Caroline Heinrichs

Caroline Heinrichs

Sewing Smithers Into History

Smithereens, who don’t know a rotor cutter from a rail fence, will still be able to help construct the Smithers Centennial 2013 Quilt.

Smithereens, who don’t know a rotor cutter from a rail fence, will still be able to help construct the Smithers Centennial 2013 Quilt.

Next year is the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of Smithers and a number of events are under way to celebrate.

One such project is the creation of a one-of-a-kind commemorative quilt that will be presented to the town next summer.

Caroline Heinrichs is the project leader.

As many of the valley’s quilters are snowbirds and head south for the winter months, she felt it would be best to include other types of artists and the community at large.

“I wanted it to be a community project,” said Heinrichs. “How do you express a very traditional community, with the history that its got, encompassing forestry, mining, First Nations, the railroad and our fantastic opportunities for recreation? I mean, that’s really what spells Smithers.”

As such, she invited 10 artists to each work on separate blocks—for the centre portion of the quilt—which will highlight the unique history of Smithers.

Joanne Van Horn, Carol Burger, Charrine Naziel Lace, Tod Lace, Martha Wertz, Anne Havard, Linda Stringfellow, Perry Wath and Nicole Tessier are the other artists participating.

She is also inviting all Smithers residents to participate by donating fabric, clothing, doilies, pins, photos, menus, posters, tickets, pay stubs, minutes from meetings, ribbons, etc.

The project is a visible demonstration of reusing, reducing and recycling; combining elements of the past with those of the present.

All suggestions for donations are welcome.

While the final design is a carefully-guarded secret, donated items selected for the quilt are planned to be sewn into the “crazy quilting” area, which will make up the border of the quilt.

Gladys Atrill, chair of the Smithers Centennial 2013 Core Committee, is looking forward to the grand unveiling.

The quilt is expected to be completed and presented to the Town of Smithers before the annual trade show in 2013.

“It seems like a beautiful project,” said Atrill.

Atrill also hopes residents will take the opportunity to put a centennial flavour on events and activities they may have planned for next year.

“The centennial celebrations belong to everyone, and people are invited to create any events and invite others to share in it with them,” she said.

Other plans under development include a book on the history of Smithers, a history of hockey, a “then-and-now” street map and more.

Atrill said one big thing being discussed now is the Smithers 2013 Homecoming, August 2-10.

All current and former residents of Smithers are encouraged to participate in reunion festivities and entertainment during this time.

A homecoming meeting is scheduled for tonight, May 16, at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall for those who would like to take part in helping to organize the weeks events.

If you have something you would like to see added to the quilt, please call Caroline (Carli) Heinrichs at 250-846-5985.