mining songs, music, photographs Cambria Publishing

Editorial by Isabell Fooks
The Valley Times
January 28, 2003

Twenty years ago a young man come knocking on my grandfather's door.

He said that he was putting together a book on coal miners and that he wanted to interview my grandad because he was a former coal miner.

I remember my grandad sitting down with him at the kitchen table and telling him about working at the Atlas Coal Mine in East Coulee.

Later, the man asked to take a picture of my grandad in front of the old shed.

My granddad agreed, but only if he could have myself and my brother - his two grandkids - in the picture with him.

I was 11 years old at the time and still remember the old box style camera of that man.

His name was Lawrence Chrismas.

Now, 20 years later, I was the one taking Chrismas's picture at the Luscar Sheerness Mine near Hanna yesterday.

Chrismas was being interviewed by Wayne Rostad of the popular CBC TV show "On The Road Again" and I had a chance to interview him as well.

Chrismas's enthusiasm for coal mining has now spanned three decades.

As a former geologist, he has travelled all across Canada photographing miners and their families and capturing their stories.

His latest book is called "Canmore Miners" and has been dedicated specifically to the men who work at the mines near Canmore.

While mining has changed around Drumheller from the underground mines and the back breaking labour to the surface mines such as the one at Sheerness today, the stories of the miners are still much the same. They still enjoy their work and Chrismas is still there capturing their smiles.

Now Rostad will be sharing Chrismas's enthusiasm for coal mining and his respect for the men and women of the industry with millions of viewers across Canada. It truly is remarkable to think that what started out as a hobby has turned into a lifetime career for Lawrence Chrismas.

It's also truly remarkable for me that now I have my own business, too, and have come full circle to take a photo of the man who first inspired me to go into photojournalism.

by Patrick Kolafa
The Drumheller Mail
Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Local artist Lawrence Chrismas will be seen coast to coast in the upcoming season of On The Road Again.

CBC crews will be in Drumheller next week working on a story on Chrismas, local mining economist turned photographer for the CBC television show On The Road Again hosted by Wayne Rostad.

For the last 23 years Chrismas has worked photographing coal miners from all across Canada. He has a portfolio of over 3,000 portraits and published many books including Alberta Miners - A Tribute, which won the Gold Award for Printing of a Hardcover Book from the Gallery of Superb Printing and Coal Dust Grins which won honourable mention for the Roloff Beny Award.

He also co-wrote a CD of songs that accompanies the book Coal Dust Grins. This may be of interest to musician and host Rostad.

Chrismas also owns a coal mine near Drumheller and a miner's cabin on the banks of the Red Deer River which he had restored and filled with mining artifacts. He also founded Cambria Publishing.

Rostad is no stranger to Drumheller. He was in town about a year ago interviewing Pat Sparrow. The show On The Road Again is in its 16th season, It showcases the enduring personalities that make up the mosaic of Canada. The show will be filming in the area from January 25th to the 29.

For past Cambria Publishing and CoalDust Grins
news and information
click here.


site map | links | bulletins | feedback | galleries | bookstore | home