Artist Claire Dibble prepares for her kayak voyage from the source of the Columbia River to the sea. Photo submitted

Hidden Hero celebration and more at the Kootenay Gallery

Organizers randomly selected 25 people to be photographed for the exhibition

Claire Dibble has a passion for people and places and it comes through in two projects she is undertaking that will be exhibited in the Kootenay Gallery of Art. The first is the Hidden Hero Project and the second is Watershed Moments: From Source to Sea.

The Hidden Hero Project got underway in the late spring of 2018 with support from a Province of BC Community Resilience Through Arts and Culture grant. People of Castlegar and area nominated friends, family or acquaintances who make a difference to the community through their kindness and their positive actions. More than 40 deserving individuals were nominated.

From the nominations, organizers randomly selected 25 people to be photographed for an exhibition that will take place at the Kootenay Gallery. The nominees come from a wide range of backgrounds, ages and interests. Dibble’s striking photos captured the Heroes in relaxed, natural poses. Their spirits and personalities shine through.

The Hidden Hero Project exhibition will start with a community celebration to honour all the nominees. The show will consist of the display of photos, a full list of nominees and an interactive portion where additional heroes can be named. All nominators, nominees, friends, families and interested community members are welcome to join the opening celebration where Castlegar Mayor Bruno Tassone and an elder from the Indigenous/Metis community will be on hand to give certificates to all nominees

In addition to working on the Hidden Hero Project, over the winter Dibble constructed a skin-on-frame kayak designed by Cape Falcon Kayak with the aide of her father Keith Dibble. In July, Dibble will launch her kayak at the source of the Columbia River near Canal Flats. She intends to paddle the length of the river through the East and West Kootenays, across the international border until she arrives at the sea near Astoria, Oregon.

Each week of the journey, Dibble will take images of her quest and send them to two galleries located along the river: the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River, Oregon and the Kootenay Gallery. The Kootenay exhibition will include photos of her journey as well as documentation of her kayak construction and other ephemera. As Dibble approaches Castlegar on her voyage, estimated to be Aug. 6, local kayakers, canoers and paddle boarders are encouraged to join her and paddle into Millennium Park.

The Hidden Hero Project and Watershed Moments, both by Claire Dibble will show at simultaneously at the Kootenay Gallery of Art from June 20 to Aug. 24. The opening community celebration for Hidden Heroes will be on Thursday, June 20 at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.


Portraits of some of the Hidden Hero Project nominees. Photo: Claire Dibble

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