SkiBig3: How Did We Get Here?

Sunshine Scrapbook Memories


We have arrived at the end of our SkiBig3: How Did We Get Here series. So far, we have looked into the humble beginnings of skiing in Banff by getting to know the men and women who believed in the sheer goodness that skiing can bring to people and a community. They worked tirelessly through years when they barely broke even or hardly kept their doors open, all for the love of the sport and the mountains that supported it. We will now take a look at how that hard work was repaid, affirmed, and immortalized by the locals and visitors who visited Sunshine Ski Resort via their photographs and scrapbooks. 

V91/PA-101,  Pat, Dell, and Jim Brewster at Sunshine cabin on skis, Pat Brewster fonds.


These days everyone and their dog has a cellphone and can capture and share their powder days with the world, sometimes right from the top of the mountain itself. However in the early 20th century when skiing was a new pastime, camera film took time and money to develop (let alone share with others). Photographs and scrapbooks took time and dedication to create, and can now offer us a glimpse into the adventures and special moments of skiers in the Sunshine Meadows…

Austin Standish was among the group of skiers who ventured out to ski from Hillsdale Meadows to Egypt Lake and over the Sunshine Meadows to a cabin above Wheeler’s Flats in the early 1930’s. The other group members included none other than Jim Brewster, his wife Dell, and his brother Pat, all of whom would play crucial roles in developing the Sunshine ski area. In 1934 Jim Brewster leased the C.P.R. cabin and hosted their first paying guests. The rest, as they say, is history, and the Standish family did a wonderful job of documenting it in a scrapbook currently held in the Archives & Library here at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

The following pages were scanned from a scrapbook album containing memories of ski adventures had throughout the Canadian Rockies by the Standish family and their friends. Not only do the photographs tell a story but the annotations read like heartfelt testimonials and inside jokes from community members about their beloved home.

(Click on album pages to see larger view)

V629/PD-2/16, Austin Standish (Family) fonds
"Original Sunshine Ski Cabin Formerly Owned By C.P.R."


V629/PD-2/18, Austin Standish (Family) fonds


V629/PD-2/20, Austin Standish (Family) fonds


V629/PD-2/22, Austin Standish (Family) fonds
"Ski Slopes Unlimited from Del Valley to Citadel Pass"


V629/PD-2/24, Austin Standish (Family) fonds
"Sunshine Ski Season November to May"


V629/PD-2/26, Austin Standish (Family) fonds
"No End to Choice of Ski Slopes at Sunshine & Vacinity"


V629/PD-2/28, Austin Standish (Family) fonds



These images are great examples of the comradery and connection to place experienced by the Standish family and their friends at Sunshine. These pages above are only a portion of the scrapbook that a member of the Standish family put love and time into to share their own love of skiing and the Sunshine Meadows. Consider this scrapbook the next time you post your Sunshine ski pics on Instagram! 

Thanks for reading our SkiBig3: How Did We Get Here blog series highlighting the ski history of the Bow Valley! If you like what you see Subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media so you don't miss another great Canadian Rockies post!


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