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It had been at least 35 years since I visited Gimli. The town had grown quite a bit and its reputation as an ethnic travel destination is now firmly established — a bit of Iceland in central Canada.
Gimli has an active summer-time harbor, used by local sailing and boating enthusiasts and commercial fisherman (who harvest Lake Winnipeg’s bountiful walleye, goldeye and whitefish, among other species). To protect the harbor from strong winds and tall waves, a six foot high concrete sea wall was constructed that extends almost 1000 feet from shore.
The seawall was an ugly grey slab so in 1977 the Gimli Art Club decided to transform it. Local artists donated thousands of hours to create scenes about the life and …
LaCombe is a small town of around 13,000 residents in central Alberta, between Calgary and Edmonton. It has a charming historic core and an interesting collection of street murals.
Lacombe is named after Father Albert Lacombe (1827–1916), a Catholic missionary who served as peacemaker between the Cree and Blackfoot tribes and facilitated the Canadian Pacific Railway construction of Canada’s transcontinental railway.
LaCombe’s mural program is unusual in that the murals are located BEHIND the buildings, often in alleyways or facing rear parking lots, and are hard to see from main roads. You really need to look for them, but I found them worth seeing. The murals feature historic scenes from the city’s past and incorporate the building’s design into the mural itself.
The Canadian province of Saskatchewan and its city of Moose Jaw are hardly on most tourist maps (though I recall as a kid I thought it very cool that a city was named after an animal’s mandible). As with many things in life, when you scratch the surface you’ll find something interesting underneath.
So it was this past summer when I was driving between Calgary and Winnipeg. Having passed through Moose Jaw many times through the years, without stopping for more than gas, I though I’d head into the city and look around for a few hours. It was an enjoyable break from the day’s driving.
The city has an interesting array of large outdoor murals depicting its history and development …