Working on the trestles

Sheila Christensen, left, and Shannon Eberts from the Kelowna office of Stantec Consulting Ltd. tighten bolts on a trestle in the Myra Canyon during Stantec in the Community Week.

The Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society has new artwork as well as improved nuts and bolts, thanks to two community partners.

An official unveiling will be held in the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park canyon at 10 a.m. on Sunday for a collaborative art project completed by the Gallagher’s Canyon Art Society (GCAS). The public is invited to attend.

The trestle society ( commissioned the large painting for the storm shelter at trestle No. 11 to represent the Myra Canyon’s activities and landscape.

A scene drawn in pastel by Julia Hepburn was selected to be rendered as an acrylic 1.5-by-three-metre diptych.

GCAS art instructor Tina Siddiqui was the art adviser for the project. Tom Cooper, Greg Reese and Richard Laine professionally photographed the proceedings while Colleen Linttell was the project manager. Thirteen GCAS artists donated their time and talents, noted trestle society president Denis Davis. MCTRS paid for supplies, and was responsible for the delivery and installation of the art.

In August, the original was installed in the new Tourism Kelowna Visitor Centre. A digital reproduction was produced for the storm shelter.

“The Gallagher’s Canyon arts group really did a wonderful job of depicting Myra Canyon in all four seasons,” said Davis.

In a second project, the Stantec Consulting Ltd. office in Kelowna chose the trestle society for its 2019 corporate volunteer day on Sept. 24, two bolt-tightening sessions.

Stantec in the Community is an annual global event in September where Stantec sends its employees out into the community to volunteer. Up to 22,000 employees from more than 400 offices participate worldwide.

Vern Merwin and Davis from the trestle society acted as the supervisors for the 17 Stantec volunteers who came equipped with a first-aid kit, safety goggles, safety vests, stop signs and three-quarter-inch wrenches.

“Vern rounded up enough wrenches for the volunteers to use as well,” said Denis.

“The first group of volunteers showed up at the Ruth Station gate at 10 a.m. and worked until transported back to the gate at noon. The second group showed up at 1 p.m. and was returned to the Ruth Station gate by 3 p.m.

All the bolts were tightened on trestles 1 and 2 by the first group, and on trestles 3 and 4 by the second group. All missing bolts were replaced and all bolts snugged up.

The trestle society still has thousands of bolts to snug up on the other trestles, he noted. “And it would be nice to get another day in this fall using our own volunteer list. Time will tell if the weather will cooperate.”

One of the Stantec employees was added to the trestle society’s volunteer list, he said, adding: “We remain hopeful that Stantec will be interested in a repeat performance in September 2020.”