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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Banff Paradox: Everyone's Serene Getaway from Everyone Else

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The Banff Paradox:          Everyone's Serene Getaway from Everyone ElseGuest Writer Gemma Tarling, Summer Interpreter 2018 


A mere 9,658 people call Banff home, yet the popular tourist destination receives millions of visitors every year (Enns 2018). Since 1885, when the Canadian Government established the area as the Hot Springs Reserve, the township has been orchestrated with tourism in mind. Diverse marketing campaigns draw people from all backgrounds to this idyllic destination: for skiing, hiking, pristine views of the Canadian Rockies, or maybe to stay at the monumental Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. From the start, Banff has been sustained by its visitors, but how have modern advancements in technology changed the way that those visitors come to and interact with the parks?
Reflecting on my summer here drew to my attention the juxtaposition of the history of Banff I relate on tours and the current state of the town. The Banff I explain to visitors at the Museum is a quaint p…

Mary's Animals: A Selection of Fauna from the Canadian Rocky Mountains

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Mary's AnimalsA Selection of Fauna from the Canadian Rocky MountainsPart II 
Mary Schäffer Warren captured more than just the landscapes and botanical specimens of the Canadian Rockies in her images. She was also able to capture the life that lived and thrived in these mountains. The sheer diversity shown by Mary's photographs and lantern slides illustrates the ecological diversity of the Rocky Mountains. 
As previously stated in Part One, Mary's Flowers: A Selection of Flora from the Canadian Rocky Mountains, her attention to the detail of colour was accomplished through the laborious job of hand-colouring each picture and slide.  
We can imagine what it was like to be in her shoes, traversing through the Rocky Mountains and stumbling across a wide range of wildlife. Born and raised as an upper-class woman in Pennsylvania, she had a lot to experience and learn.

Want to find out more about Mary Schäffer Warren? You can pick up her book A Hunter of Peace,in our shop or online h…

The Work of Giants: Glaciology and Glacial Retreat in the Canadian Rockies

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The Work of GiantsGlaciology and Glacial Retreat in the Canadian RockiesGuest Writer Eden Luymes, Summer Interpreter 2018 



For centuries, glaciers have been hard at work. Like giant sculptors, ancient glaciers carved out entire valleys and chiseled towering mountains. They continue to supply lakes, rivers, and even distant oceans with water. They are ever changing; always moving and flowing. The only constant for these impressive giants is change. However, that change is becoming increasingly rapid, and increasingly permanent: our glaciers are retreating. 
The first people to study glaciers in the Canadian Rockies were the Vaux family. A Quaker family from Philadelphia, they first visited these mountains in the summer of 1887, and would make many return trips to the region. Mary, George, and William Vaux, all siblings, took an interest in these glaciers when William noticed unexpected changes between his photographs of the Illecillewaet Glacier-- then simply known as the "Great Gla…