From Osoyoos to the Arrow Lakes (West Kootenays, 1944-45)

This video clip shows a road trip from Osoyoos to Castlegar in the mid-1940s, highlighting Greenwood, seed growing at Grand Forks, Rossland, the Trail smelter, and a sternwheeler trip on the Arrow Lakes.  The clip comprises excerpts from the first half of Kootenay West, a BC government travelogue filmed in 1944-45  and copyrighted in 1948.  It is a twin film with Kootenay East, shot and released in the same years.  During the Second World War, the BC Government Travel Bureau had been working on a film with the working title “The Kootenays: British Columbia’s Mountain Playground”.  Cameraman Clarence Ferris came back with so much good footage, however, that the Bureau decided to release two films instead.  As with some other Bureau films, post-production work was delayed by wartime priorities and completed in 1945-47.

The Arrow Lakes sequence is particularly appealing because it features the sternwheeler Minto, which served communities on the lakes from 1898 to 1954 as part of the CPR Lake and River Service.

These excerpts were also featured in the Royal BC Museum DVD Evergreen Playland: A Road Trip through British Columbia (2008).

The S.S. Minto at Renata, BC. (Digital frame grab from the DVD “Evergreen Playland”.)

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