TRAG partners with Tumbler Ridge artists

Charles Helm


In September members of the Tumbler Ridge Aspiring Geopark Society (TRAG) head for Stonehammer, New Brunswick, to attend the international conference of the Global Geoparks Network, supported by UNESCO. On September 22nd we will hear if our proposal to become the second Global Geopark in North America, and the first in the West, will be successful or not.

In the meantime, it is time to consolidate what we offer our residents and visitors. The tyrannosaur trackway announcement is huge and its timing is fortuitous. The completion of the TR Trail project with its geological interpretive panels and detailed brochure offer another exciting activity, and recently the Quality Falls trail interpretation was upgraded, with a number of interpretive panels installed near the falls, and improved trailhead signage. Furthermore, information on the proposed Geopark is being presented to all Emperor’s Challenge participants, and we are looking at a partnership with BC Parks so as to enhance the visitor experience at Kinuseo Falls.

Another way in which we can define what we are as a Geopark is through the development of partnerships with local groups and entrepreneurs. In this regard Tumbler Ridge is fortunate in having a vibrant community of artists, with whom we regularly partner on projects. Joan Zimmer’s murals on the outside of the Community Centre, Visitor Centre and RCMP Office, and Rita Henderson’s murals on our First Nations history that grace the Dinosaur Discovery Gallery and the inside of the Community Centre ensure that the message gets through that Tumbler Ridge is a special place with remarkable geology and history which we treasure. Darcy Jackson’s waterfall paintings that adorn the reception area in the Doctors’ Office form another outstanding example.

This theme just became a lot more powerful during the annual pool shut-down. Darcy Jackson used this time constructively to further embellish the walls of this excellent facility with her paintings of local waterfalls and lakes: Kinuseo, Quality, Bergeron, Gwillim are all there, enhancing the geological and recreational theme and cementing Tumbler Ridge’s image in the minds of those who enjoy our pool facility.

The mural of Bergeron Falls at the pool shower area is a work of inspiration and genius. Darcy has used the amphitheatre that surrounds the falls to create the feeling of a shower cubicle, with the high, narrow waterfall mimicking the shower jet. And further exciting news is that Darcy, Lydia Hibbing and Jennifer Stacey are teaming up with works of art that celebrate why Tumbler Ridge is such a unique place worthy of celebration, and will be exhibiting this here in town and in diverse locations across the Peace Region. We can all await this with great anticipation, knowing the diverse talents and widely different styles of this great TR team of artists.

This is one example of how partnerships that form through the Geopark initiative can enhance and help diversify our community and region. Hopefully many more will follow as the Geopark concept takes hold.