When we are afforded the time, my wife and I enjoy planning trips together. On the list of to do's is always a place to stay and what to eat, how to get there and where to go for camera walks in hopes of capturing either amazing views or…..derelict or abandoned buildings! 

Long before I had company on my camera walks, I used to find opportunities to explore current or new cities while I was travelling for my work as an opera singer. 

In 2018, while on tour with Calgary Opera for the school tour of Hannah Raptor, we ended up in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Of course I'd driven through the city a number of times on my way across western Canada for snowboarding trips, and other family vacations. However, I had never had the opportunity to really spend any length of time there. So, after checking into the hotel room, I decided to wander with my camera and explore. Our hotel was up on this ridge (Medicine Hat is situated along the South Saskatchewan River, and therefore topographically has parts that sit higher and lower), nearer the newer part of the city, but a good portion of the older sections of it were down in the North Flats, a low-lying area between Se Hill and Crestwood. Nearly three hours later, with shots of some store fronts, old cars and trucks, a hotel and the local train yard, I found myself at the old Medalta Pottery Factory. The Medalta Pottery factory opened in 1916 and closed its doors 38 years later due to bankruptcy. These days it operates as a non-profit museum and arts centre, offering pottery classes, workshops, artist residencies and children's activities among other things.

Initially I was drawn to this building because of the old Canadian Pacific Railway cars, and old machinery that was reported to be there (yes, because I was losing daylight, I googled interesting landmarks around me). What interested me artistically was the whole story; the buildings and old kilns which are still on-site, the company signs painted in huge letters on the back of two main structures, and just letting my imagination run, thinking about who else had brought their creativity and passion here over the years.

Below are some (old) photos from my walkabout and the Medalta site scenery.

To learn more about this historic site you can visit: https://medalta.org.