’s exciting new” Gateway to the Rockies” exhibition. Apologies.

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