Deputy Swiss consul coming to Smithers for exhibit opening

The Deputy Consul from the Swiss Consulate Vancouver Hans-Peter Willi will be visiting Smithers on Friday, to celebrate the newest Culture Crawl location’s grand opening with the B.V. Museum.

The Deputy Consul from the Swiss Consulate Vancouver Hans-Peter Willi will be visiting Smithers on Friday, to celebrate the newest Culture Crawl location’s grand opening with the B.V. Museum.

Museum Director Fergus Tomlin was excited to note the crawl’s latest expansion which is showcasing the Swiss Consulate’s exhibition: Swiss Guides: Shaping Mountain Culture in Western Canada.

“The Swiss were instrumental in shaping mountain culture,” Tomlin said.

In the 1850s it began to be quite popular to climb a mountain as a recreational activity, particularly in the mountainous regions of Switzerland.

When the Grand Trunk Pacific railway began forging through the Rockies and into British Columbia, they decided to try and open up the tourism side of mountaineering as well.

With this in mind, they began bringing over Swiss guides to help with developing mountaineering and skiing throughout the region.

“That tradition of bringing Swiss guides still continues today,” Tomlin said. “They also introduced European standards of safety and rescue.”

Smithers, he said, was included and still has a rich Seiss presence today.

“It’s a great honour for the museum to have the Deputy Consul come to visit,” Tomlin said.

The official opening of the exhibit will be on July 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Oscar’s Source for Sports.