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An artistic ‘snapshot’ of life in the Bulkley Valley
This fun, vibrant and interpretive mural was designed in 2020 to depict a comprehensive ‘snapshot’ of life in the Bulkley Valley. The beauty of this mural is in its multidimensionality. The interpretations described here include facts and stories of the town for your entertainment and information. Please keep in mind that each icon represents something different to everyone, whether you have lived in Smithers your whole life, or have just begun your time here. Know that YOUR interpretation is as much a part of the art as the paintbrush.
Local artist, Emerenne Saefkow, chose colors that she associated with Smithers; orange being the color of the Town of Smithers and the blues and greens depict the beautiful landscape.
You will find this mural on the exterior wall of the Smithers Visitor Centre, 1411 Court St. Smithers, BC, Canada V0J 2N3
Designed by Roy Henry Vickers, this calming pose represents two ancient earth-based cultures uniting.
PADDLE & CANOE
From heart-pounding rapids to tranquil streams, the valley offers paddling bliss.
THE OLD CHURCH
Built in 1913 as a religious and community centre, it was revitalized in 2005 as a community hall.
HUDSON BAY MOUNTAIN
Rising to 5,413 ft / 1,650 m with 41 ski runs, a community forest, Nordic Ski Centre and mountain bike trails, Hudson Bay Mountain is a local icon of culture and landscape.
ALPENHORN MAN / ALPINE AL
Affectionately nicknamed, Alpine Al welcomes us to Main Street. The wooden alpenhorn player arrived in 1973 and was replaced in 2016, crafted by Joerg Jung.
THE RAILWAY CAR
When the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway was constructed, Smithers was surveyed as a town site for its divisional headquarters and named after Sir Alfred Waldron Smithers, then chairman of the railway board.
THE BULKLEY RIVER
The Bulkley River [and the Bulkley Valley] was named after Colonel Charles Bulkley, the Engineer-in-charge of preparing the area for the abandoned Collins Overland Telegraph line.
THE MAIN STREET CLOCK
Arising from the original swamps that pooled at the foot of the mountain, Main Street has remained the town’s epicentre since it was formed in 1913. The beautiful clock tower sits on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Main Street.
Despite its small size, Smithers boasts a thriving dining & “foodie” culture with over 30 restaurants and two breweries.
Smithers is proud of its unique Main Street – wide sidewalks lined with mostly-local businesses. Shopping and retail employs over 600 people making it the top industry employer.
Located on Highway 16 at the halfway point between two major distribution and processing cities, Smithers is a hub for transportation and trucking services and one of the top three leading industry employers.
PENS, PENCILS, & PAINTBRUSH
Smithers has a diverse community and economy. Arts and Cultural events draw audiences from across the North.
HANDSHAKE & GRAPH
As business-savvy as we are nature-loving, Smithers is home to an impressive number of locally-owned businesses and our Chamber of Commerce supports over 200 of these.
PICKAXE & SHOVEL
Mining is one of the top industry employers in Smithers. In 2018, an estimated 95 companies generated almost $36 million in economic activity for the town.
HARD HAT & SURVEY INSTRUMENT
Construction is one of the top 10 employers in Smithers. Over 600 people are employed in labouring/handling occupations that benefit our community, including building our schools and highway projects.
THE GRAND TRUNK PACIFIC RAILWAY BRIDGE
“The Telkwa” Bridge | In 1913, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway erected a wooden bridge over the cross-section between the Telkwa River and Bulkley River. Telkwa served as a service link between the coal mines located along the Telkwa River and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. Today the CN Railway uses the bridge.
Grab your gear and come play in our mountains - from November to mid-April, Hudson Bay Mountain offers uncrowded access to lift skiing and the entire region offers legendary powder conditions for backcountry, Nordic, heli and cat skiing.
Smithers is bursting with alpine beauty best enjoyed on foot. Trails within a 20 minute drive from town offer a variety of trail grades so almost anyone can get out in nature.
CAMPFIRE & TENT
There’s no better place to sleep under the stars with an abundance of provincial and municipal campgrounds, lake-side recreation sites and alpine tenting sites.
Smithers is home to the Smithers Steelheads, the Northern Hockey School and NHL players Dan Hamhuis, Ron and Rob Flockhart as well as Joe and Jim Watson.
We have an amazing network of mountain bike trails, from beginner to difficult, including a bike park in town
Smithers is a premier fly-fishing destination with over 10 fishing lodges on one of the largest wild Steelhead runs on the planet
Smithers is the geographic centre of the world’s mountain goat population. These magnificent animals travel sheer cliff faces to escape predators, so a pair of binoculars helps to admire them
A TOWN FOR ALL SEASONS
From skiing to paddling to flying down our mountain bike trails, Smithereens embrace a range of activities in all seasons, regardless of weather
Smithers strives to be an inclusive and accepting community. The colours of the flag represent life [red], healing [orange], sun [yellow], nature [green], harmony [royal blue] and spirit [violet]
GUITAR & MUSIC NOTE
Smithers has a colourful, creative personality and music is a key part of our identity. We are home of the Latin Grammy award-winning musician Alex Cuba, the Midsummer Music Festival and many popular artists and bands.
In 2001, local conservation officers finally captured a bear reputed to have killed over 30 cattle and evade capture for three years. The true size of the animal shocked everyone - weighing in at over 1000 lbs (420 kg).
2013, a young moose felt snackish and strolled right into Smithers’ Safeway! He became an overnight sensation when videos went viral showing a store employee leading him out with an apple. Feeding wildlife is against the law in British Columbia, under B.C. Laws, Clause 33.1.
Smithers is proud to have a rich farming industry. A bountiful Farmers’ Market offers local produce and meats, and in late August, the Bulkley Valley Exhibition draws thousands to its rodeo, agricultural exhibits, 4-H and Livestock shows.
Considered a fishing paradise, our local rivers are world-renowned and filled with trout, spring, coho, sockeye, pink and the highly prized steelhead.
Smithers has a strong equine community, home to the Northern Saddle Club, Horses Touching Hearts Therapeutic Riding Association, and the Fall Fair which draws national attention with its BCRA Rodeo performances, 4-H Horse, Drafthorse and Light Horse Exhibitions.
In summer, our alpine meadows are awash with the vibrant purple flowers of fireweed, or Chamerion angustifolium, which commonly colonize an area after forest fire.
Forestry is a cornerstone of our economy and generates 1 in 5 local jobs in the Nechako region. Spruce, pine and Douglas fir are commonly used to produce structural building products.