Hi everybody! I’m Gwen, one of the friendly and oh-so-informative guides up at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park and I must say its been awfully fun so far working at the heritage site! Having spent much of my childhood exploring the various museums and heritage sites my father worked on, or at, this gig seemed a natural coda to my ongoing love of the past.
I adore being able to share the stories of our sentinels, some of which is literally scrawled on the walls: in both the ’29 and ’06 elevators. The sharp-eyed can spot various calculations, signatures, weights and measurements written right onto the wood!
While I love meeting all our guests and swapping stories with them, I have to admit the programs we run with the local schools and daycares may be my favourite part of the job [although baking fresh cookies with my co-workers from scratch is a near second]. Whether it’s being featured in post-card art, designing a super-beaver plant pot, a rousing game of tag in which the rules change constantly, or having a group of first-graders [no doubt destined to be union reps] express outrage over the working conditions of Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Ann, children are an inspiration to us all and I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to interact with them constantly. And I get paid for the privilege!
I admit, it’s not all sunshine and roses: we do occasionally have to turn a garden or move planters so heavy they require an application of Archimedean leverage work and four desperate humans, or attempt to haul shut elevator doors amidst gale force winds but I’ve found a certain pride in surveying the results: our park is so fetching you could get married in it [yep, we do weddings too!]. If you don’t believe me, come and see for yourselves and remember: we have cookies!