Movie Monday: Travel and Family

Image: A film still of Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden (SPRA 0165.09.27, Fonds 165: Roland Pivert fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

It’s Movie Monday today, and time for the second installment of our vacation series! This film comes from the Roland Pivert fonds and was taken circa 1967. The first half of the film features a visit to the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge, and the second portion of the film shows baby Kurtis Pivert in a Jolly Jumper.

If the Piverts’ trip to Lethbridge, Alberta did in fact take place in 1967, they would have been among the first visitors to the Japanese garden. Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden opened to the public on July 3, 1966 and held its grand opening ceremonies on July 14, 1967 as part of Canada’s centennial celebration. Prince and Princess Takamatsu of Japan attended the grand opening as an expression of the friendship and goodwill between the two nations.

A number of the structures on the grounds were built in Japan, then reassembled when they arrived at Nikka Yuko. The harmony between the many elements of the garden – the waterfall, pond, trees, flowers, rocks – is in keeping with traditional Japanese philosophies regarding beauty and peace, and it is no wonder that the Piverts chose Nikka Yuko as their destination!

Be sure to check back next week to find out where we are headed next!

Movie Monday: Hudson’s Hope

Image: A film still showing the Foster family taking a rest on a road trip (SPRA 449.01.02, Fonds 449: Foster Family fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie

Welcome back to Movie Monday! Today we are beginning a series of videos and blog posts that will focus on the road trips and vacations taken by three South Peace families: the Fosters, the Piverts, and the Marcys. Each of these families has been previously featured on Movie Monday, so we hope you will enjoy becoming better acquainted with them throughout the summer!

Our first trip takes us to Hudson’s Hope, British Columbia in 1950. When Raymond and Iva Foster made this road trip, they had three young children: Janus and Ben, who were approximately 4 and 2 years old, and Dwain, still an infant. The film includes many scenic shots taken from a variety of vantage points, and footage of Iva enjoying the outdoors with the children.

The river that appears in so many scenes is presumably the Peace River, named so in honour of the peace settlement that was reached between the Cree and Dane-Zaa people at Peace Point circa 1781. The river, now referred to by locals as the ‘Mighty Peace’, is 1,923 kilometers long and up to 11 kilometers wide. It is one of the principal tributaries of the Mackenzie River system.

Movie Monday: Wedding, Parade, Christmas, and Travels

Image: A film still depicting the Dunvegan Bridge (SPRA 1985.3.82F, Fonds 039: Bert & Miriam Tieman fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

It’s Movie Monday again! Today we are featuring one of two films from the Bert & Miriam Tieman fonds that will be part of our multimedia project.

Bert Tieman was born in Delft, Holland in 1898 and immigrated to Canada in 1920. During the transatlantic journey, he met Miriam Hutchinson, an Englishwoman who was also making the move to Canada. They married in Calgary in 1926. The couple arrived in the Peace Country in 1927 and filed on NE 31-74-7, where they farmed until 1946, at which point they moved to Grande Prairie. The Tiemans were very active in their community – they volunteered at their church, at schools, at the Drama Festival, and were involved with a number of other organizations as well. Their only child died as an infant, but they opened their home to two handicapped boys for a number of years.

This particular film (ca. 1969) shows events that were obviously of significance to Bert and Miriam, including Marilyn Turner’s wedding, the Alberta Resources Railway Parade, and Christmas celebrations. The film also chronicles their trip(s) to Athabasca, Fort McMurray, Jasper, Hudson’s Hope, Dawson Creek, Montreal, and Edmonton.

Everyday activities such as picnics and outings to the river also appear in the film, indicating that the many of the pastimes we are fond of today were equally enjoyed in the 1960’s.

Content note: This film contains parade floats and/or costumes depicting Indigenous people. For more information, see here.

Movie Monday: Kinuseo Falls, Parade, Water Skiing

Image: A film still showing a pickup truck travelling along a muddy trail (SPRA 198.02.02, Fonds 198: Ward-Marcy family fonds)

 

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Today’s Movie Monday features an 8mm from the Ward-Marcy family fonds, taken circa 1960. Marion Ward grew up on a farm near Sexsmith, where she attended school. As a child, she enjoyed family picnics at places like Bear Lake. In the early 1940’s, she worked as ward aide in a hospital and later at a Sash and Door Factory; as a result, she was able to save enough money to attend Vermilion School of Agriculture.

Marion married Miles Marcy in 1946, and together they had five children: Ken, Marilynne, Greg, Kevin, and Colleen. Marion continued to enjoy the outdoors as an adult. Today’s film focuses largely on a trip she and Miles took to Kinuseo Falls with a group of friends. Several trips such as this one took place in the early ‘60’s; they would truck their packhorses to Stoney Lake, then ride the remainder of the distance to the falls.

In this film we also see the Marcy children in front of their home in Avondale. They are in costume and are later seen participating in a Grande Prairie parade wearing those same costumes. The parade includes floats from local organizations such as the 4-H club, UFA, and Holroyd Drugs.

Finally, at the end of the film, we are treated to scenes of an outing at the lake, where a number of good-natured participants try their hand at water skiing.

Content note: This film contains parade floats and/or costumes depicting Indigenous people. For more information, see here.

Indigenous Depictions in Parade Footage

Above: Still from “Wedding, Parade, Christmas, and Travels.” 8mm film ca. 1969. (Fonds 039: Bert and Miriam Tieman Fonds, SPRA 1985.3.82F)

The South Peace Regional Archives aims to gather, preserve, and share the historical records of the South Peace Region of Alberta, now and in the future. These records reflect the personal, cultural, social, economic, and political life of the South Peace River Country of Alberta. These records often contain language and imagery that are representative of the time in which they were created. As a result, they may include instances of problematic wording, cultural references, and stereotypes that are no longer used or appropriate today.

While completing a recent multimedia project, our staff discovered several archival films with historic parade footage; some scenes include parade floats or costumes depicting Indigenous people that would now be considered offensive. It is not always clear from the footage whether the persons depicted are themselves Indigenous or in what context they were included in the parade. Therefore, it is not always possible to know whether these are instances of self-representation or misrepresentation. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its presence and potentially hurtful impact.

The South Peace Regional Archives is committed to continuing our path forward in the Reconciliation process. To remove these depictions would mean erasing evidence of the systemic racism and discrimination that many Indigenous people have faced in our community, both in the past and still to this day. In several cases, removing these depictions would mean erasing how some Indigenous people represented themselves. This decision was made in consultation with the SPRA Indigenous History Committee and in accordance with the Association of Canadian Archivists’ Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. All future posts that contain these films will include a content note referring readers to this post.

We are currently completing a major project to identify and address materials related to Indigenous peoples within the collection in order to provide culturally-appropriate descriptions and contextual information. This work is part of our ongoing effort to “serve the community as an inclusive, participatory archives: one that all can contribute to and access community history” (South Peace Regional Archives Strategic Goals, 2019-2022). If you, or anyone you know, has information that would help us contextualize these depictions, we encourage you to reach out to the Archives.

 

We acknowledge with respect that the South Peace Regional Archives is located on the ancestral and traditional lands of many Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered by Treaty 8, signed in 1899. The continuing relationship between Indigenous peoples and this land contributes to the rich knowledge and culture of the South Peace region.

We are grateful to serve the people on this land and honor the Calls for Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Movie Monday: Races and Pioneer Days

Image: A film still showing a Pioneer Days demonstration (SPRA 0165.09.29, Fonds 165: Roland Pivert fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Today’s Movie Monday carries forward the theme of last week’s video: rodeos and community events. This film from the Roland Pivert fonds begins with scenes of chuckwagon races, then focuses on demonstrations at a Pioneer Days event.

Many communities in the South Peace have been organizing annual Pioneer Days for the past several decades. Like rodeos, these events began as community picnics with athletics and horse races for the locals to participate in. A poster from DeBolt’s 9th Annual Pioneer Days in 1938 invited people to enjoy the horse races, basketball, athletics, and dance that were to take place.

In later years, however, Pioneer Days became a way of preserving the history of the area. In an era when machines were taking over, many were concerned that the toils of the early settlers would be forgotten. And so the focus of Pioneer Days shifted. As seen in this film taken circa 1970, the event had evolved into an opportunity to share with the community the agricultural roots of the South Peace by holding demonstrations of steam engines, threshing machines, and sawmills. Domestic activities were also exhibited in the form of crafts, quilts, baking, and preserves.

Many communities and museums still hold these events in the summer, so check your local community calendars for upcoming events!

Movie Monday: Stampede and Fair

Image: A film still showing a bucking bronco at a local rodeo (SPRA 1974.74.22H, Fonds 138: Griff James fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Most years many South Peace residents would be gearing up for rodeo season around this time, so today we are sharing a film that contains footage of a bronc riding competition circa 1957. Though the location of the featured event has not been identified with complete certainty, it is thought that the rodeo scenes may have been taken at the Rio Grande Sports Days.

Rodeos, also known as stampedes, have been a popular source of entertainment in Western Canada for more than a century. In Grande Prairie, the first agricultural fair and rodeo was held in 1910. Surrounding communities such as Rio Grande and Teepee Creek followed suit in 1916. The events began as community picnics and sports days, hosting activities such as foot races, ball games, tug of war, horse races, and bucking broncos. It was the bronc riding that was the crowd favourite.

As the years went on, a wider variety of rodeo events – such as bull riding, chuckwagons, barrel racing, and calf roping – were added to the agenda. Associations were formed to manage the events, and the Teepee Creek and Grande Prairie stampedes eventually became part of the Pro Rodeo Tour. Though the nature of these events has changed considerably since their inception, the original intent remains the same: to bring the community together.

Movie Monday: Peace Country Scenes

Image: A film still showing two young girls in a garden (SPRA 2014.029.03, Fonds 569: J.O. Watson fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Today’s Movie Monday features footage showing scenes from around the South Peace, including sunsets, bridges, gardens, and children at play. This footage was captured by the Watson family.

J. O. (John Orville “Jack”) Watson, the son of Thomas and Catherine Watson, was born in Kirkwell, Ontario on April 27, 1894. Jack, his wife Verta, and their young son Jack moved to Grande Prairie in January 1919Three children, Katherine (Dolly), Gerald, and Gloria (born January 20, 1933), were born to Jack and Verta in Grande Prairie.

In 1922, Jack bought a garage from the Charley B. Wilson estate (on ‘the Boulevard’ north of Richmond Avenue, possibly located on the northeast corner of 100 Avenue and 102 Street, where the Crummy’s Garage was later situated) and took over the Ford dealership. Later Jack’s second son, Jim, joined the business. In 1926, the Grande Prairie Garage built a new brick building across from the post office to include a show room, storage, and mechanic shop, on land purchased from Reverend Alexander Forbes (the southeast corner of 101 Avenue and 100 Street). Another building was erected in 1928 on the same lot to house a showroom, offices, stock room, and workshop. By 1928, the Grande Prairie Garage was dealer for Ford and Lincoln cars, Oliver implements, and Humming Bird Separators, and had two gas pumps.

In October 1940, the Garage suffered a fire in the workshop, which burned Jim Watson and another employee and caused damage to the building. The fire brigade was able to extinguish it before the entire Garage and inventory were lost. Another, much more serious, fire occurred in July 1954, completely demolishing the garage building and causing the loss of three cars within a span of 2 hours. However, the business reopened on the same site a couple of days later in temporary buildings. A new location for the garage was found on west side of Clairmont Road (11002-100 Street). The old location on 101 Street appears to have been retained, at least for a time, as a used car lot. The Clairmont Road location also suffered a small fire caused by a dropped gasoline bottle in 1964. Jack retired from the garage business in 1964.

Jack served on the Town Council for seven years and in 1946 was Chair of the town’s Waterworks Committee. During his tenure in this position, the town approved the expenditure of a large amount of money on the Bear Creek Dam, a disposal plant, and the water and sewer system. In February 1949, Jack was elected Mayor by acclamation for a two year term, succeeding J. E. Thomson. He was serving as mayor during the period that the 1950 Grande Prairie High School, Wapiti Dorm, new Memorial Arena, and new Post Office were built and traffic lights installed.

John Orville Watson died on August 16, 1965 at the age of 71. His funeral was held at St. Paul’s United Church. Verta died on October 25, 1983. Both are buried at the Grande Prairie Cemetery.

Movie Monday: River Trip with Cepelas

Image: A film still showing a fisherman with his catch (SPRA 0253.01.07, Fonds 253: Jerry Stojan family fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Today’s Movie Monday features footage from a fishing trip taken by Jerry Stojan and friends circa 1956. Fishing has been a popular activity throughout the history of the South Peace, and many of the family fonds at the Archives include photos and films depicting fishing trips. Possibly the earliest fish-related photograph we have at the South Peace Regional Archives is a photo of a survey party with their catch, dated 1905. Families whose film collections include footage of fishing trips are the J.O. Watson, Griff James, Foster, Wozniak, and Jerry Stojan families.

In 1956, the year this particular film was taken, the cost of a fishing license in Alberta was lowered from $2.25 to $1.00. According to a Macleans article in May of 1957, the province was “literally begging people to catch more fish… Alberta has no size limit, except on pickerel and northern lake trout.”

In the Peace Region, popular fishing spots were – and still are – Stony Lake, Moonshine Lake, One Island Lake, and Sturgeon Lake. In 1925, an article was printed in the Grande Prairie Herald citing Sturgeon Lake’s many qualities: “fine sandy beaches, abundance of shade, excellent water to bathe in and the wonderful fishing possibilities”. The Wapiti, Murray, Peace, Smoky, and Kakwa rivers were also enjoyed by fishing and boating enthusiasts. Many of these bodies of water can be spotted in various Movie Monday films.

Movie Monday: Home and Lumber Mill

Image: A film still showing a man securing his load of lumber (SPRA 0198.02.08, Fonds 198: Ward-Marcy family fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

It has been some time since we’ve seen the Ward-Marcy family on Movie Monday, so today we are sharing another film from their family fonds.

This film was taken circa 1960 and includes footage of various  aspects of the Marcy family’s life. To begin, we are shown scenes from a family visit to Alberta Game Farm. The farm opened in 1959 and was located near Edmonton. At its peak, the farm was thought to be the world’s largest private animal collection – approximately 3,200 creatures in total, ranging from KFC-eating silverback gorillas to red pandas from Communist China. It’s obvious why this was such a popular tourist destination!

Next comes a glimpse of the Marcy home and cars, followed by a look at Miles Marcy’s work at the lumber mill. It is Miles who is seen operating the Timber Toter and unloading the trucks. The final portion of the film shows a wrecked truck belonging to Miles. The truck had rolled, and though we don’t know whether he sustained any injuries in the accident, we do know he survived the mishap!