The Banff School opened its doors in 1933 by offering a summer drama course. Since then, it has grown into a renowned cultural destination, today known as the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
As PearlAnn Reichwein and Karen Wall recount in this engaging history, over its first four decades the school produced and circulated ideals of culture and liberal democratic citizenship that were intrinsic to the development of modern Canada. Uplift traces the role of the school in shaping arts and cultural education, as reflected in its array of artistic, political, economic, and ideological interests. Situated within Banff National Park, the school and its surroundings combined stunning natural scenery and cultural capital in a symbolic national landscape.
In an era of unstable cultural policy and funding, Uplift draws welcome attention to the place of fine arts, culture, and the humanities in public education and in Canada’s history.
Introduction: Artists, Tourists, and Citizens
1 Uplifting the People: Extension Education and the Arts
2 Branding Banff: Arts Education, Tourism, and Nation Building
3 Building a “Campus in the Clouds”: Space, Design, Modernity
4 “Wholesome, Understandable Pictures”: Practices of Landscape Painting and Production of Landscapes
5 Presence and Portrait: Indigeneity in the Park
6 “Leading Artists of the World”: Teachers as Tourist Attractions and Pedagogues
7 “Some Paint, Some Tan”: Students Coming to the Mountains
Conclusion: The Arts, Nature, and Democracy
Notes; Bibliography; Index
PearlAnn Reichwein is a professor of history at the University of Alberta. She is the author of the award-winning Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906–1974 and co-editor with Karen Fox of Mountain Diaries: The Alpine Adventures of Margaret Fleming, 1929–1980. Both titles were Banff Mountain Book Festival finalists. She is a founding member of the Canadian Mountain Network and an advocate for parks, heritage, and UNESCO sites.
Karen Wall is a professor of communication, media, and heritage studies at Athabasca University and teaches in the Heritage Resource Management Program. She is the author of Game Plan: A Social History of Sport in Alberta, as well as numerous articles about Edmonton and Alberta heritage and arts, tourism, Indigenous issues, and cultural landscapes.
Uplift is an impressive work of scholarship and will be of great value for academics in various fields.
~Catherine Annau, The Canadian Historical Review
Uplift is the first history of the Banff School of Fine Arts. The historical narrative presented therein is comprehensive and investigative ... Pearl Ann Reichwein and Karen Wall adroitly weave together a wealth of primary source information to show how the Banff School was embedded in a complex network of interactions between national park tourism, art, adult extension education, and cultural policy.
~Danielle Raad, Yale University Art Gallery, Journal of the Austrian Association for American Studies