Seth Eichenthal

Memorial art project remembers avid skier

A new art project that encourages public participation will begin to take shape Jan 1.

A new art project that encourages public participation will begin to take shape Jan 1. Seth’s Fence is an art project that encourages the public to attach their old seasons passes from Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) to a fence in Prentice Park. The inspiration behind the project was Seth Eichenthal, who was planning to ski in Fernie in March with his childhood friend Evan Thibaud who lived here at the time. Unfortunately, Eichenthal passed away three months before his planned trip on New Years while on a ski trip in Austria in 2013.

The fence’s location in Prentice Park is between the two ballparks. There is a waist-high fence that stretches 20 feet in length, and is attached to a swinging gate.

“It’s going to be a piece of public art.  Anyone that has ever skied a season at Fernie or will ski a season at Fernie can leave a little mark that says, ‘Hey, I was in Fernie’,” said Thibaud. “If this thing takes off, then people would move towards the north of the fence. We don’t want people filling the ball field fence because then people won’t be able to see the game.  I don’t know how long it will take but the idea is to fill that side of the fence first.”

The installation is set to begin on the first day of the New Year.  There will not be any formal event to celebrate it; instead participants are invited to add their old passes whenever they can. If contributors are not able to make it to Fernie or attach the passes themselves, they are invited to mail the passes to the City of Fernie.

“I want people to start it on Jan. 1. That’s the day he passed away, it’s not an event or anything.  I just want it to kind of grow naturally,” said Thibaud. “The City has provided their address so if you can’t make it just mail it to them and they will attach it for you.”

While Thibaud wants to have as many people as possible affix their passes to the fence, he requests that people refrain from using day passes. Paper based day passes will shred and weather much faster than the plastic plaque-style season pass. Another reason for the season passes is to leave a photo of yourself, creating a fence filled with faces. After attaching the pass to the fence, participants are encouraged to then post a photo of their pass to the Facebook page and hashtag the photo on Instagram.

“The idea is to leave your photo on the fence.  It won’t look trashy with the plaques; the tickets would disintegrate in the weather.  Its like a time capsule,” said Thibaud

While the initial concept is to remember Seth, it can also commemorate all lost loved ones and be a place of remembrance.

“It can be extended to other lost loved ones. The idea is something that Seth would have thought that was cool. He would have over-engineered it for sure and done everything in his power to make it moving or something like that,” said Thibaud. “I feel like he would have really loved Fernie, and it would have been a good time with him.  It just didn’t work out, three months shy.”