Standing in Their Shoes, a story of growth and change at the Powell River Pulp and Paper Mill

Creator(s): Powell River Historical Museum & Archives Association

In 1908, Brooks and Scanlon realized the power generation potential of the 188 foot waterfall which fell from Powell Lake and decided to build and operate the first pulp and paper mill on the west coast of Canada. They incorporated the Powell River Paper Company in 1909, and in 1912 their first roll of saleable newsprint was produced.

The Pulp and Paper Industry at Powell River Today

Known today as Catalyst Paper Corporation, this mill still produces paper in Powell River, but without many of the traditional skills and occupations of the trade. Machinery is now computerized, and the gut-feelings that were the sensors of quality control practiced by years of hands-on experience are not passed on through Human Machine Interfaces.

This Community Stories exhibition features 400 oral history tapes of employees who worked at the original Powell River Paper Company, and by marrying the spoken word with texts and photographs, the story of what it was like to work in a pulp and paper mill in an earlier time is told.

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