Skip to content

Artwork inspired by chaos of 2021 Sicamous wildfire and evacuations donated to the district

Wildfire K42078 donated to District of Sicamous
Carol Schlosar donated her artwork titled Wildfire K42078 to the District of Sicamous and council accepted the donation at its Jan. 11, 2023 meeting. (District of Sicamous photo)

A local artists’ impactful work has been given a new home in Sicamous council chambers.

The artwork, donated by Carol Schlosar to the district, is titled Wildfire K42078.

The piece has been on display at the Sicamous library. Before that, the art hung in the Salmon Arm Art Gallery during the ‘FiresWild’ exhibition. At its Jan. 11 2023 meeting, council accepted the artwork as a donation from Schlosar and agreed to put the painting on display once it was removed from the library. On Feb. 1, Coun. Pam Beech accepted the artwork from Schlosar on behalf of council.

The art is a collaborative piece, created when the 2021 wildfires prompted widespread community evacuations. The painting was made by Schlosar alongside other residents who had been evacuated: Ardice Daniel, Jane Block, Phaedra Oddy, Leanne Hamilton, Brenda Bushell, Sharon Scott, Margaret Bloor, Kathy Keam, Susan Miller, Shelagh Rich, Kathy Williams, Kristine Bohnsack, Karen Letendre, Janet Ferns and Mary Walters.

“Sudden evacuation orders left little rime to prepare,” reads a letter by Schlosar to council. “We each made quick lists and dashed through our houses to find not only what would sustain us, but what was so dear to us that, practicality aside, just couldn’t be left. Those handwritten lists and thoughts are integrated into 16 squares and each painted into the forest at the edge of the fire. This work is a thought-provoking piece that tells an important chapter in our community story. “

“It’s a collaborative work making comment on the experience we all had, so it seemed like it needed to have a place in Sicamous history,” said Schlosar. “We’ll never forget what happened and we hope it’ll never happen again.

“It was interesting to see the simplicity of women thinking about what they had to pack and what they had to say goodbye to. I was incredibly moved when these women started sending me what they wanted included and some of them surprised me.”

Schlosar is a visual artist and musician who lives in Sicamous. She has a BFA and a Fine Arts diploma from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, and her mediums include painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking. Her artwork has been in exhibits in galleries across the province.

READ MORE: ‘We don’t all need something new’: Shuswap woman passionate about reducing waste

READ MORE: North Okanagan-Shuswap school district to receive supports for mental health, substance use


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our daily newsletter.

Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
Read more