It was a day of ceremony in Revelstoke, with the Tournament of Champions’ Winners’ Circle and the Mark Kingsbury Bridge, given their official openings on Tuesday.
Both works have been open for several months, so the day was one of formal speeches and photo opportunities.
First up was the Winners Circle, which serves as a gateway to Mt. Revelstoke National Park. The installation features a metal replica of local Olympic ski jumper Al McInnes’ skis surrounded by the flags of the countries that took part in the Tournament of Champions.
“Looking at some of the names on these charts you can trace Revelstoke’s history back to our roots,” said Mayor David Raven at the opening.
The tournament took place iN Revelstoke from 1949 to 1974 and attracted skiers from Canada, the United States, Norway, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Japan. The installation was designed by Parks Canada artist Rob Buchanan.
The opening was attended by representatives from the City of Revelstoke, Parks Canada, the Canadian Avalanche Centre, the Revelstoke Museum and brothers Al and John McInnes, who competed in and organized the annual tournaments.
Karen Tierney, the superintendent of Mt. Revelstoke National Park, said the gateway was a tribute to the adventurous spirit of the ski jumpers of the past, as well as the explorers of the present who make use of the park.
Mayor David Raven and Marion Kingsbury, wife of Mark Kingsbury, open the Mark Kingsbury bridge. Photo by Alex Cooper/Revelstoke Times Review
The next ceremony was for the Marks Kingsbury Bridge, with members of the Kingsbury family present. Mark Kingsbury was the president of CMH and the foundation set up in his honour provided some of the funding for the pedestrian bridge over the Illecillewaet River.
“Mark spent many days and hours here and we feel it is a part of our family,” said Kingsbury’s wife Marion.
Mayor David Raven thanked the province, Columbia Basin Trust, the Illecillewaet Greenbelt Society and the Mark Kingsbury Foundation for their work in getting the bridge built. He also provided special thanks to Revelstoke’s former director of engineer Brian Mallett, who died suddenly in May.
“This bridge is what happens when a community has a vision and works together on that vision,” said Raven.