Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Man on a Prairie Mission - Grain Elevator Awareness

A successful graphic artist, Jim Pearson has been designing beautiful Alberta and Saskatchewan grain elevator calendars since 2008.  He delivered a presentation at the Heritage Canada Conference in 2006 titled, Saving Traditional Wooden Elevators in an Electronic Age and he continuously presents his work in schools, museums and libraries.  Jim has spend nearly a decade raising awareness about Western Canada’s disappearing grain elevators.  In Alberta alone, there was once a total of 1500 wooden grain elevators and now, there are a maximum of 285 left standing. 

“Grain elevators were the sentinels of the Prairies.  Wherever you went, you could always find where you were.  They were a marker,” explains Jim. 

Jim’s passion stems from his home town of Delia, Alberta.  Delia lost their twin elevators in 2001; one to a devastating fire and the other was demolished.  Jim realized that these western prairie icons were quickly disappearing.

Jim has traveled across Western Canada, photographing and mapping as many elevators as possible, to bring attention and awareness to them.  His website, encourages communities to celebrate and protect these historic landmarks and offers information and photos of his collection. 

Jim would love to hear from anyone who has photos and stories of grain elevators, especially elevators built before 1911.  Please contact Jim via his website or by phoning 403-364-3925.

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