1995 Grande Prairie Canada Winter Games Host Society fonds. — 1993-1995. — 6 cm of textual records. — 37 photographs. — 4 artistic drawings. — 4 sound recordings. — 13 video recordings.
The Canada Games started in February 1967 and are held every two years, alternating between summer and winter games. The 1995 Canada Winter Games were held in Grande Prairie, Alberta from February 19 to March 4, with some additional venues in Jasper. At the time, Grande Prairie was the smallest city to ever host the Games and only the second Alberta city (after Lethbridge in 1975) to do so. Twenty-one sports were featured at the games with 2517 athletes, 617 coaches and managers, 8000 volunteers, and 115 staff. The theme for the Games was “Capture the Vision”.
In January 1989, the federal government announced that the 1995 Games would be held in Alberta. Tom Thompson and George Keen started putting together a bid, enlisting the help of Games consultant Ian Howard and bid volunteers. A Site Evaluation Day was held on September 18, 1990 with representatives of the Canada Games Council and federal government visiting Grande Prairie and Jasper. On November 9, 1990, it was announced that Grande Prairie had won the bid.
The 1995 Grande Prairie Canada Winter Games Host Society incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with a mission: “We are dedicated to creating a positive climate for an unparalleled celebration of sport and culture which will leave the athlete and all those touched by their involvement in the 1995 Canada Games with a legacy rich in memories, new opportunities and pride as Canadians.”
The Host Society Board of Governors was led by Mayor Gord Graydon of Grande Prairie and was composed of the mayors, reeves, and chief executive officers of all cities, town, villages, municipalities, Indian bands, counties, and improvement districts in northwestern Alberta and northeastern BC. The Board of Governors met at least once a year to advise the Host Society on the spirit and values of the Games and to communicate between communities and Society.
The Host Society Board of Directors was also led by Mayor Gord Graydon and was composed of local and regional government representatives, education representatives, venue representatives, and Host Society Management Committee members. The Board of Directors met quarterly to support and advise the Host Society Management Committee in Games preparations and administration and to approve the Society’s capital and operating budgets.
The Host Society Management Committee was led by President H. J. (Tom) Thompson, Senior Vice President Alex Figel, and General Manager Kerry T. Moynihan. The Management Committee had fifteen divisions, each led by a vice-president: Administration/Volunteer Services (Judy Laughy), Athletes’ Village (John Webster), Culture (Carol-Lee Eckhardt), Facilities (George Keen), Finance (Fred Estlin), Friends of the ’95 Games (Bill Bowes and Turk Taylor), Health and Medical Services (Dr. Hilary Wynters), Jasper (Roger Smolnicky), Language Services (Marie Stevens), Legal Counsel (Lyle Carlstrom), Logistics (Bill McCubbin), Marketing (Wayne Jobb), Protocol and Ceremonies (Grant Menzies), Special Projects (Perky McCullough), and Sport (Rick Hryciuk). The Management Committee also included the Executive Assistant to the President (Debbie Smith), Alberta Community Development representative (Dwight Ganske), Federal Government Representative (Sandra Green), and Canada Games Council representatives and met monthly. Divisional volunteers and staff met monthly until January 1995, weekly thereafter, and daily during Games.
The Host Committee obtained $2 million each from the federal, provincial, and municipal governments. They also had additional federal support from the Department of Canadian Heritage, Human Resources Development (Unemployment Insurance Job Creation Program), Department of National Defence, Translation Bureaus, and for Canada House; additional provincial support from Environmental Protection, Public Works (Supply and Safety), Transportation and Utilities, Alberta Health, Alberta Community Development and Alberta Foundation of the Arts, and Alberta Lotteries; and additional municipal support with facilities, venues, services, and capital funding for the Canada Games Arena. Major Sponsors and Official Suppliers included Pepsi/Gray Beverages Inc., Xerox Canada, Sun Ice Ltd., Weyerhaueser, AGT Ltd., AGT Mobility, AGT Directory, County of Grande Prairie, General Motors of Canada, Air Canada, Alberta Tourism Education Council/Alberta Best, IGA, CBC/SRC, UNISYS, Daily Herald Tribune, Bowes Publishers Limited, The Calgary and Edmonton Suns, Alberta Power/Northwestern Utilities/ATCO Ltd., Canada Post, Dairy Farmers of Canada. Numerous other businesses and individuals also contributed on a smaller scale to make up a total of $3.35 million plus $3.8 million in gifts in kind.
The Canada Games Arena and Wapiti Nordic Ski Centre were constructed as venues and renovations were also made to the Johnny MacDonald Arena and Grande Prairie Regional College. A temporary Athlete’s village was also constructed.
Week One of the Games started with the February 19, 1995 Opening Ceremonies, including song and dance presentations, several addresses from dignitaries, lighting of the flame, and Colin James concert. Week One sports included Alpine Skiing (Jasper, Marmot Basin), Badminton (GPRC), Cross Country Skiing (Wapiti Nordic Ski Centre), Fencing (St. Joseph Catholic High School), Freestyle Skiing (Jasper’s Marmot Basin), Men’s Hockey (Canada Games Arena, Dave Barr Arena, Sexsmith Civic Centre, Wembley Rec-Plex), Judo (Grande Prairie Composite High School), Rhythmic Gymnastics (GPRC), Ringette (Beaverlodge Arena, Dave Barr Arena, Johnny MacDonald Arena), Shooting (Crystal Park School), Short Track Speed Skating (Johnny MacDonald Arena), Long Track Speed Skating (outside Leisure Centre Oval), and Wheelchair Basketball (Jasper Activity Centre).
Week Two sports included Artistic Gymnastics (GPRC), Biathlon (Wapiti Nordic Ski Centre), Boxing (Bowes Family Crystal Gardens), Curling (Grande Prairie Curling Rink), Figure Skating (Canada Games Arena), Women’s Hockey (Dave Barr Arena, Johnny MacDonald Arena), Squash (Grande Prairie Fitness Centre Squash Courts), Synchronized Swimming (Leisure Centre), Table Tennis (Grande Prairie Composite High School), and Weightlifting (GPRC Theatre). Week Two wrapped up with the Closing ceremonies at Canada Games Arena, including dignitaries, the Parade of Athletes, the Legend of the Northern Lights production, singer Michelle Wright, special awards, and the passing of the torch to Brandon, Manitoba as the next Host City.
Sources: http://www.canadagames.ca/content/Games/1995-Grande-Prairie.asp, http://www.canadagames2015.ca/canada-games-council, “The Best Games Ever” 1995 Canada Games Final Report (ca. 1996)
The records of the Cultural Division of the 1995 Grande Prairie Canada Winter Games Host Society were donated to the Archives in October 2012 by Vice President of Culture, Carol-Lee Eckhardt. The records were created primarily by Dr. Jack Wynters, Jim Nelson, and Carol-Lee Eckhardt during their work on the “Fire in the Sky” cultural performances.
Scope and Content
The fonds consists of the planning records for the 1995 Canada Winter Games, held in Grande Prairie in February-March 1995, particularly those the Cultural Division, which planned the “Fire in the Sky” cultural productions.
Table of Contents
|Series 603.01||Cultural Division|
|Series 603.01||Cultural Division. — 1990, 1993-1995. — 6 cm of textual records. — 37 photographs. — 4 artistic drawings. — 4 sound recordings. — 13 video recordings.The Culture Division, one of the divisions of the Host Committee management committee, had a mandate to “showcase” local artists and those from other provinces and territories and to expose people to northern Alberta culture. The overall theme for the cultural program was “Iskoteo”, the Cree word for the Northern Lights, which were the inspiration for the theme, logo, and theme poem. Cultural division fundraisers, including the sale of buttons, the Light Up Grande Prairie Christmas light campaign (with the Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association), and a truck raffle (with the South Peace Ball Association), we held to cover costs so that all cultural events could be provided free to the public. Funding was also obtained from Canadian Heritage’s Cultural Initiatives Program, Province of Alberta programs, and sponsors. The programs had six parts: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Aboriginal Experience, Literary Arts, Venue Entertainment, and Holistic Arts. Other local groups, including Second Street Theatre and Grande Prairie Regional College Theatre also held cultural events during the Games. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were not planned by the Culture Division. The Visual Arts program included the erection of “The Pinnacle” obelisk sculpture by Rudi Schmidt outside Canada Games Arena, Prairie Art Gallery shows, the “Iskoteo” juried art show at Towne Centre Mall, the Alberta Craft Council exhibit “Craft About Us”, the large Iskoteo logo in the windows of 214 Place, murals on chainlink fences by kids, the Arts and Crafts Marketplace at the Centre for Creative Arts, and the Artwalk Brochure. The Literary Arts program consisted of a contest for French and English written works and black and white drawings on the Iskoteo theme. The winning entries were published as the “Iskoteo Anthology” and given as a VIP gift. The stories were also made available to the public and the winning art entries displayed at the library. The Holistic Arts program was centred at the Holistic Centre at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital and included aromatherapy, African drum workshops, massage, and reflexology. The Performing Arts program was centred at Muskoseepi Park and had several elements, including the nightly “Fire in the Sky” program starting with the medal winners of the day in the AGT March of Champions and including a five part multi-media show presenting the history of the Peace Country from the time of the dinosaurs to the 1995 Games using video, live performers, puppets, and lasers , the “Spirit of the People” tent featuring performers from a different province or territory each night, and the “Kulture Koffee House” in the Pavilion with performances by local artists and out of province guests. Canada House also featured four hours of entertainment each day and there were live performers at each sports venue. The Aboriginal Experience featured Native, Metis, and Inuit cultures for 12 hours a day at St. Clement School, including performances and the Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Marketplace. Sources: “The Best Games Ever” 1995 Canada Games Final Report (ca. 1996)The series consists of the records of the Cultural Division of the 1995 Grande Prairie Canada Winter Games Host Committee. The records were created primarily by Dr. Jack Wynters, Jim Nelson, and Carol-Lee Eckhardt in the course of planning and producing the “Fire in the Sky” evening performances. The textual records include a few different versions of the “Fire in the Sky” episode scripts written by Jim Nelson and altered by Jack Wynters, film stock recommendations, proposals and contracts, filming arrangements, costs, and shooting schedules, puppet and character sketches, a preliminary program, site plans and maps, a project list, a schedule, a rehearsal schedule, minutes of a production meeting, publicity flyers and schedules, and correspondence regarding hot air balloons, Iskoteo and puppet design, lasers, screen, advertisers, supplies, fireworks, ampitheatre, production costs, drummers, and costumes. The scripts have been arranged by the Archivist in files by episode and chronologically by version within each file. Loose records were inserted into the “Planning Documents” file, which was roughly chronological and had its original order retained by the Archivist. Where there were separate files, ie. for “Iskoteo and Puppet Design” and “Laser”, they were maintained. The photographs include 35 contact sheet prints of the Iskoteo character and two prints of the 12 Foot Davis character. The audio-visual material includes two videos produced by Alberta Tourism and used as source material, one video of equipment tests, six videos of source material created by the Cultural Division, one video of partially completed shows, three videos of completed shows, three audio tapes of “Fire in the Sky” narrations and audio, and one audio tape of the “Capture the Vision” theme song.|