From the Vault Friday: Grande Prairie Music Festival

Image: SPRA fonds 491

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a program from the Grande Prairie & District Music Festival fonds (Fonds 491).

The concept of the Grande Prairie Music Festival originated with the “Women’s Music Club” that was active in Grande Prairie in 1921. This organization promoted the idea of music festivals. The first joint festival with Peace River and Grande Prairie participants was held May 25-26, 1927. By 1932, Grande Prairie was holding its own annual festivals, and in 1945 the festival became non-competitive. This resulted in a decline of interest and there are no records of festivals held from 1948 to 1951. Attempts were made to revive the festival as a competition in 1952-1953, but it was not until 1959 that music teacher Martin Intscher led the community to re-establish the music festival. With the support of the Allied Arts Council and the Grande Prairie School Board, the next festival was held in 1962 and annual festivals have been held ever since. In 1962, the festival categories included elocution, public speaking, penmanship, dancing, drama, art, and crafts as well as music entries.

Read more about the Grande Prairie & District Music Festival fonds (Fonds 491) here.

From the Vault Friday is a social media campaign that highlights interesting materials from the collections of the South Peace Regional Archives. This project was made possible by an Access to Holdings Grant from the Archives Society of Alberta.