Revelstoke author shares stories from the forest in new book and exhibit – The Golden Star

Revelstoke author Laura Stovel shares her newest project for the first time at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Center tonight (June 2) through an exhibit that explores the connections that foresters, biologists, foragers, Indigenous educators and knowledge keepers have with the forest throughout its seasons.

Stovel, a writer, historian, environmentalist and social activist, said the project was born out of COVID. She spent a lot of time alone in the bush thinking about her relationship with the forest because, like many at the time, she was cut off from any interaction with others. It was then that she began to notice things in nature that she had never noticed before.

It was during these unchaperoned walks in nature that the book, Stories from the Forest, was born.

“Wouldn’t it be an interesting book if we could teach people to read the forest,” Stovel said.

As a writer, Stovel was interested in bringing together forestry experts in the community. She collaborated with ethnobotanist Christie Shaw, foresters, educators, hunters, foragers, and most importantly, Indigenous storytellers from all four nations to share their unique stories. The themes of the stories range from good forestry practices, descriptions of how hunters interact with animals, stories from caribou specialists, ethnobotany, fish life, and valuable insights from Indigenous leaders and educators. .

To complement the tales, Stovel worked with artists Rob Buchanan and Claire Sieber to bring the visuals of the forest to life in the book and on display at the exhibition.

Stovel said there are many different perspectives on the value of the forest in the book. She wanted people to engage with each other and slow down when in the forest to pay attention to small details that one might normally miss.

A growing number of people in the province are heading out into the backcountry to explore nature. According to the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, local trails and parks have seen a 150% increase in trail use in recent years in some areas.

“I don’t know of a time when people explored more than they do now,” Stovel said.

“People are always looking for new places to go. Maybe they could slow down and have a quality experience with the places they go.

The forest surrounding Revelstoke is known as the Interior Temperate Rainforest, one of the few of its kind in the world, and is home to towering cedars between 500 and 1,000 years old according to the Valhalla Wilderness Society.

Following the local exhibition, Stovel said there is an opportunity to take the book on the road to other communities, and hopes to eventually take the book to schools with the storytellers to teach students about the forest. .

The exhibit will be on display in the main gallery of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Center from June 2-26, will feature exhibits from each book story alongside art by Buchanan and Sieber, and will give people the opportunity to purchase the book and talk to the author.

For more information on all Visual Arts Center exhibits, visit revelstokeartgallery.ca.


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Angela C. Hale