grain elevators – Beacons of the Prairies
Chris Attrell, Photographer
Rising above the landscape, the grain elevator heralds a time when wheat was king across the West. At their zenith, 5,758 of these prairie giants defined the economy and skyline of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
While many still stand, every year their numbers dwindle. Sometimes these towering signposts are all that is left of a town or hamlet once built around them. In this breathtaking photo collection, award-winning photographer Chris Attrell captures the haunting presence of those that remain to stand guard over an ever-changing agrarian lifestyle.
“Chris Attrell has gone well beyond simply documenting the Canadian grain elevator. His evocative images show these aging prairie sentinels as monuments to a way of life that has mostly disappeared.”
— STEVE BOYKO, author, photographer
“Chris Attrell has captured the spirit of these iconic structures, offering a compelling glimpse of prairie heritage. Visually captivating, his photographs serve as an important documentary record of one of Canada’s most endangered buildings.”
— KRISTIN CATHERWOOD, folklorist and Heritage Saskatchewan’s Director of Living Heritage
“Nothing embodies the prairies more than open skies, dirt roads, and those tall, horizon gracing sentinels. Chris captures the statuesque nature of grain elevators that are unfortunately fading from our country’s landscapes. He has an eye for expertly
documenting the views that we have come to know and recognize before they are taken by wind, fire, or time.”
— MISHEYLA IWASIUK, photographer