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Wheeler House tribute

A Canmore filmmaker’s tribute to one of Banff’s historic homes will join the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival lineup this weekend.

A Canmore filmmaker’s tribute to one of Banff’s historic homes will join the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival lineup this weekend.

The five-minute-long A Tribute to Claremount, produced and directed by Canmore filmmaker Glen Crawford, honours the Wheeler House (also known as Claremount House) – built in 1920 at the base of Sulphur Mountain by Arthur Oliver Wheeler, founding president of the Alpine Club of Canada.

Parks Canada demolished the Craftsmen-style bungalow in January of this year given its poor state. The house was declared a public safety hazard because it sat in a wildlife corridor.

Last summer, before the house was demolished, a group of artists, including singer-songwriter Cori Brewster, working in a broad range of mediums and organized by Canmore painter Donna Jo Massie, gathered at the house to document its history.

Crawford’s film, which stemmed from that project, combines images of the work created by the artists and historical footage filmed at the house, accompanied by a song by Brewster.

Even though the house is gone, its legacy will continue through the work of a foundation established by Wheeler’s great-granddaughter, Jenny Crompton and her husband, Dave.

“We originally set up the foundation for the house and then when the house was torn down it didn’t have a purpose. (We) thought it would have been a great place for artists to go and if that didn’t work, what we would do?” Crompton said.

“We decided to buy the artwork from the artists to reproduce and use it in some form to sell and the proceeds would go to awards for some type of art from the Bow Valley.

“It is just a really nice continuation of the tribute organized by Donna Jo.”

Also, the exhibition, which was first held in October, will be go on display Jan. 14, 2012 for one night only at the Edge Gallery in Canmore.

“The show itself is almost like performance art. You have to have the song, the visual, the historical footage that Glen edited, and the show,” Massie said.

“It is so pertinent to the people who live here, who we’ve all heard about and read about. There’s Conrad Kain, you can see the alpine club camp, and you can see the people gathered around. It is amazing moving picture footage.”

Crawford’s A Tribute to Claremount will join the 57-minute film Chasing the Light, which features a group of artists who come together to find inspiration in a place; in this case the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

The screening will be held in the Rolston Recital Hall on Saturday (Nov. 5) at 9:15 p.m. Tickets are $10.

The Alpine Club of Canada will be selling A Tribute to Claremount on DVD at its booth during the festival with proceeds going to the Wheeler Foundation.

“I think it is really exciting and I think that even though the house is gone it is a wonderful legacy,” Massie said.


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