Movie Monday: Harvest with Hand Implements

Image: A film still showing a demonstration of harvesting with hand implements (SPRA 0001.10.02.02, Fonds 001: Pioneer Museum Society of Grande Prairie & District 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 featured video was created in 1996 by Harry Lehners and Steve Evanchuk with the purpose of demonstrating how harvesting was done by hand before the introduction of machines. As Mr. Lehners says in the video, harvesting machines brought about “the end of an era”.

Most early settlers in Alberta were of European descent, and those who had been farmers in their homelands brought along their native tools. In this video, we see tools from countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. Harry explains the differences between these European tools and their American counterparts, and also describes the variations of tools used for different types of crops.

With the implements shown in this video, approximately one acre of grain could be cut in a day, and two acres could be tied in the same amount of time. Often, two men would operate scythes while a woman would follow behind, tying the felled grain in bundles. Harry shares an extraordinary story of a woman near Bear Lake who, in the 1910’s, cut four acres by hand while her husband was working with a threshing crew in southern Alberta. When her husband returned, he threshed the grain she had cut “and then he sold it in Clairmont for No. 1 Northern. Farming most certainly was – and still is – a team effort.

Movie Monday: Family Growing Up (Part 1)

Image: A film still showing Janus and Ben playing outdoors (SPRA 449.01.03, 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.

Today’s film features the children of the Foster family. Raymond Foster married Iva Carrell in 1945 and together they had four children: Janus (1946), Ben (1948), Dwain (1949), and Ruth (1955). The family farmed 24-73-6 W6 and S 25-73-6 W6, the land that Raymond’s parents had originally homesteaded in 1911. Interestingly, this is the land on which the town of Sexsmith now stands.

The Foster family did an excellent job of documenting their daily life and special events through the medium of home movies. In this particular film, we see vignettes of various activities that Janus, Ben, Dwain, and Ruth enjoyed during their early childhood years (1950-1956). These activities included things such as birthday parties, picking flowers, horseback riding, and skating.

Stay tuned and follow along with Movie Monday, as we will be featuring more of the Foster family in the future – including another film entitled Family Growing Up, created in 1957-1965.

Movie Monday: Eaglesham School Tour

Image: A film still showing students hard at work in Eaglesham School (SPRA 0137.03.02, Fonds 137: Donaldson family collection)

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 to the first installment of Movie Monday! Because the school year has just begun, it seems only fitting that the subject of today’s video should be a school: more specifically, the Eaglesham School.

The first classes held in Eaglesham were taught by Mary Pilon (Peterson) in 1936. At that time there was no school building, so lessons took place in the Catholic Church. In 1937, a log school was built half a mile west of the hamlet, where five more teachers would preside over the one-room schoolhouse in the nine years that followed. It wasn’t until 1952 (after a six year interval where all students were bussed to Fox Creek) that a centralized school was erected in Eaglesham, serving Grades 1-9 in its opening year.

By the time this school tour was filmed (ca. 1995), Eaglesham School had added specialized spaces such as a science room, computer room, and a library, and the school catered to students from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

Narrated by Chandra Rooney and filmed by Renee Thibeault, this video will take you through the entire Eaglesham school, beginning with the kindergarten class and ending with the computer lab – an obvious source of pride for the community.

 

Introducing Movie Monday

Image: A selection of film stills from the Archives’ film collections

We are excited to introduce to you our new project, Movie Monday. This project has been made possible with generous funding support from the Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie and will dramatically increase public access to the Archives’ film collection.

The project will result in fifty-two previously-digitized films being made accessible on the Archives’ YouTube channel. These amateur films document the daily lives of individuals and special events from our community, dating back to the mid-twentieth century. Each film will be featured in a weekly educational blog post and shared on our Facebook page, beginning September 7.

Some of the collections that will be featured during the project include the Foster family fonds, the Griff James fonds, and the Jerry Stojan family fonds. The Foster videos provide an excellent look into the family’s everyday life as their children were growing up, as well as highlighting their family vacations. Griff James’ films feature a wide variety of subjects such as the Wapiti ski hill, an air show, and an adorable litter of puppies, while Jerry Stojan’s focus largely on fishing trips and scenic shots of the area.

Most of these films are originally preserved on video cassette, 16mm film, or 8mm film. Utmost care has been taken to protect the content and integrity of these films; in most cases, the only editing that has taken place in the digitization process is the removal of blank film reel, so that you may experience this footage in as original and authentic form as possible.

The South Peace Regional Archives would like to sincerely thank Swan City Rotary Club for their financial support on this project. With their assistance, we hope to educate, inspire, and inform our community regarding local history by making our videos available on a familiar platform.

We hope you will enjoy these glimpses into the South Peace region’s past. Follow along with Movie Monday here on our blog, on our Facebook page, or on our YouTube channel beginning next Monday!

 

Introducing Kaylee Dyck

The Movie Monday project is being completed by the Archives newest contract staff member, Kaylee Dyck. Kaylee brings years of experience working with various non-profit organizations to this multimedia project. In her past positions, she has created educational content ranging from personalized elementary school lessons to blog posts and biographical videos. If Kaylee seems familiar, it’s because she has served as a volunteer for the South Peace Regional Archives for the last four years. During that time, Kaylee has contributed over one thousand volunteer hours to the WWI Soldiers Memorial and other projects. We are delighted to introduce her in her new capacity as Archives Technician. Welcome, Kaylee!

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 what where we are headed next!