Touchstone unveiling set for Festival of Eagles
By: Rob Alexander
| Posted: Thursday, Oct 04, 2012 12:23 pm
The days are growing shorter and cooler and the leaves are turning yellow and orange, sure signs that the eagles are on their way.
Every autumn, high over the Bow Valley, thousands of golden eagles migrate south, leaving northern climes behind for warmer weather in B.C., southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and as far south as the U.S. and Mexico.
And with the fall migration comes the Festival of Eagles, an annual one-day celebration scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 13) to celebrate both the golden eagle migration and the natural world.
This year’s event includes the unveiling of Touchstone, Canmore’s newest piece of public art, which will stand at Elevation Place Plaza. The nine-metre-tall Touchstone, designed by New Brunswick artist Peter Powning, will include three distinct sections, each honouring a specific portion of Canmore’s history, culture and ecology.
The work will feature a base of Rundle rock, followed by a cast bronze middle section of historical artifacts submitted by local residents and topped by a stainless-steel spire with silhouettes of flying birds, notably golden eagles and ravens.
According to Powning in a release from the Town of Canmore, “The intent of the sculpture is to produce an iconic sculpture of a scale that has impact from a distance, but which also provides an intimate experience up close. It honours Canmore’s history, natural environment, culture and identity.”
Touchstone will be unveiled on the Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
Prior to the unveiling, Lou Kamenka, who owns the quarry that supplied Powning with Rundle rock, will tell The Story of Rundle Rock with a tour of his quarry at 1 p.m. The tour is free, but pre-registration is required.
Powning will host a presentation that evening – Nature Inspires Art – in the Civic Centre atrium at 5 p.m. He will share his thoughts about the role nature plays in his work and how he conceived and produced Touchstone.
The Festival of Eagles begins Friday, Oct. 12 with a presentation by Eric and Sarah McNair-Landry titled Kite-Skiing the Northwest Passage: An 85-day expedition to retrace 3,300 km of history. Tickets are available at Café Books for $18 in advance or $20 at the door.
Saturday’s festivities at Elevation Place Plaza also include:
An eco-fair from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
Colin Weir and the live birds of the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
eagle viewing by spotting scope with Peter Sherrington also from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
bird walks with Cliff Hansen of Bow-Kan Birders at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. beginning at the North West Mounted Police barracks on Main Street. Pre-registration required;
and Goldilocks and the Three Bears: The Real Story, interpretive theatre by Alberta Parks, at the NWMP barracks at 1:30 p.m.
Finally, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta, is hosting a Rock and Fossil Clinic at the Canmore Museum and Geoscience Centre from 10 a.m to 3 p.m.
As part of the clinic, the museum is hosting kids activities, rock and fossil identification and three presentations on landslides: History of Frank Slide and Current Monitoring of Turtle Mountain with Corey Froese at 11 a.m.; Socioeconomic Impacts of Landslides in Western Canada with Richard Guthrie at noon and 2010 Mount Meager Slide, B.C. with Derek Cronmiller at 1 p.m.
All three presentations, each of which will be 45 minutes long, will be held in the Civic Centre council chambers.
Brent MacDonald, earth sciences co-ordinator at the museum and geoscience centre, said landslides have made the news over the past few years, including in this region earlier in the summer.
“Probably anybody who got blocked on the highway this summer was probably wondering why these phenomena happen. That is the connection I was trying to make,” MacDonald said, referring to the July 20 mudslide that blocked the Trans-Canada Highway west of Banff.
“(The topics) will hopefully spark an interest in people when they understand why they happen, especially for transportation challenges, but also with population pressure in our mountain regions,” MacDonald said of the three presentations.
The 2010 Mount Meager Slide, at an estimated 48.5 million cubic metres of material, remains Canada’s largest landslide in recorded history, even larger than the 1903 Frank Slide in the Crowsnest Pass or the 1965 Hope Slide.
MacDonald said all three presenters are well recognized in their field and, as a result, offer perspective on landslides, how often these events occur and why and the reasons for research.
“If we have people studying this, understanding it and looking at the processes and being able to map out runouts of these natural disasters while also looking at the geological record for landslides, if you’re developing industry or human settlement in areas where something has occurred before you’ll notice that or notice an unstable slope and be able to calculate how far it will run,” he said.
For more information or to register for the quarry tour, call 403-678-1878 or e-mail email@example.com