Happy Trails, Pam!
Pam Knott, by DL Cameron
She was born to wander, but she found a true home in the mountains and in Banff. Pamela Knott retired from the Whyte Museum last fall after more than 20 years of tending to the collections, helping researchers, and supporting the countless exhibitions and programs. “Pam knew where to find things we didn’t even know we had,” says Anne Ewen, Chief Curator of Art and Heritage. “She has a deep and passionate knowledge of the collection, and has contributed enormously to the work we do.” “I loved the stories,” Pam says, “I loved that people donated things, they are so generous, and the stories are so incredible. “
Over the years, the Whyte has acquired an enormous inventory of art and heritage that gives insight into the colourful characters, the lively events, and the changing social history of Banff.
When she began, Pam was stunned that much of the collection hadn’t yet been inventoried. She became relentless in tracking down details about where the object came from, why it was important. Pam understands community. She was born the baby of six children in a tightly-knit Metis family in the mill town of Pine Falls, Manitoba. Families looked out for each other. She is quick to serve others and to make sure those who are alone or in need have a cheerful visit. At the Whyte, she is most drawn to programs that link the collections with the community: Exceptional Pass invited the community to create works that reveal a mythical mountain pass, or the Through the Lens program which encouraged high school photographers to learn the craft and document the contemporary world.
Pam was curious about the world, and took off on adventures to Europe, Vancouver, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Katmandu, Nepal, South America, and Bali. She has her own collection of stories that speak to a feisty fearless traveller with enormous curiosity. “I frankly don’t know how she’s still alive,” said one colleague. Pam would hitchhike across America and Europe, always able to pick up a job when needed, and pushing on to the next adventure. In Banff, she worked at Brewsters, banks, the Television Festival, the Lux Theatre, the Library, the Banff Centre and at the Whyte in various capacities.
We are always glad to have her around. Grateful for her care and passion for the collection, and grateful for the many amazing stories she brings back. We can’t wait to learn about her next adventures.