A school of fish and a legacy to remember

The project is the brainchild of Begbie View Elementary kindergarten teacher Linda Dickson, who said she picked the two fish because she knows students have had some awareness of the two as being uniquely local.

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Linda Dickson. Photo: Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Mountianeer

For the first time in Revelstoke’s history, over 300 artists have come together to create a piece of installation art. Almost all of them are under 12.

The student based collaborative project—School of Fish—which sees kids from kindergarten to grade seven create their own uniquely collaged wooden Kokanee Salmon or White Sturgeon, will be exhibited en mass during the Luna festival in September, complete with interactive lighting and sound.

Students prepare the sturgeon blanks. Photo: Rob Buchanan

The project is the brainchild of Begbie View Elementary kindergarten teacher Linda Dickson, who said she picked the two fish because she knows students have had some awareness of the two as being uniquely local.

Dickson has taught in the Revelstoke School system for some 35 years.

That’ll all end in June when she retires, leaving behind a legacy of lives transformed.

The local schoolteacher said that it’s been a really neat way to leave, giving her the opportunity to work with students she had in Kindergarten years earlier.

“It’s been really lovely to be able to get to work with some of my former students one last time, and really see them grow,” said Dickson.

Begbie View Elementary students at work on the sculptures. Photo: Rob Buchanan

But more than just allow Dickson the opportunity to engage with some of her former students one last time, the project will also give them something tangible to remember her by as they walk the halls of Begbie View Elementary. School of Fish will be on permanent exhibition there.

That’s an exciting prospect for Executive Director of the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, (RVAC) Victoria Strange. Strange can only guess at how quickly the city of Revelstoke will fill up with local art if each year Luna left behind a new piece.

“How cool would it be if Luna could leave behind a new piece of art each year?” Strange wondered. “Think about how quickly our city would fill up with art.”

The RVAC executive director also praised Dickson, who Strange says has been a valued member of the educational community for over three decades.

“This is by far (Dickson’s) biggest project, and what a way to go out and leave behind such an amazing project for the school.”

The piece will open in Downtown Revelstoke at the LUNA festival on September 29, 2018, between 6 and 12 p.m.

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Jake, 26, is a graduate student in the history faculty at the University of Victoria and a reporter at the Revelstoke Mountaineer. His research has looked at counterculture and alternative media in the Pacific Northwest and Jewish identity in post Holocaust Central and Eastern Europe. Got a lead on a story? Feel free to drop Jake a line at, Jake@revelstokemountaineer.com