Vernon-based videographer Francois Arseneault has unearthed 1960s footage of Revelstoke and the Columbia Valley.
The historian routinely shares vintage footage of Vernon and the Okanagan valley to his Reel Life YouTube channel, and he’s now back after a summer hiatus.
Uploaded Friday, Sept. 9, his latest work shows footage of winter in 1962/63 in Revelstoke and the Columbia Valley before the construction of the Keenleyside Dam in 1968, as well as a look at ski jumping on Mount Revelstoke.
The Keenleyside Dam resulted in raising the water level of Arrow Lakes and the Columbia River below Revelstoke, submerging the settlements of Greenslide, Sidmouth and Arrowhead as a result.
“This winter footage will likely bring back memories of life in the valley,” Arseneault said.
“The Mount Revelstoke ski hill site northeast of Revelstoke and just within Mount Revelstoke National Park has a history as old as the settlement itself,” he continued. “A local miner introduced Norwegian snowshoes to Revelstoke as early as 1892 and the first ski club was organized the next year.”
From 1915 to the late 1960s, annual ski jumping competitions were held on Mount Revelstoke, which was the longest period of any ski jumping venue.
Revelstoke was also the biggest natural ski jump hill in Canada at the time, and was recognized internationally as one of the best hills in North America.
“The length and natural grade of its 600-metre hill made possible jumps of over 60 metres, the longest in Canada,” Arseneault said.
The last competition in the park was held in 1971.
To follow Arseneault’s videography, visit his YouTube page Reel Life.