A graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design, Linda Parke's easy way with clients combines well with her years of experience in the visual arts industry. Her passion for helping people tell their stories has led her to collaborate with authors, personal historians and soon-to-be authors from all over the world. "I've always had a big interest in history and photographs and when my mother finished writing her memoir, Waterton and Wanderings, I jumped in with both feet and offered to transform her stories and photos into a book. She was delighted with the results and I was hooked!"
Growing up on a cattle ranch in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Linda feels a deep connection with her rural roots. Her great great grand uncle, Philip Parke, left his home in Ireland in 1862 and emigrated half way around the world to rural B.C. He settled near Cache Creek and started a cattle ranch to supply beef to the miners during the Barkerville Gold Rush. The ranch has been passed down from generation to generation, leaving a long legacy of pioneers who love country living. Linda's childhood consisted of horseback riding, helping drive cattle across the mountains to the summer range, mucking out stalls, feeding chickens and fishing in Hat Creek.
Linda's maternal grandfather, Cecil Swanson, was ordained as Deacon in the Anglican church in Toronto in 1912 after emigrating from England. He had a keen sense of adventure and lived for a time in Dawson City, Yukon where he often traveled by dog sled. In 1977, at the age of 88, he wrote his memoir The Days Of My Sojourning which was published by the Glenbow Museum.
Linda's passion for history has led her down a rich and vibrant musical path as well. While learning to play Old-time fiddle she became fascinated with the history of traditional Appalachian and Cajun music. She began a project interviewing Old-time and Cajun musicians from all over the United States and Canada with an aim to pay tribute to the old masters who are quickly disappearing and the musicians who are carrying on the oral tradition and keeping the music alive today.
It was evident from an early age that Linda had an interest in creativity. She has since made it her life's work to create beautiful books.