Banff National Park, Alberta
The Whyte Museum of Banff is the envy of many other businesses in town for its location alone. You find when you are walking around inside that you spend an equal amount of time admiring the snow covered trees that surround the well lit building. The Canadian Rockies has a great and unique history and one that everyone should learn at least a little about. As is usual with museums, a great feeling of relaxation and welcoming helps you inside the door. Your culture meter goes up ten fold as soon as you enter and there is no disappointment with what you find inside.
The opening gallery is spacious and huge with lots of room to walk around and admire the paintings and exhibitions of Takao Tanabe in your own time. The theme of the famous water colours is predictably the Canadian Rockies Mountains themselves and for any art loving visitor, seeing these paintings is a must. The room is currently particularly quiet in preparation for a ‘Whyte Christmas’ which is a family afternoon on December 12th where tons of families with kids come in to enjoy a visit with Santa and all the festivities that come with it.
The next exhibition is a dedication to the Luxton family who had so much to do with the founding of Banff. There is a room about the ladies fashions of the day with fancy dresses and hats. How the ladies in Banff didn’t freeze to death back then I’ll never know. The adjacent room is filled with Norman Luxtons collection of artifacts, animals that he stuffed himself and some great stories from his early years in Banff. It really gives a great idea of how things were before tourism really kicked off in the Canadian Rockies.
There is a room dedicated to the Bow Valley residents who have participated in the Winter Olympics. The room is adorned with all kind of decorations from Olympians. Their stories line the wall about success and even better some great stories about how succeeding isn’t everything. There is a DVD playing stories on loop about the success Canadian athletes have had. Downstairs in the Whyte Museum is where you can pick up a few unique gifts to take away from the Rockies with memories of Banff past and present always fresh in the mind.