Robert Maraun works on the Flying Without Wings sculpture that will be part of the new Tournament of Champions Winners Circle plaza at the entrance to the trail up Mount Revelstoke.

New Track St. gateway to Mt. Revelstoke National Park taking shape

Tournament of Champions "Winners Circle" to be located behind Railway Museum.



If you’ve been over by the Railway Museum lately, or decided to head for a trip up Mount Revelstoke, you may have noticed a flurry of construction at the Track Street entrace to Mount Revelstoke National Park.

The work is for the new gateway being built that will mark the start of the trail. Dubbed the Tournament of Champions “Winner’s Circle”, the gateway is being constructed through a collaboration between the City of Revelstoke and Parks Canada.

The gateway, which was conceived by Parks Canada artist Rob Buchanan, is designed to celebrate Revelstoke’s ski jumping history. Read his full artist statement below.

The gateway is not scheduled to be officially opened until next year, when interpretative panels are installed at the site. In the meantime, you can see pictures of the construction of the gateway in the slideshow above.

Artist Statement

Working title:

Tournament of Champions

“Winner’s Circle”

Design: Rob Buchanan

“What good is a town without a ski jump?”

World Champion Revelstoke ski jumper Nels Nelsen, 1915

Location: Pedestrian and Cycle access road to Mount Revelstoke National Park from Track Street (across from the Railway Museum entrance).

Background: Revelstoke is home to Canada’s only world ski-jump records and is the original home of Canada’s oldest continually operating ski club. The rich heritage of ski-jumping in Revelstoke is worthy of a prominent place in Canadian and international ski history.

One of Revelstoke’s most colourful athletes, world-champion ski jumper Nels Nelsen sprang to fame on “Suicide Hill” (today called The Nels Nelsen Historic Ski Jump) in Mount Revelstoke National Park. He set four world records in the park in 1920, 1921, 1923, and 1925. Locals flew off the A-Jump (the larger of two jumps) even when it intimidated international competitors. In the 1920’s, women were also jumping competitively on the ‘Big Hill’. In 1950, the first of many Tournament of Champions was held in Revelstoke. Over the next 24 years this event would attract thousands of spectators and international competitors from as far away as Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Italy, USA, Austria, Switzerland and Japan.

The Project: The design for the Tournament of Champions “Winner’s Circle” introduces and celebrates Revelstoke’s rich history with international ski-jumping. A semi-circle has been excavated from the deactivated original road-bed leading to the jump site. The walls of the circle are made from local stacked rock to mirror the historic construction of the A and B jump at the Nels Nelsen Historic Ski Jump. Red cobblestones provide the surface treatment for the “Winner’s Circle” and create a consistent look that links with the cobblestone elements of nearby Grizzly Plaza. Ten colourful flags, representing the ten countries that sent skiers to participate in the Tournament of Champions, flank the upper perimeter of the circle and are clearly visible from the Railway Museum and Victoria Road. These flags act as a lure to the site and connect our town with international visitors. Below each pole a small interpretive panel tells a short colourful history of the competitors from each respective flag. Two larger interpretive panels within the cobblestone circle (consistent in design with the new interpretive panels on Revelstoke’s Heritage Trail along the Greenbelt) introduce stories of the Tournament of Champions. A final interpretive panel at the top of the stairs provides Mount Revelstoke orientation information.

At the centre of the semi-circle, a large shiny chrome sculpture on a rock plinth acts as centre-piece and a lure to the site. Simple in form, the sculpture is based on defying gravity through balance – a metaphor for ski-jumping. The piece is ambiguous: it is a ski jump, it is the trajectory of flight, it is the two skis and imagined presence of a competitor, it is a trophy, a three-dimensional representation of the balance required to “fly without wings”. The base for the sculpture has exposed geometric truss-work, a zig-zagging feature that represents the up-track competitors had to climb before they could don their skis and launch off the jump. Wrapping around the “Winner’s Circle” is a bike path that also serves as a wheelchair accessible route to the top of the site. Stairs from within the circle enable casual walkers and hikers to gain the upper level.

The Tournament of Champions “Winner’s Circle” functions as a gateway to both a story – the colourful history of ski jumping in Revelstoke – and a place – Mount Revelstoke National Park and the Nels Nelsen Historic Ski Jump. The site will link visitors and locals to this internationally significant event where records were smashed and daring ski-jumpers defied gravity by “Flying Without Wings”.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

COVID-19 motivates Revelstoke couple to start farming

Owners say First Light Farm will strengthen local food production

New Mount Revelstoke National Park campground opening July 15

It’s the first campground built in a mountain national park in over half a century

Milestone RCMP Cops For Kids fundraiser ride going virtual

You can join and help RCMP raise funds for families and possibly win 20th anniversary cycling shirt

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Kamloops man pleads guilty in vehicle-ramming incident that injured a Mountie

Adam Hibbert was arrested following a collision during a police pursuit on May 26, 2019

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read