Park to memorialize beloved Radium Woodcarver
Columbia Valley’s legendary woodcarver, Rolf Heer, who passed away from cancer in July 2020, donated his property in Radium Hot Springs, known as “The Home of a Thousand Faces,” to be developed into a park in his memory.
“This park will be a space for art, for community and for remembering Rolf,” said Valerie Bracken, President of the Radium Village Arts & Culture Society. Preliminary plans for the park feature greenspace, play areas for children, and a pavilion shaped as a wizard hat – a nod to Rolf’s signature apparel.
The park is being designed by Richard and Valerie Bassett of Bassett Associates, Landscape Architecture Inc. in Calgary. The couple has a second home in the Columbia Valley and have been inspired by Rolf’s eccentric, playful spirit to donate in-kind design services for the park.
Rolf’s friends, along with members of the Radium Hot Springs community, have banded together to oversee the development of the park, which will feature a number of Rolf’s original wood carvings that remain after the devastating fire that destroyed his iconic home in November 2018.
The Radium Village Arts & Culture Society has launched a fundraising campaign and is gratefully accepting donations from community members and corporate sponsors to raise $1.1 million to construct the park. Fundraising will be executed via trusted partnership agreements with the Columbia Valley Community Foundation as well as the Village of Radium Hot Springs.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022.