About Meghan Krauss

Meghan Krauss is a practicing photographic artist who was born and raised in Prince Albert, SK. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Windsor, Windsor, ON (2012) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK (2005). www.meghankrauss.com
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Around Banff: Hogarth Lakes Trail

Our photography workstudy, Meghan Krauss, spends a lot of time taking beautiful pictures in and around Banff, so we thought we’d share some of her stories and images with you.

The Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe Trail is a 4.5km loop along flat terrain through dense forest in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and follows a route that includes great views of surrounding mountains from the shoreline of a series of frozen lakes. It’s a perfect trail for beginner snowshoe users, as avalanche gear is not a necessity. The trail starts at the Burstall day use area, which is about 41.5 km South of the Nordic Centre in Canmore along the Smith Dorrien/Spray Trail.

It was a weekend in early January that I headed out on the Hogarth Snowshoe Loop. There had been some fresh snowfall the week prior, so the snow was deep, which added to the quiet natural surroundings of the wooded trails.

After finishing the loop, we began the trip back to Banff. The Smith-Dorrien Spray Trail is a gravel-road that gives “backdoor” access to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and Spray Lakes Provincial Park, for ice fishing, skating, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and boating. The drive is long, but has its own great views, such as this one of Mount Nestor.

While driving down the Smith-Dorrien Spray Trail in Spray Lakes Provincial Park, we spotted something moving out on the frozen lake. Pulling into the nearby parking lot, it became obvious that it was a group out on a local dog-sled tour. Along with a couple of ice fishers, we watched as the groups finished up their excursion.

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On to Sochi, via Banff!

Last week, CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos helped host the Molson Canadian Block Party to send off Canadian athletes to the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

During the event, The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled its 2014 “lucky loonie”, a circulation coin designed by artist Emily S. Damstra that features the loon and the logo of the Canadian Olympic team, a maple leaf and the Olympic rings. Five million lucky loonies have been produced and will enter into circulation on Jan. 20. Those who attended the event in Banff were able to trade in an old loonie for a “lucky loonie” ahead of this release date.

The tradition of creating a lucky loonie began in 2002 at the Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, when a dollar coin was buried at centre ice on the rink where the Canadian men’s and women’s ice hockey teams would play ahead of the games. Both teams won gold that year.  Since then, the Mint has produced a lucky loonie for every Games as a symbolic good luck charm for Canada’s Olympic athletes.

The Canadian Olympic Committee has reached out and selected a moose as the official moose-cot… Errr, I mean… mascot for Canada’s Olympic team heading into the Sochi games in February. Meet Komak, posing with Banff Centre employee Trevor Duke.

The Arkells opened the Block Party, and during the performance, lead singer Max Kerman took off his leather jacket to reveal a Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey. The Arkells (Hamilton Tigercats) and The Sheepdogs (Saskatchewan Roughriders) had a bet on who would win the Grey Cup in 2013, and the losing band would wear the winning jersey the next time the two bands played together. Go Green!

Banff Avenue was shut down to traffic during the event, and about 30 Sochi Olympians mingled with the crowd.

Well-wishers were encouraged to sign a flag that will be displayed in Sochi’s Olympic Village, with plenty of comments like “go for gold” and “we’re behind you!” People signing the flag came from as far away as Poland and New Zealand. My personal contribution read “Good Luck from Banff!”

The Sheepdogs (who won Rolling Stone’s “choose the cover” competition in 2011) closed the event, delighting the crowd with an encore at the end of their set.

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Banff: In through the open door

Every summer, the town of Banff and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies host Doors Open Banff, which gives visitors a chance to peek inside heritage buildings throughout the town. All photos by Meghan Krauss.

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Serena Ryder’s stage presence

Postponed by the late June flood, our rescheduled annual Performance in the Park concert got onstage on September 21, with opener Danny Michel and co-headliners Adam Cohen and Serena Ryder. Set up on our temporary stage, which we moved down to the Parks Canada administration grounds for the show, PiP has become one of the most popular concerts on our calendar.

Performance in the Park is produced as a partnership between The Banff Centre, Parks Canada, and Banff Lake Louise Tourism. All photos by Meghan Krauss.

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Around Banff: seasonal art and culture

When I found myself between snowboarding and hiking seasons this month, I took in a few of the events for springstART, a three-week festival of art, culture, and local history that takes over Banff in April. I’ve always been fascinated with observing home interiors, so the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies heritage home tours was at the top of my list. I did three intimate tours, through rustic homes filled with relics of world travels and Banff paraphernalia: the home of philanthropists, world travellers, and visual artists Peter and Catharine Whyte, collectors and community leaders Philip and Pearl Moore, and the former home of Norman and Georgina Luxton.

I also visited the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum, where a tour guide explained the lives of the Stoney/Nakoda and other Treaty 7 First Nations people indigenous to the area. And fittingly, because ART is highlighted in the name of the festival, there were lots of galleries and art exhibitions to see, including at The Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery, the Whyte Museum, Canada House Gallery, Willock & Sax Gallery, and others, along with a public art installation launch took place in the alley behind Town Hall.

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Banff National Park Snow Days go beyond classic winter activities

Banff National Park’s Snow Days is a month-long festival exploring traditional winter activities such as roasting chestnuts and learning to skate, snowshoe, curl, cross-country ski, downhill ski, or snowboard.  The Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise offered world-class ice carving competitions, skating on the lake, sleigh rides, and tours of The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and area.  Avalanche safety demonstrations were held at Sunshine Village and The Lake Louise Ski area, while The Banff Centre presented our annual Avalanche Awareness Night, which aims to help make skiers and boarders more aware of the avalanche risks associated with backcountry and out-of-bounds travel.

Beyond the classic activities associated with a Canadian winter, there are always other activities to be enjoyed.  The Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery presented Drawn to Nature in the Banff Park National Historic Site, there were old time movies to be watched at the Banff Visitor Centre, and those who were interested could take part in photography workshops, or don a heritage bathing suit at Banff’s Upper Hot Springs.  The Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival also screened selections of some of the best short winter films from past festivals in the comfort of the Elk & Oarsman Restaurant & Pub.Topping off the festival, the Take it to the Street Tournament allowed onlookers and participants to celebrate in the quintessentially Canadian game of street hockey.

Below take a listen to podcast producer, Chris Wood’s recording of ice carving at Lake Louise’s annual international ice carving competition.


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