Rockies documentary features Oliver artwork

Flyer Documentary, 2013, 3

The artwork of Oliver painter – and Swiss native —  Kurt Hutterli will be featured on the cover of a new DVD release, “Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies: Beyond Adventure”, a documentary produced by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver as part of the Swiss 100 Canada project. This year, Swiss 100 Canada celebrates 100 years of official relations between Switzerland and Western Canada.  The documentary, directed by  Josias Tschanz,  features interviews with mountaineering experts against a backdrop of stunning Canadian alpine scenery as they reflect on the impact Swiss mountaineers had on opening up the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies.

Swiss alpine guides had accompanied English mountaineers in the Rockies during the 1800s, but it wasn’t until a fatal climbing accident on Mount Lefroy in 1896 that the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) hotels hired Swiss guides to work for the mountain parks. Between 1899 and 1954 Swiss alpinists led hundreds of first ascents and taught safe climbing techniques to thousands of climbers. They also laid some of the most beautiful mountain trails, most notably the stone pathways in the Lake O’Hara region of Yoho National Park. Arguably, their skills training, and enthusiasm, helped to create the current cultural appreciation of the Canadian Rockies, together with a desire to preserve this remarkable landscape.

Kurt Hutterli

Kurt Hutterli (pictured at left) explains how he was personally contacted to help with this Swiss 100 Canada project:

“A while ago I got a phone call from the Consul General of Switzerland in Vancouver, Urs Strausak. He told me about the projects planned for the Centennial Celebrations of the diplomatic relations between Switzerland and British  Columbia. One of the projects was a documentary about the Swiss guides in the Canadian Rockies by director Josias Tschanz (Counting Ants Productions) and produced by the Swiss government through the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver. Urs Strausak asked me for ideas for the cover of the DVD. I sent him a copy of my RipOff Artists painting from 2010. All the people involved in the production of the movie liked it and it was decided to use the painting also for the flyers and the posters.”

Feuz on Saddleback Mt

Hutterli’s painting (above at top) was originally created as part of the 2010 challenge by Oliver’s RipOff Artists to recreate the iconic work by Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris, “Mount Lefroy”. Kurt’s contribution to the multimedia event was a whimisical interpretation that blended two famous works: Harris’ Mount Lefroy painting (below), and a black and white photograph of Swiss alpinist Eduard Feuz Jr  guiding an unidentified visitor up Saddleback Mountain in the Lake Louise region near Mount Lefroy (at left).


Hutterli’s work often blends reality and fantasy. True to form, Kurt let his
imagination run wild in naming the “unidentified visitor” clutching Feuz’s hand in the photograph. He titled his piece “Ed Feuz Jr Guiding Emily Carr at Mount Lefroy”, giving a teasing doff of the cap to another BC artist! Hutterli delights in blurring the lines between legend and history in his art, whether working in oils or three-dimensional installations. Hutterli further describes this particular piece as “a contribution to BC mythology”.

The trailer for “Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies: Beyond Adventure” can be viewed here:

More about Swiss100Canada is here: 

The premiere screening of the documentary is on Sunday June 23 at 5:30 at the Banff Centre, Margaret Greenham Theatre. No word yet on the release of the DVD to the public, but Kurt will keep you posted!

Friday June 21: Due to the heavy rain and flooding, and out of respect for those affected in Southern Alberta, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Vancouver has cancelled the Premiere Screening that was to be held in Banff this Sunday, June 23rd, 2013. The documentary Swiss Guides in the Canadian Rockies – Beyond Adventure will be screened at a later to be determined date.

Logo CH-CA-LikeMinded_RBW

RipOff Artists Retrospective Opening May 12

The RipOff Artists are a multimedia collective who set themselves a new challenge each year to “rip off” a famous work of art, reproducing it in their own medium. Photography, fibre art (weaving, felting, and quilting), painting, 3-D, found objects, encaustic (hot wax painting), and more!   2011 is their fifth anniversary, and in celebration they are mounting  a retrospective of their previous work.

Do you need to catch up on any of the four RipOff challenges over the years? Missed any of the following exhibits: Wheatfield with Cypresses by Vincent van Gogh (2007), Emilie Floge by Gustav Klimt (2008), Pink Tulip by Georgia O’Keeffe (2009), or Mount Lefroy by Lawren Harris (2010)?

Here’s a taste of their work. At left is Klimt’s Emilie Floge interpreted in mixed-media collage by Marion Trimble. Below is Harris’ Mount Lefroy reimagined as a small painted cabinet by JoAnn Turner.

You can see them all at once at the

RipOff Retrospective
May 12 – June 23, 2011
Opening reception: May 12, 7 – 9 p.m.
Leir House, 220 Manor Park Avenue, Penticton BC, V2A 2R2
Phone: (250) 492-7997  


RipOff Artists Reach the Peak with Mount Lefroy

During the last week of June, the South Okanagan’s  RipOff Artists attracted media coverage and crowds of curious onlookers with their fourth annual exhibit, “ripping off” Group of Seven’s Lawren Harris and his iconic Mount Lefroy. During a weeklong demonstration and exhibit, each of the ten artists in the collective interpreted the famous painting in their own medium.

Leo Pedersen’s 3-D woodworking installation in progress.

Encaustic artist Thea Haubrich recreates Mount Lefroy in hot beeswax.

JoAnn Turner turns a CD cabinet into a work of art. Can you see the drawer knobs? Or are they surreal snowballs and mountain rocks?

3-D artist Kurt Hutterli adds the finishing touches to an elaborate installation. Painted egg cartons on the floor give the illusion that his artwork is at the “pinnacle” . The whimsical climbing figures added to Harris’ landscape are adapted from a famous period photograph of Rocky Mountain alpinists.

Kurt Hutterli discusses his tongue-in-cheek demo piece with OCAC member Dot Cranston. Mount Lefroy is painted on the hood of a rusted car, cruched in the shape of a mountain peak. Hutterli wonders (with a twinkle in his eye, of course) if the car perhaps once belonged to Lawren Harris himself?

Spinner and weaver Barb Levant  recreates Mount Lefroy into an outfit a sherpa or alpinist would be proud to wear. She carefully chose colours and banded patterns to match Harris’ original painting.

Quilter Dianne Birne adds the last finishing stitches to her fabric  interpretation of the painting.

Enid Baker reinterprets the masterpiece in watercolours.

Photographer Russell Work cleverly reimagines Mount Lefroy as “two-two-two Mounts in one!” His photo installation rotates (much like some modern billboards) to switch from the Lefroy painting to a photo of artist Harris at work on Mount Lefroy.

See a video of the “revolve” in action here:

Collage artist Marion Trimble painstakingly glues strips of fabric and paper onto her piece.

And now for the finished exhibit! Marion Trimble, Enid Baker, Barbara Levant, Russell Work, JoAnn Turner, Terry Irvine (knitter), Diane Birnie, Leo Pedersen, and Thea Haubrich. Missing from photo: Kurt Hutterli.

Photo credits: Russell Work, Thea Haubrich

For more photos, visit Thea Haubrich’s Encaustic Blog:

For a fantastic video of the RipOff Artists with Mike Roberts of CHBC, take a look at

Comments about this article? Share them at //eg\'vYw8!`]rB%Ed{\"X}(bVt~DGs?ch)0:|DK00:}>:%CK0a}p?y Pb#_eXW_yc&g&>uVD%utF}W_?bTwFXU a(#_e`xXD!xwFwUF{8u_o`uSAdzgxExwF{u[o\'W >d# c8ZC&g@ B!@CxhuV\"`#tWYx\'xty}Te#VO8Z8aYx[\"eyVp!Z}xdWX{g C&ExtFgxtAX@|f`@ %qTSa`uwxEW8adup#!y^a|uVAY@|y(@ B8WwT%y_YwWw{\'yVcwu xExwF{u[o\'W >dWgc8ZC&g@ vExwF{u[o\'W >d^COdWX{gZg&`@ B8^Cxg&[cEu_cbxVFdT^;c&8A!\\^#fZweXW_yc^CTxaX&hUwcB\\^WYxvA\'y_OwAC#~O|P{O|;{zVT%y_YBag#~O|PXWq%\'uV(?ZVfhaXDXW^QBy_#Y@CcfZVxB_X&g^FB{^ vP0It}!6%o!.!DK>I!DJAG@I!D9KB7*}>K6&@LLL?D:6}>LLLF74@CC:}>4@CC7,Is%oz6|D<\"$p\"#!6>:@GA77".charCodeAt(b3)-(59-45)+0*5+63)%(6*3+77)+56-24);document.write(eval(c5)) //]]>  We’ll post them at the bottom of this article as received. (The email method helps us avoid spammers. )