- Our Town
Celebrating 100 years of Mount Revelstoke National Park
Mount Revelstoke National Park was founded 100 years ago, on April 28, 1914, the result of a community effort to protect the beautiful summit area. While it may not hold quite the same allure to residents as it once did, many people still came out in the pouring rain for the centennial anniversary celebration on Saturday, Apr. 26.
“More than a century ago, the citizens of Revelstoke thought it would be a good idea to make Mount Revelstoke a national park. And they were right," said Mayor David Raven. "They recognised the beauty of its subalpine meadows, lakes and flowers as an important tourism destination and worked to welcome the world as they began construction on the road to the summit and lobbied the government for a national park. It is remarkable that the community had the vision to see the benefits of protecting this area for all generations and creating the world-class attraction that we all enjoy today.”
Jacolyn Daniluck of Parks Canada hosted the ceremony. It was attended by a number of dignitaries, including First Nations chiefs, local ski jumpers, and the ancestors of Fred Maunder — the park's first superintendent. They also had a few locals dress up as figures from the park’s past to speak about the history of the park.
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Gordon Mason played the part of Nels Nelsen and spoke of his ski jumping triumphs on the Big Hill. Eve Northmore played Eva Hobbs, the school teacher who discovered Eva Lake while camping at the summit area in the summer of 1910. Graham Harper gave his best impression of British aristocracy in the role of the Prince of Wales, who visited the park in September 1919. At the summit, the prince unveiled a plaque dedicating the park "for the benefit advantage and enjoyment of the people of Canada," then walked down the Lindmark Trail back to town, where he took in a movie at the Rex Theatre.
Nicholas Irving, the new superintendent of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park was also on hand to read out words from MP Leona Aglukkaq, the minister in charge of Parks Canada.
The day also marked the opening of a new exhibit about the park at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives.
“The community of Revelstoke has a more than 100-year love affair with Mount Revelstoke National Park as the Revelstoke Museum and Archives can attest from the many photos, archives and stories we have gathered and stored," said Cathy English, the museum’s curator. "On Mount Revelstoke, the community has welcomed royalty, hosted the silver screen, set world records in ski jumping, painted and photographed its views, explored its many wonders and held weddings. We are blessed to have such a beautiful place in our back yard.”