Author Sage Birchwater (left) and photographer Chris Harris teamed up to give the reading public a spectacular view of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast from the air along with stories about the pilots who make their living flying in the region.

Author Sage Birchwater (left) and photographer Chris Harris teamed up to give the reading public a spectacular view of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast from the air along with stories about the pilots who make their living flying in the region.

Aviators and lofty views featured in new book by Williams Lake area authors

The video and story launch events for the book Flyover British Columbia's Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: An Aviation Legacy start Saturday.

After more than two years flying over the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast to capture breathtaking images, and months of interviewing, writing and editing, photographer Chris Harris and writer Sage Birchwater are set to launch their new book Flyover British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: An Aviation Legacy.

As early as 2008, while touring with Spirit in the Grass and already shooting for Motherstone, Harris was approached by several pilots who offered to fly him if he ever wanted an opportunity to shoot from the air.

Never having photographed extensively from the air, and never willing to miss an opportunity, he started to seriously entertain the possibility.

Then Harris and his wife Rita Giesbrecht approached local author, journalist, historian and raconteur, Sage Birchwater, to collaborate on the project.

For Harris, his beloved and familiar Cariboo Chilcotin Central Coast came to life to reveal forms of beauty that he had never imagined possible.

As with astronauts seeing the planet from space, perspective wrought its magic, and a new visual world captured his artistic passion.

“These are the images I am most excited to bring to an audience; a beauty undiscovered and never photographed before, and seen only by this handful of privileged pilots,” Harris says.

To tell the pilots’ stories, Birchwater flew with Harris half a dozen times and interviewed dozens of people associated with the story of flight. Gradually the history of aviation started to emerge.

He says the collection of stories and spectacular images are still only a snapshot of a much bigger story.

“With this book we have opened the door a crack,” Birchwater says. “Through these pages you can gain a sense of the region’s wonder.”

Flyover is the fourth in the Chris Harris and Country Light Publishing Legacy series, and 12th book overall. Flyover takes its place beside his other books: The Bowron Lakes; Spirit in the Grass; and Motherstone in being visually stunning and an object of beauty in its own right.

Harris’s publications have at their core his concern to ignite a consciousness of stewardship, respect, and thanksgiving for our generous and sacred planet.

In 2008 David Suzuki said of Spirit in the Grass: “The stunning images in this book evoke wonder and awe, which are essential if we are to love and fight to protect such sacred places.”

The official take-off will be this Saturday, Sept. 29 at 108 Mile Airport’s Airport Appreciation Day. It will be a day-long event, with Harris and Birchwater available to sign books. Then in the evening they will show the images of Flyover through a multi-media slideshow, and share stories of their adventures. The presentation will take place in Nick Christianson’s hangar, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The launch and slideshow will take place at three other communities in the region. On Wednesday, Oct 3 Harris and Birchwater will be at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre in Williams Lake, starting at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, Oct 10, they will be at Anahim Lake School, starting at 7 p.m., then the next day, Thursday, Oct. 11 they will be at the Moose Hall in Bella Coola, starting at 7:30 p.m.

The hour-long presentation promises to leave the audience feeling they have been on a journey of adventure and discovery.

The inspiration to create an aerial book of the region, came from the aviators themselves.

The Chris Harris Gallery is located on Back Valley Road in 105 Mile Ranch.

For more information e-mail photography@chrisharris.com, call 250-791-6631; or visit www.chrisharris.com.