Author Archives: Brad Hays

Burnt Trees Photo and Design Exhibit

The closing reception was a big success. Thanks for everyone who came out to support it!

The Burnt Trees Project is a visual documentation of photographs, design and installation showing the lifelessness and regrowth since the 2005 fire in Kootenay National Park. The destruction along Highway 93 inspired an awareness for how interesting damaged trees could be. The images produced in our 4 season collective reveals a panorama, depictions of new growth and the surrounding landscapes.

Burnt Trees Poster

Lifting the Curse of the Ghostrider Legend

Lift the Curse of the Ghostrider Legend

“Lying in the shadows, a legend waits for the afternoon sun. On a summer evening, out of Mt. Hosmer’s face, comes the Ghostrider – the shadow of a distinctive horse and rider, the ghost some say of an angry Indian Chief and his jilted daughter pursuing William Fernie. (http://bit.ly/1YxCUxo – Illustration)

As legend tells it, William Fernie was courting an Indian Princess to learn the source of her sacred black stone necklace. It is said that after learning the secret location of the Morrissey Coal Seams, Fernie stopped seeing the Princess and the tribe’s medicine woman placed a curse on the Elk Valley.

Residents of Fernie feared the curse was real after several tragedies struck the town. Fire reduced the town to smoldering rubble in 1904 and again in 1908. In 1916, the Elk River flooded and in 1917 there was a mining disaster. A public ceremony in 1964 officially lifted the curse. Members of the Kootenay Tribes assembled in Fernie and Chief Red Eagle (Ambrose Gravelle) and Fernie Mayor James White smoked a pipe of peace.

Although the curse was lifted over 35 years ago, on summer evenings, the ghost of an angry Indian chief and his jilted daughter still rides above Fernie and their legend lives on in the shadows of the mountain.” – Fernie.com

Ghostrider and the Bear

I am excited about the outcome of the latest collaborative art piece with Ellis Bartkiewicz. Ellis photographed the bear on a day tour to Prince Rupert, I photographed Mount Hosmer, Fernie and created the design in Adobe Illustrator.
Bear and the Ghostrider

THE FERNIE GHOSTRIDER

Do you believe in curses? It is said that William Fernie, on one of his prospecting trips, noticed an Indian Chief’s daughter wearing a necklace of shining black stones. Knowing that these stones were coal, he asked about their source. The Chief agreed to show Fernie the location of the coal on the condition that he marries his daughter. After learning the location of the coal deposits, Fernie backed out of the deal.

Angered by this the Chief cast a curse on the valley—it would suffer from fire, flood and famine. Though the city did suffer from horrific fires and flooding there is no evidence of the story’s veracity. But many look to Mount Hosmer on summer evenings where a shadow of the daughter standing beside the chief on his horse as evidence of some mystic curse.

The roots of the Ghost Rider story may be found in the Ktunaxa tradition of avoiding the Elk Valley and considering it a “bad place”. Early Ktunaxa legends told of a Squirrel and his wife who controlled the entrances to the Elk Valley, letting trails become overgrown and impassable. Another source for the legend may be gleaned from a 1908 newspaper article; “We have been requested to say that William Fernie denies the little after dinner stunt about him and the Indian maiden. We are glad Mr. Fernie does deny it for the future safety of our city.” Did the story develop from a joke among the city fathers?

No matter the source the curse seemed real enough that on August 15, 1964, at the City’s request, members of the Ktunaxa Nation, headed by Chief Ambrose Gravelle, assembled in Fernie for a ceremonial lifting of the Fernie Curse. Whether the curse raising was successful remains to be seen.

Fernie is now a prosperous and vibrant community that has a unique mountain shadow to keep the legend alive. The Ghostrider Shadow can be seen on the face of Mt Hosmer at sunset in Summer and Fall. Look for the striking striated rock face to the North-East of downtown Fernie. Many of Fernie’s businesses, clubs and even streets are named after the ghostly shadow.

Read about more Fernie Legends through Tourism Fernie.

Drawing Challenge at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

A walk through the sanctuary has yielded five drawings by Ellis. Please enjoy the video of our little hike through Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and click here to view the drawings.

Tuscany LRT Public Art Project

We are excited to be working with the City of Calgary Public Art Department to video the installation of ‘roger that’. A two, 12 metre-high sculptures, situated on either side of Crowchild Trail. The video will document the process and will include an interview with the artist, Bill Pechet.  “Bill is the lead artist at PECHET Studio, an interdisciplinary practice based in Vancouver, Canada. In all their work, they are committed to developing environments that bridge art and imagination with everyday life, and they are dedicated to the idea that public space must be designed to offer a depth of experiential and playful encounter.” (City of Calgary/Public Art).

Learn more about the project here.

Eamon's Sign

Tuscany LRT Station

Tuscany LRT Station

Tuscany LRT Station

Three Tips To Simple Communication With Your Audience

With efforts to generate attention, startups often over complicate things by getting too technical for their audiences to easily understand; this is often boring and confusing. Here are three tips to help simplify things:

  • Understand the behaviour of your audience and speak to them like people. Done right and you’ll grow your company and increase sales. Done poorly and you will waste time and money.
  • Ensure your core competencies are to the point.  Identify key features and align them to your company’s mission.
  • Be creative and organize your content into categories. Infographics and videos are great ways to do this.

When Steve Jobs presented new Apple products, he would minimize features seen on the screen. It was simple, concise and built into the culture of the company… still is.

Simplicity is often complex.  It takes time, but is well worth the effort.

iWatch

Steve Jobs predecessor, Tim Cook, shows off the iWatch at their 2015 keynote presentation. Simplicity has always been important to Apple and is apart of their culture. (http://bit.ly/1JKqrRo – Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP)

Brad Hays is the founder of Design Cause and has been working professionally in video and design since 2001.

Four Simple Steps To Staying Creative

As kids, we grow up as dreamers, thinking big and letting our imaginations run wild, but over time, our responsibilities begin to overlap shrinking our creative process in exchange other responsibilities.

There is however a system for starting your day. Here are a couple of pointers:

  1. Give yourself extra time after you wake up, read for half an hour, but not the news. Reading will stimulate your brain, and if you drink coffee (or anything caffeinated), also do that. I do know some people don’t like reading, and if this is you, make sure to set easy limits. Find a subject that interests you and get started.
  2. Go for a walk or run. This is where the caffeine comes in handy and will push you to work harder and burn more calories.
  3. Staying creative at all levels. Taking action, start small and work your way into something bigger.
  4. Keep a notebook or paper and pencil with you at all times. Ideas come and go all the time. Write them down, draw them out and filter out the bad ones later. Ideas will begin to build upon themselves and this is a great way to grow.

My goal in writing this is also to stay creative, grow my business and hopefully someday write a book.

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