Fireside Chat with Chic Scott and Cliff White

Fireside Chat with Chic Scott and Cliff White

07 Dec
  • [PAST] December 7th, 2023
  • 7pm
  • 111 Bear St. Banff
  • Talk

Cliff White’s roots in Banff go back a long way. His great-grandfather, Dave White, arrived in town in 1886 and operated a very successful general store. Cliff is the third named Cliff in the family — his grandfather Cliff White #1 was one of the group responsible for the creation of what are now the Mount Norquay Ski Resort and Skoki Lodge. His father, Cliff White #2 along with his wife Bev, created modern day Sunshine Village Ski Resort. Cliff White #3, sometimes called Cliffy, who will be our Fireside Chat guest on December 7, grew up in Banff and became a National Park Warden. After a number of years on the Public Safety Team doing mountain rescue he earned a master’s degree at Colorado State University, his thesis topic being the history of fire in Banff Park. Today he is widely recognized for his role in bringing science to the management of the national parks and introducing prescribed burning to the management of our forests. Scientist Stephen Pyne observed:

“Ask Cliff about his contribution, and he urgently explains that lots of other people made critical decisions: the director-general, chief wardens, superintendants. But ask others, Cliffie’s friends and foes alike, and they will admit that Cliff White was the indispensable man. He never wearied, he never faltered. Even tinder, well prepared, requires a spark. Cliffie showered sparks. If one trial failed, he would try another. If one succeeded, he might try another as well.”

Since 1990 Cliff and his wife Johanne have called Canmore home and have raised their three children here — Charles, Peter and Alexandra. During the last few years Cliff has kept busy with re-photography projects, visiting and photographing locations to document the change that has occurred over time. In 2007 he co-authored a book with Ted Hart called “The Lens of Time, A Repeat Photography of Landscape Change in the Canadian Rockies”. He has also been very involved with the project to re-introduce bison to Banff National Park.

On Thursday, December 7, Cliff will share his stories of growing up in Banff and at Sunshine Village Ski Resort, of historic Banff citizens like his great-aunt Catharine Whyte, and of working with the Banff Park Warden Service in several capacities.

Image Description: Photos courtesy of Cliff White family.

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