Grande Prairie Logging Sports Association fonds. — 1973-1994. — 6 cm of textual records, 500 photographs, 1 video recordings.
In 1973, the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce was searching for a way to promote the city as the “Timber Capital” of Alberta. They approached locally based forest industries and allied companies to put together some form of timber show to run in conjunction with Muskoseepi Days. So the first timber show was held that summer in 1973, with only local competitors making it a limited success.
In 1974, the second logger’s sports was held in Bear Creek Park with one outside contestant, but it was obvious that what was needed was a strong campaign to attract both competitors and local spectators. That winter, the Logging Sports Committee began negotiations with the County of Grande Prairie Agricultural Society to hold the show in conjunction with the County Fair. As well, a number of professional competitors were brought in from the west coast to put on demonstrations of their various skills. As a result of the 1975 show, the committee was accepted into the Canadian Loggers’ Sports Association (CANLOG) as part of a Canada-wide competition circuit.
CANLOG was formed in 1968 under the auspices of the Festival of Forestry, a government program designed to foster interest and understanding in the forest industry. Since its inception “CANLOG” has introduced Loggers’ Sports throughout Canada, and the resulting competitions have become the official forest industry sport.
At the time the local show was accepted as a member of CANLOG, the Association was interested in obtaining at least one event that would favour local competitors. As a result, in 1976 two new Canadian Championship events, unique to the Grande Prairie show, were introduced: the Swede Saw Bucking event and the World Loggers Pentathlon.
Also in 1976, the Grande Prairie Loggers Sports Association began to construct a logger’s sports park, complete with a log house facility, birling pond and climbing poles. That year competitors came from as far away as Australia.
From 1976 to the early 1990s, the event continued to be a part of the annual fair at Evergreen Park. The small association whose job it was to organize the show, however, was having difficulty attracting new members. The organization folded in 1994, the year the last Loggers’ Sports Show was held in Grande Prairie.
Records were donated to the Grande Prairie Museum by Laura Partlow and Martha Head, the children of Billy’s sister, Mrs. George Head.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of the rules and regulations of the Loggers’ Sports Association, programs of the yearly events, photographs, newsclippings and a video of the 1986 competition.