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Taber Public Library

Book Talk for Bert Riggall's Greater Waterton

Feb 27, 2020  |  Thursday | 11:00 am


Part of the "Horses in the High Country" Speak Series

Bert Riggall was a legendary guide and outfitter in the Waterton Lakes region of the Canadian Rockies in the early 1900’s.  An outstanding photographer, Riggall captured the magnificent scenery as he traversed the wild country with his clients. The photographs he produced fueled an emerging tourism industry and helped set in motion the conservation of the Greater Waterton region. Bert was an innovator and experimenter using a range of cameras, lenses and filters. 

His key camera, a 4”X5” revolving back auto Graflex together with No.1 and No. 4 Kodak panoramas, and the German made Ica folding camera joined more than 20 other formats and models. In the darkroom, he overcame the obstacles of no electricity or running water building a windmill to power his enlarger.

Today his photographs are considered of “outstanding national importance” by the Canadian Cultural Property Board who calls his panoramas above timberline especially significant.  

A collection of his images together with an impressive caliber of contributing writers tell his story in Bert Riggalls’ Greater Waterton- A Conservation Legacy.  “The book contains important history of the founding and evolution of Waterton in 1911 as a national park. “This articulate, visually stunning, elegantly designed book is an important contribution to the history and culture of Canada’s mountain West.”  Bob Sandford -United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment & Health.  

The new book is written by an ensemble of significant Alberta authors, Fred Stenson, Sid Marty, Chris Morrison, Larry Simpson, David Sheppard, Harvey Locke, Kevin Van Tighem and Brittany Watson among others. It includes the last writings by Riggall’s grandson, the late Charlie Russell, renowned bear expert. Larry Stanier-2018 Banff Book Festival Committee.