Detective work in Castlegar

To that end, I spent some time hidden in a number of local corners, hoping to discover a few local truths

  • Sep. 4, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Gord Turner

I’ve read so many detective novels I sometimes feel like a sleuth myself, perhaps someone like Harry Bosch. To that end, I spent some time hidden in a number of local corners, hoping to discover a few local truths.

I first assigned myself the task of following people as they strolled around the sculpture walk route. As I stood at the edge of group after group, I heard appreciation for the vision this city must have had to pursue outdoor art. Then I heard comments about how brave the organizers must have been to arrange for more than 30 sculptures the past two years.

I also learned that one sculpture stood out this year in the minds of those doing the viewing. I won’t say which one until the votes are all in, but none of this year’s efforts were as good as the “people’s choice” over the past four years. In fact, most viewers spent a lot of time standing in front of last year’s winner, “Honkfest”—the one that’s both a sculpture and a fountain.  I noted one young lady rushing to get her camera to take photos of only that art work.

As a dedicated gumshoe or private investigator, I tend to follow my intuition a lot. I’d like to be analytical like a Michael Connelly sleuth, but that’s not how I operate. So when I saw the painting by Barbara Legg called “Dance Wherever You May Be” on the cover of this year’s Artwalk brochure, I had a hunch I’d like all of her art work. Besides, I also enjoy dancing.

Stealthily slipping into the Castlegar News office past the poodle guard-dog, I tiptoed into the corner where Barbara Legg’s paintings were being displayed. And I was correct—the paintings here revealed a very good landscape artist doing her work in mostly acrylics and pastels.

I found out Barbara Legg lives in Brilliant, having moved from the West Coast in the 1980s. She has been painting the outdoors in a near-photographic style, but recently she has expanded her colour palette away from her favourite colour, blue. Her work on display vividly depicted various Kootenay landscapes. I quite liked Eagle Eye View of Brilliant and Slocan Ridge Hiking Trail.

Next, I staked out the Millennium Ponds. Sitting on a bench with a book instead of a newspaper, I watched all the young people digging sand and splashing water. I also noted the usual suspects swimming in the river just beyond the ponds. I asked one of them about that, and the response was the river water was warmer than the pond water. My deduction: it takes a few days to heat the well water—the ponds’ source—to a degree to make it acceptable for swimming.

After that, I stood in the shadows of one of the brick buildings at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre. I couldn’t believe how happy everyone was as they arrived for the regular board meeting. Listening at the keyhole, I learned that the centre has had a record number of summer visitors, the summer workers have done a splendid job, and the director is gearing up to put together a Verigin display in the near future. I slunk about looking for intrigue and found only success.

Arriving home after a tough day checking things out, I detected much yard work still to be completed at my own place. A practical sort of Scarpetta, I gave up the intrigue and started my lawn mower.


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