Jul 1, 2011 | Marmot, Summer 2011

Scott paints for VIMSEC

Comox Valley artist Brian Scott is throwing his support behind the Vancouver Island Mountain Sport and Education Centre (VIMSEC) in a colourful way: through his paintings.

Scott has created a series of oil paintings of winter and skiing scenes, based on his own experiences, and will sell them as prints and an art book collection called “Skiing on Vancouver Island” to raise funds for the ongoing operation of the Centre.

“I first started skiing here in 1961 with (Mount Washington Alpine Resort President) Peter Gibson. Herb Bradley taught me how to ski,” Scott said of the late Comox Valley snow sport icon, for who the Bradley Centre is named.

Scott and Gibson joined Bradley’s group, the Fanny Dunkers Ski Club, at a time when ski passes were just $20 a year, Scott said. His mother allowed him to skip church on Sundays so he could travel with the Fanny Dunkers to ski, hike or backpack the backcountry between Forbidden Plateau and Mount Washington, depending on the season.

Now, he is a cross-country skier who enjoys hitting the trails near Raven Lodge. Scott said he also appreciates the business that comes his way from people who visit the Resort and buy his artwork.

Scott spent the past six months creating 40 oil paintings of various scenes from his skiing childhood. The first painting in the book depicts Mount Becher Lodge, which holds warm childhood memories for many people who skied the area before Mount Washington Alpine Resort was built in 1978-79.

People would hike up to the lodge near the summit of Mt. Becher in the southeast corner of Strathcona Provincial Park, wearing skis covered with skins for traction then remove the skins to ski. They would stay at the lodge.

The lodge is gone now, and Scott had to make a trip to the historical archives at the Courtenay and District Museum for photos. “But I still remember it from when I was a kid.”

Other paintings in his series include a scene from the trail on the way to Mount Albert Edward; the old Forbidden Plateau Lodge, which burned down a decade ago; the new VIMSEC; Moat Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park; and the old forest service cabins, which have since been torn down.

Scott hopes to raise $50,000 for VIMSEC over the next few years, and said if the first 1,000 prints and 1,000 books sell out, he will consider printing another 1,000 of each.

Several of the original paintings have already been sold, he said. Scott’s prints and art books will be available at Mount Washington Alpine Resort once the lodge is dedicated, hopefully sometime in September, he said.

Scott is also looking for more locations willing to carry his prints and art books with the understanding that they are supposed to raise funds for the Mountain Sport and Education Centre.

More from this Issue