Bayardo Canizalez, a server at the the Prince of Wales Hotel, has been immersed in the world of photography for as long as he can remember. His father worked in a darkroom in El Salvador developing film and Bayardo was always fascinated by the images his father brought to life.
But it wasn’t until Bayardo’s first summer at the Prince of Wales Hotel three years ago that he invested in a camera for a five-day trek in the backcountry. In capturing this trip in images, Bayardo fell in love with photography all over again. He feels lucky to be able to explore Waterton Lakes National Park in depth, and is inspired to share some (but not all) of the park's secrets through his photos.
Bayardo’s favourite time for capturing photos in Waterton is at dawn or at twilight. As part of his photography routine, he dresses in bright yellow attire and was nicknamed “Banana Man” by his colleagues. He chooses to wear yellow, from his jacket down to his hiking poles, to make himself more visible in nature.
“Yellow is also the colour of joy,” Bayardo says. “You can’t look at someone in bright yellow without smiling. It's sunny, warm, and uncommon enough that people immediately take positive note of it.”
Bayardo left his 9-to-5 job in Toronto about five years ago to begin his new adventure at the Prince of Wales Hotel and hasn’t looked back since. He works hard through the summer to save up to travel during the winter months. He has spent winters in Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru as well as Toronto, and he checked off an epic western Canada road trip last fall.
The atmosphere at the Prince of Wales Hotel is one of the things that keeps Bayardo coming back every year. “People seek one another out in their curiosity” he says. He loves the relationships that form between staff in this bucket-list destination. People from all over the world come to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site that Bayardo gets to call "home" for five months of the year.
Bayardo’s photography will be featured on the 2018 employee ID badge at the Prince of Wales Hotel. To get an idea of what the Waterton side of Glacier is like through a team member’s eyes, follow Bayardo on Instagram at @aztecanada_.