Image: A film still showing a picnic (SPRA 449.01.11, 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 from the Foster family fonds will have us all looking forward to the activities we will be enjoying in a few months’ time when summer returns! The film includes footage taken in 1957 and 1964, and as the title suggests, focuses on the many outdoor activities enjoyed by the Foster family – boating, swimming, waterskiing, fishing, picnics, etc.
One of the more unusual activities shown in this film is the climbing of the Puskwaskau forestry tower. The Puskwaskau Tower was completed and began operation in the mid-1940s. According to an annual report from the Department of Lands and Mines, it was “equipped with a thirty-watt transmitter receiver combination set” and was the twelfth lookout tower to be erected in the Northern Alberta Forest District. Lookout towers such as the one at Puskwaskau play a crucial role in the detection of wildfires. Observers have the responsibility of reporting any wildfire activity within a 40-kilometer radius of their tower – that’s an area of 5,027 square kilometers!
Today there are 127 lookout towers across Alberta. However, it is no longer permitted for the public to climb these towers!