Heritage Preservation

On May 15, 2008 Banff Heritage Tourism, The Banff Heritage Corporation and the Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Association teamed up to honour eight outstanding organizations and individuals whose efforts bring to life the heritage values unique to Banff National Park.

Arctos & Bird was recognized for its "Restoration, Rehabilitation and Adaptative Reuse of a Heritage Building". The award was granted for the Old Crag Cabin, "a testament to the company's commitment to environmental and heritage conservation."

Heritage preservation can be straightforward, as was the case with the Old Crag Cabin. Or, it can be more subtle. The screen behind the bar in The Juniper’s restaurant is made of stacked, recycled timbers that echo the walls surrounding an ancient pit dwelling that once stood on the site.

Heritage preservation is about physical objects. It is also about places, their histories and their stories.

Within Arctos & Bird’s properties you’ll find a number of interesting physical objects:

  • Tiny fossils from the Triassic Period, captured in stone
  • Two ancient bison skulls, long buried under Bear Street
  • Juniper bushes that have thrived for over 400 years
  • Slate tiles that once graced the roof of the Banff Springs Hotel
  • Photos by Bruno Engler that tell of local mountaineering history

You’ll also discover other ties from past to present. Cave Avenue, for example, was once home to a vibrant group of artists including Runguis, Beil, de Grandmaison and Glyde: artists whose work was inspired both by Banff's mountain grandeur, and by proximity to each other.

Their art, and their community, inspired key aspects of Cave Avenue Homes. Glyde's work is reflected in the plane of the roofs, and Runguis' work provides the colour palette for the natural landscaping. The artist studios, extra-large north-facing windows, and gallery-style lighting in the large common space are further examples of their influence.

Banff is an artistic community. It is also an active community. A recent exhibit curated by Chic Scott, for the Bison Courtyard, told the story of Banff’s “Powder Pioneers”, the men and women who pioneered skiing in the Canadian Rockies.

If you are interested in experiencing some of Arctos & Bird’s rich heritage, we suggest you start with the interpretative programming and trail at The Juniper. Then move forward in time and visit the Old Crag Cabin.