Drumheller born photographer releases ‘Alberta Book’ project
Renowned Drumheller born photographer George Webber has spent decades touring southern Alberta capturing and documenting small towns.
His most recent work simply titled Alberta Book is set to launch December 15. While the work spans many years and much of Southern Alberta, his hometown of Drumheller is prominently featured. There are six Drumheller photos in the collection of more than 250 images.
“The book was 39 years in the making. There is a photograph of the Elks Building in Drumheller that was shot on Kodachrome slide film in 1979. The most recent photos were taken in a place called Scotfield, not far from Hanna over the last Victoria Day long weekend,” explains Webber. “Most of the photographs that were taken from 1979 to roughly 2005, were shot on traditional colour film. Those taken from 2005 up to 2018 were taken with a Nikon Digital camera.
The spark for a lot of this work came as a young man returned to his hometown at the beginning of his career.
“My parents and sisters and I lived in Drumheller until 1960, I was seven years old and then we moved to Calgary. I would occasionally come to Drumheller to visit my grandfather.” He explains. “About 20 years after leaving Drumheller I started to do photography. I think that knowing it (Drumheller) intimately as a child and then being taken away from it, that 20 year period gave me two things; One, when I go back I carry a sevenyear-old kid’s sensibility, but also if I lived there all of those years I wouldn’t have seen any of it.”
“I think in 100 years from now when someone looks at those photographs, they are going to tell an enormous amount about things like people’s values, and people’s tastes. It is going to tell them all about food and gasoline distribution and all the little subtle things that people take for granted,” he said. “When you put them together it’s like painting a picture of a culture, and a time in the province’s history.”
Alberta Book is to be launched on Friday, December 14 at the new Central Calgary Library. Another project that is close to Webber.
“I was commissioned about 39 months ago to go down there on a monthly basis and photograph it and it really is absolutely spectacular,” he said.
To get a sneak peek at the Alberta Book check out https:// www.youtube. com/ watch?v=jZuLd0nBbFU
This image of the Elks Hall in Drumheller, taken in 1979, is one of the photographs featured in George Webber’s latest release. He says the collection of Alberta photographs spans 39 years.