BCHF News Touchstones Nelson mountain bike exhibit wins award

Touchstones Nelson mountain bike exhibit wins award

Mark Holt, Astrid Heyerdahl, and Deb MacKillop celebrating the success of the mountain biking retrospective at Touchstones Nelson during the closing party, Nov 1, 2018. Photo by Louis Bockner

In the summer and fall of 2018, Touchstones Nelson Museum celebrated the history of mountain biking — the thrills, spills and tales — in Nelson and area.

It was one of the museum’s most popular exhibitions ever, with hundreds attending the opening and closing events, and thousands of people visiting the show from Nelson and far beyond. Not only did the community celebrate the success of the show, but now the greater museum community in B.C. has recognized the relevancy and reach of the exhibition.

The exhibit, entitled A Mountain Biking Retrospective, was chosen by the BC Museums Association to be honoured with a BCMA Award of Outstanding Achievement: Honourable Mention for Impact and Engagement. Two other museums in B.C. received awards — the Museum of Surrey received the Award of Merit, Excellence in Community Engagement; and Two Rivers Gallery received the Award of Merit, Excellence in Exhibitions.

The BC Museums Association jury decided that A Mountain Biking Retrospective deserved special recognition and received a BCMA Award of Outstanding Achievement: Honourable Mention for Impact and Engagement. As Mark Holt, owner of The Sacred Ride, trail builder and one of the great Nelson Biking champions said: “We got third — that’s a bronze medal!”

“This has been an unbelievably challenging year for BC’s museums, galleries, and cultural centres, but our members have faced COVID-19 with creativity, resilience, and an unwavering belief in the transformative power of museums,” says Ryan Hunt, BC Museums Association’s executive director. “Congratulations to all of the 2020 recipients,”

“This exhibit responded to an unexplored yet vital part of the community’s identity and contemporary cultural development. The exhibit was multi-faceted and strategically executed. This museum understood its community and stimulated museum interest by exploring an activity many in the community embraced wholeheartedly.”

“We are thrilled to receive this award,” said Astrid Heyerdahl, executive director of Touchstones Nelson, and the curator of the exhibition. “The list of individuals, trail builders, riders, local mountain bike stars, community groups, mountain bike associations throughout the Kootenays, artists, filmmakers, historians, and businesses that contributed to this exhibition is exceptional — it was truly built by those who created this history, and further form the mountain bike culture today.”

“The Nelson Cycling Club was pleased to partner with Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History on this project,” says Deb MacKillop of the Nelson Cycling Club.

“We believe the outcome has increased local understanding of the role that mountain biking and mountain bike trails have played in our community. Nelson was historically a ski town. This is known across the town. The emergence of mountain biking was somewhat unnoticed by those outside of the sports and tourism sectors, and the museum show highlighted both the current status and deep roots of a relatively new sport.”