6M x 6.6M (20’ x 22’), CORNER VICTORIA & WILLOW STR.
lenora mines at mt. sicker
Painted in 1988 with additions in 2001.
by Peter Bresnen, B.F.A.,
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Born in Montreal, Peter Bresnen began to paint at the tender age of seven. He pursued studies in Science and Theology before giving in to his obvious talents. He eventually graduated from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ School of Art in 1976, was artist in residence at St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, and then continued his studies toward his B.F.A., which he received in 1981.
He has never strayed far from representational painting, either in his exhibited works or in his murals. He has been painting large tableaux since 1982, with nearly 40 of his murals gracing the walls in the Maritimes already. He has held one-man shows in Montreal and in Nova Scotia.
On May 16, 1897, Harry Smith and a partner staked the famous Lenora claim, named after Smith’s only daughter. That began the development of Mt. Sicker as a copper mining centre. The price of copper was high, and two other companies opened mines in the area.
The town of Mt. Sicker grew to a population of 400, and the community enjoyed such facilities as an interdenominational church, a school, and an opera house. The Lenora mine continued in operation until 1907, when copper prices plummeted and a number of smelters closed down. Less than a year later, the mine’s assets were seized by the sheriff. By November of 1908, Mt. Sicker was all but a ghost town. Virtually nothing remains of the townsite today.
It is pictured here, in three panels, in its heyday, when labour was deserting more stable communities like Chemainus for the possibility of a fast fortune in the growing mining industry. Next Mural >