Paint the Pistes: Alchemy of RIDE returns this month

 | FEBRUARY 16, 2022
Alchemy of RIDE apparel designs. Photo provided.

After a two year gap due to the pandemic, Alchemy of RIDE (AOR) designer Lynne Harrison is returning to Sun Peaks. 

Harrison will be staying at the Grand, and her vibrant van stacked with artistic ski, snowboard, Nordic, bike and surf wear will be brightening up the centre of the village. On Saturday, Feb. 19, the designer plans to hold a pop up tent event on the Cahilty Creek Kitchen & Taproom patio.

From 11a.m. to 6 p.m., skiers and snowboarders can slide right up to the sale from the Gentle Giant green run off the Village Platter, or on foot from the side stairs. 

A fan of Harrison’s designs, Cahilty Creek owner Yolanda Yoshy-Dye is thrilled to be part of the event. 

“We love supporting local businesses as well as entrepreneurship,” she says. “Fun and different pop-up events like this are always exciting and an opportunity to bring in new business which can turn into repeat business, both for AOR and Cahilty Creek.”  

Anticipating a flow of happy shoppers enjoying al fresco food and drinks, Yoshy-Dye feels the wrap-around view from the piste-side patio pairs perfectly with AOR’s panoramic prints. 

“Our music theme is classic rock — that will be pumping out on the patio for an energetic and amped vibe,” she added. “It will be a busy long weekend and a great opportunity to showcase AOR’s beautiful apparel while enjoying some great local craft beers and delicious cocktails.” 

The designer’s prints are inspired by her original artwork. Harrison told the Sun Peaks Independent News she calls on a lifetime of painting and drawing inspired by mountains scenery while crafting her pieces. Assiniboine, Mt Temple, Mt Hood and The Three Sisters are just some that have featured on her limited edition gear. She also offers custom designs, like making team kits for a variety of sports. 

“I have brought in exercise shorts — like bike shorts with no chamois — and I’m also bringing in yoga tights and sports bras,” she explained. “My wind jackets are very utilitarian and can be used for a multitude of sports and my bike jerseys can be worn on the golf course as they have a collar.”

Founded in 2016, AOR was born from Harrison’s frustration with the lack of colourful mountain biking jerseys available. After seeing success with collections of apparel bearing her art, Harrison diversified into ski wear. 

Harrison’s designs can be found in-person at her Canmore gallery, as well as in some B.C. and Alberta retail stores, but she explained her web presence has had the most significant impact since COVID. 

“Online sales have increased tremendously,” she says. “The pandemic has definitely changed how people shop.” With a core market throughout North America, she is gradually expanding into Australia and the U.K. 

Going on the road and hosting pop-ups is another opportunity to keep in contact with customers, Harrison added. 

“I have done pop-ups at Vernon and expect to host in Whistler and Revy later in the season,” she said. “I love interacting with the public and helping them find something to wear that they are going to love.” 

Face-to-face feedback is a chance for valuable research, too, yielding suggestions for zipper placements, removable hoods and other technical features.

With more Canadians than ever flocking to the ski hills, the pandemic could be fueling an increased demand for Harrison’s artsy sportswear. 

“While bike apparel is the big market for me, ski apparel has really started to take off in the past couple of years,” she said. “I think people are tired of looking at another black jacket.” 

Although she skis weekly at Sunshine and Lake Louise, Harrison loves to revisit Sun Peaks. 

“I lived in Kamloops for seven years, my kids both learned to ski here and I have a ton of friends at the hill,” Harrison explained. “I love the village and find it to have such a wonderful welcoming atmosphere.”

“Coming back here to such a friendly family-oriented place is very fulfilling for me.”



                                          PAGE 72   "OVER THE HILL GANG" article featuring ALCHEMY OF RIDE AND LL HARRISON
                                            Article by LOUISE HUDSON

                                                                     ARTICLES  FEATURING ARTIST LL HARRISON

Skiwear Goes from Bland to Bold

by Louise Hudson

For many downhill decades skiwear has been all about plain colours, perhaps two-tone, but nothing too flashy. A few snowboarding brands have kept the groovy 70s look going but generally, manufacturers have played it safe, going the utility route. However, the time for technicolour is today, and several skiwear designers are spearheading hectic hues and punchy prints – you'll never get left behind in a whiteout!

Alchemy of Ride is a quintessential Canmore concept, care of artist, Lynne Harrison, wife of Crazy Canuck, Dave Irwin. Launching her local landscapes on biking gear was an advance apprenticeship for skiwear which she started selling last season. Now available online as well as in shops like Whistler Village Sports and Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise, the riotous range is all about multi-coloured mountainscapes, emblazoned all over jackets, pants, base layers, and neck warmers. "It all comes from my original art," says Harrison. "Each section of the jacket and pant is individually sublimated (screened) before being sewn together in a way that the pattern is continuous throughout the garment. This is a very time-consuming process." This is one reason for many other ski manufacturers to avoid complex printed patterns: "It's not like solid colour jackets, which require only cutting and sewing and no matching," says Harrison who produces just 15 of each dazzling design. Alchemy of Ride is for both men and women, with sizing ranging from extra small to large.


No more melba toast in the lift line or at après! This season is all about bright and beautiful skiwear, but this time the trend is starting in the west. Spearheaded by artist Lynne Harrison, Alberta slopes are going technicolour with her sizzling skiwear brand, Alchemy of Ride.

READ MORE  by Louise Hudson (in Fall 2018 issue)


excerpt from article by Louise Hudson, (20th March 2018)


Just when it seems ski and snowboard wear couldn't get more dull along comes a crazy Canadian brand producing blazoning beacons of colour on the slopes...

Challenging the bland brigade, Lynne Harrison is a creative Canadian colour alchemist, morphing multi-coloured mountainscapes into mountain wear. She is the wife of former Canadian ski racer and Olympian, Dave Irwin, who is putting the crazy into Canuck couture right now. 

Throughout the ski/ride industry, the prevailing palette of plain colours, two-tone if you're lucky, and a preponderance of blah and black means that Alchemy of Ride's multi-hued, outsized prints stand out like flamboyant flowers at a funeral.

Read The Full Article at Style Altitude

Could this be the future Olympic kit for the Canadian team?
excerpt from article by Louise Hudson, ski writer at One, Two, Ski! (Feb.1, 2018)

Dave Irwin's wife Lynne Harrison putting Crazy into Canuck Couture at Sunshine Village

When a creative colour alchemist turns her mountainscapes into fabric, the entire skiwear industry is disrupted. The prevailing palette of plain colours in today's brands - two-tone if you’re lucky and a preponderance of black, beige, plain red or navy - means that Lynne Harrison’s multi-hued, outsized prints stand out like flamboyant flowers at a funeral.

Wife of Crazy Canuck Olympian Dave Irwin, Harrison has been running an eclectic art studio and creative clothing shop in her home town of Canmore, Alberta since May 2015. Starting with paintings, prints and postcards, she morphed her mountain motif into printed bike, running and watersports clothing first and then, this season, moved into the Alchemy of Ride range of ski jackets, pants, vests, one-piece Nordic outfits, and wickable underlayers for men and women. “It is about sharing colour and fun and happiness,” says Harrison. “Alchemy is the ancient process of turning base metal into gold and The Ride is a metaphor for life.”

Read The Full Article at One, Two, Ski!