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list price: $34.95
also available: Hardcover eBook
category: History
published: Apr 2021
publisher: UBC Press


Visual Culture at the Banff School of Fine Arts

by PearlAnn Reichwein & Karen Wall

tagged: post-confederation (1867-), canadian, contemporary (1945-), environmental & land art, non-classifiable

In 1933, the Banff School opened in the stunning surroundings of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. From its beginnings offering a single drama course, it has since grown into the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, a renowned cultural destination. Uplift traces its first four decades as it generated ideals of culture and liberal democratic citizenship intrinsic to the development of modern Canada. In an era of unstable cultural policy and state support, Uplift draws welcome attention to the continued place of the arts, culture, and the humanities in public education and a life well lived.

About the Authors

PearlAnn Reichwein

Karen Wall

Contributor Notes

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.

Editorial Reviews

This is a thoughtful, at times entertaining book which provides a valuable lens through which to view no just the history of the Banff Centre but also the complex and vital relationships between culture, education, and the state.

— Alberta Views

Uplift reflects Reichwein’s expertise in social and environmental history and Wall’s expertise in communication, public art, and memory. They build the Banff School for readers and illustrate how attitudes around nature and Canadian identity prevalent in the 1920s were formalized and regionalized in the 1950s.


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.

— Journal of the Austrian Association for American Studies

Uplift is an impressive work of scholarship and will be of great value for academics in various fields.

— The Canadian Historical Review

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