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Jon Whyte, Part 1, Bard of Banff
Jon Whyte
Title: Jon Whyte, Bard of Banff - Part 1
Episode: P045
START: October 17, 2022
ENDS: October 30, 2022
Length: 35'' mins
Host: Carole Harmon
Jon Whyte (1941 - 1992) was a Canadian author whose soul work was poetry but who also wrote books of history about his beloved Canadian Rockies. Unlike many Canadian artists who pursue careers in America and Europe, or in academia, Jon Whyte chose to root his life and work in the Canadian west, its people and history, especially the mountains, and in particular the Bow Valley. He was born in Banff and lived most of his adult life in that small mountain community.

Jon was instrumental in igniting and spreading culture in Banff as manager of Banff Book and Art Den in its early days, in helping found Summerthought Publications, also in Banff, and as a columnist for the Banff rags: Summit News and Banff Crag and Canyon. He was an environmental activist, acting as the town conscience on many topics.

Host Carole Harmon is joined in this program by Brian Patton who was Jon’s friend and colleague. Brian and Carole will chat about Jon, and Brian will read from Jon’s Crag and Canyon column, Where People and Mountains Meet.

After Jon’s death, Brian compiled a selection of these short essays which were published by Altitude Publishing as Mountain Chronicles.

In her foreword to Mind Over Mountains, a retrospective compilation of Jon's major literary work edited by Henry Vandervlist in 2000 and published by Red Deer Press, Myrna Kostach, a friend and colleague, writes;

Of all the people I know, Jon was the one who most hugely enjoyed his own life—books, friends, conversations, wordplay, dictionaries, food, treks, beasts, ghosts, lore—so much so that his joy spilled over into the lives of any who drew near him…he died too young, he deserved more time, he was hauled away in the middle of a thought, a passion, a meal, and we will never know what it was he was about to tell us, show us, summon us to…he would have made an extraordinary old man. Let us imagine him.

Jon's work is out of print but may be found in libraries, and some titles on line. In the About section of this website is a longer bio, a reading list, and the full production of Jon's last completed work, Minisniwapta: Voices of the River.