An avalanche destroyed part of this CPR snowshed at Laurie slide path just west of Glacier National Park

Revelstoke Museum to create major exhibit Land of Thundering Snow

The Revelstoke Museum & Archives will create a virtual exhibit on the history of Canadian snow research and avalanche safety

The Revelstoke Museum & Archives is embarking on a two-year project to create a virtual exhibit on the history of Canadian snow research and avalanche safety.

The exhibit, to be named Land of Thundering Snow, will be launched on the Canadian Heritage Information Network’s Virtual Museum website in the summer of 2014.

“Our immediate goal will be to present this history in a dynamic website,” said Revelstoke Museum curator Cathy English. “In the longer term, we want to ensure that Canada’s professional avalanche heritage is preserved and presented to Canadians and the world.”

Project manager Hayley Johnson confirmed that project has received $237,000 in funding from the Canadian Heritage Information Network, and will be a significant undertaking for the Revelstoke Museum. “It’s fantastic,” Johnson said. “It’s a pretty extensive project.”

“A virtual exhibit is an exhibit that people can access via the Internet,” English said in a statement. “Like all museum exhibits it is based on real objects – such as photographs, diaries, newspaper clippings, sound recordings, objects – that have stories to tell.”

In a statement, the Revelstoke Museum explained that the virtual exhibit, “will be a unique, comprehensive resource giving the user unprecedented ‘behind the scenes’ access to material not generally accessible to the public. It will feature the latest information on avalanche science and safety; avalanche control; the anatomy of an avalanche; staying safe in avalanche country; and the ecology of avalanches.”

In order to tell their story, the Revelstoke Museum needs your help. They’re asking anyone with stories, photographs, journals or important objects such as avalanche research or safety equipment to contact the museum.

Although there will of course be a local focus due to Revelstoke’s unique geographic location at the centre of avalanche science history and ongoing research, the exhibit “will be vast in terms of time and space.”

“For example, very few people realize that serious avalanche studies started in Canada as early as 1885 with the construction the Canadian Pacific Railway through Rogers Pass, or that there are records of a snow avalanche destroying a First Nations village near Nain, Newfoundland in 1782,” the Revelstoke Museum said in a statement.

The exhibit will contain educational components for both teachers and students.

Major partners in the Land of Thundering Snow project include the Canadian Avalanche Centre, the Revelstoke Railway Museum, Okanagan College, and Parks Canada.

Several team leaders have been selected. Hayley Johnson is the project manager. John Woods will serve as lead researcher and writer. Tomo Fujimura will be researcher. Kendra Von Bremen will work on the education component and Kathryn Whiteside will do web design.

For more information please contact Cathy English, Curator, Revelstoke Museum & Archives at 250-837-3067 or



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