Many of us have a connection to Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, whether it’s from spending time within its bounds or admiring the view of the glacier from town. Petra Hekkenberg has her own unique view of the park as the hut keeper. She’ll share her reflections and experiences in a visual presentation at the Nelson Public Library on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
Hekkenberg grew up in the Netherlands and settled in B.C. because she wanted to live in a cabin in the woods. “The mountains, the water, the community, the kindness and open-mindedness of its people stole my heart and made me decide to settle in the Slocan Valley,” Hekkenberg says.
In 2021 she was hired as hut keeper and park operator in Kokanee Glacier Park. She kept a journal of sketches and words about her time in the park. That journal became her book, In the Alpine: An Illustrated Journal of Kokanee Park.
At the Jan. 18 event, Hekkenberg will share excerpts from her book along with a slide show, From Dutch Flatlander to Alpine Local, and the award-winning short film In Your Mind’s Eye: Moods of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. The film was made as a tribute to Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park’s 100th anniversary and contains landscape video and excerpts from the park’s logbooks dating back to the 1970s.
Hekkenberg says, “I hope this presentation will bring people together to celebrate and share their love for the alpine, featuring Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.”
Hekkenberg currently works locally as a freelance designer and artist, hut keeper and park operator at Kokanee Glacier, and a cycling trip leader in Europe.