Fonds 449 Foster Family fonds

Foster Family fonds. — 1949-[ca. 1967]. — 24 video recordings.

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Biographical Sketch

Raymond Harold Orville Foster, born in 1910 in Watson, Saskatchewan, was the oldest of four children of John Bernard (Benny) Foster and Hannah Helgusen. He journeyed to the Grande Prairie area with his parents as an infant over the Edson Trail from March to September of 1911. The Foster family homesteaded or purchased land using South African scrip where Sexsmith is now (24-73-6 W6th and S 25-73-6 W6th).

Raymond attended the Sexsmith school and the Vermilion School of Agriculture. He married Iva Carrell in 1945. Iva was the daughter of Ralph and Ruth (Johnson) Carrell of Beaverlodge and had three siblings.

Raymond and Iva had four children: Janus (b. 1946), Ben (b. 1948), Dwain (b. 1949), and Ruth (b. 1955). After Raymond’s parents retired to Grande Prairie around 1946, Raymond and Iva continued to farm the family land, specializing in purebred Herefords and seed crops. Iva also taught at the Sexsmith School.

Avid travelers, even with a young family, the Fosters made many trips to locations including the United States (1947-48, 1951), the Alaska Highway and Klondike (1949, 1962), Hudson’s Hope (1950), California (1951), the Hart Highway (ca. 1951), Yellowknife (ca. 1951), Florida (1952-1953), Arizona (1956), Naramata (1957), Australia (1964), Hawaii (1964), Jasper and Banff (ca. 1960s), and British Columbia (ca. 1968, ca. 1970) preserving their vacations on 8mm film.

Raymond died in October 1967 at the age of 57. Iva was later remarried to Elmer Canning.

Custodial History

The films were donated in two accessions in 2003 and 2009 by Ben Foster, the son of Raymond Foster who created the films.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of the Foster family’s film collection, 24 film and video recordings taken by Raymond Foster to document family activities and trips.


The title of the fonds is based on its contents.

Table of Contents

Series 449.01 Family Film
Series 449.01 Family Film. — 1949-[ca. 1967]. — 24 video recordings.The series consists of 23 8mm and Super 8mm films taken by Raymond Foster to document family activities and trips. Film topics include children playing, birthday parties, various sports, Christmas activities, outdoor activities, work on the farm, camping, parades, picnics, an air show, the Teepee Creek Stampede, a wedding anniversary, Boy Scouts, a prom, and trips up the Alaska Highway, Hart Highway, to Hudson’s Hope, Florida, Arizona, Banff and Jasper, Yellowstone, Alberta Game Farm, and around the Peace River. Also included is a VHS transfer of seven of these films. The films were arranged in roughly chronological order by the Archivist. Many of the vacation films focusing mainly on scenery and tourist attractions were discarded in favour of others that showed more family action and interaction.
Alaska Highway, 1949
8 mm film
The film shows a June 1949 family trip up the Alaska Highway including tent camping, berry picking, the White Pass train, a paddle wheeler boat, and children doing various activities.
Location: 449.01.01
Hudson’s Hope, 1950
8 mm film
The film shows a 1950 family trip to Hudson’s Hope including scenes of the Peace River in early fall and fishing.
Location: 449.01.02
Family Growing Up #1, 1950-1956
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of the life and activities of the Foster family including kids bicycling (Janus and Ben), eating ice cream, riding on a wagon behind a cultivator, playing outside and on playground equipment (Freddy Welsh, Eldon Dane), at birthday parties (for Ben, Dwain), at the lake, chasing chickens, at Christmas time, going to school, fishing, horseback riding, skating, camping, and hula-hooping (Janus and Ruth).
Location: 449.01.03

View a digitized copy of this item here.

Family Growing Up #2, 1957-1965
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of the life and activities of the Foster family including swimming and boating at Sandy Point Resort, at Caribou Historic Site, picnicking, playing at the playground, at the Grande Prairie pool, at Lake Saskatoon, at Winagami Provincial Park, at birthday parties, walking on stilts, dressing-up, playing in the sand, having a family dinner, celebrating Christmas in a box, a school bus, showing muskrat pelts, and at the Edmonton Ski Club.
Location: 449.01.04
Alaska Highway and the Klondike, [ca. 1950s], 1962
8 mm film
The film shows scenes from family trips up the Alaska Highway in the 1950s and 1962 including the Mile 0 marker in Dawson Creek, camping in a truck camper and a trailer, swimming, at the Liard Hotsprings, a beached riverboat, a White Pass Railway trip to Skagway, Five Fingers Rapids, Dawson City and gold panning, a native cemetery, picking wildflowers, a snowball fight, and a sunset.
Location: 449.01.05
Hart Highway, [ca. 1951]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes from a family trip up the Hart Highway around 1951 including camping, roadside scenery, eating outside, boating and fishing, climbing to a lookout, and cabins.
Location: 449.01.06
Florida, 1952-1953
8 mm film
The film shows scenes from a family trip to Florida in 1952-53 including roadside scenery, Kolomoki Mounds State Park (Georgia), fruit and flowers, Fort Myers, Chapel by the Sea, boats, Christmas at the campground, on the beach, a party, at the circus, in the campground, playing with sombreros, a parade, coconuts, harvesting, playing in the water, golfing, a beauty pageant, and Motorama 1953. This was originally the first of a set of two reels of the Florida trip, the second of which has been discarded.
Location: 449.01.07
Farming, [ca. 1954-1955]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes from around the farm including a harvesting, various field work and machinery, farm buildings and house, washing a car, cattle, clearing snow, and people on the barn roof.
Location: 449.01.08
Community Events, [ca. 1955]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of community life and activities including a crowd listening to a speaker, possibly at the opening of a school, a picnic at the Wapiti, washing cars in the river, a classroom presentation to a teacher, adults dressing-up, a game of basketball, and kids at the Lake Saskatoon camp.
Location: 449.01.09
Arizona, 1956
8 mm film
The film shows scenes from a 1956 family trip to Arizona including scenery, feeding wildlife, Apache Trail, Montezuma Castle National Monument, flowers, playing in the water, picking fruit, a baseball game, a square dance, Mesa Gardens Trailer Court, a group meal, a train and an industrial plant, cacti, a picnic, hiking, boating, fishing, a building on fire and firefighters, Tumacacori National Monument, a parade, a pony ride and carnival, kids outside Alma school, street scenes and buildings, and Tonto National Monument.
Location: 449.01.10
Outdoor Activities, 1957, 1964
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of outdoor activities including boating and fishing at Sturgeon Lake, a picnic with Mr. and Mrs. Carrell, Puskwaskau Tower, kids playing in a lake (possibly Lake Saskatoon), water skiing, and berry picking.
Location: 449.01.11
Outdoor Activities, [ca. 1958]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of outdoor activities including boating, hiking, a campfire, hunting (likely at Nose Mountain or Athabasca), fishing, large machinery building a road (perhaps the Hart Highway), Henry McCullough bringing the Charter to the new City of Grande Prairie, skiing at the Smoky Ski Hill, an oil pumper and derrick, and moving ice.
Location: 449.01.12
Community Events, [ca. 1959]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of families in front of their homes, a CN train station, a Royal Visit, weddings, kids eating watermelon, a picnic, Wesley Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, bicycling, an air show, and a winter carnival.
Location: 449.01.13
Family Travels, [ca. 1960]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of family travels including the Al Oeming’s Alberta Game Farm, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Robson, campsites, playing in a lake, a Royal Visit parade, and a snowball fight.
Location: 449.01.14
Parade and Teepee Creek Stampede, 1961
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of a parade with various floats (possibly Sexsmith), a bull sale/show, Teepee Creek Stampede, and trick animals.
Location: 449.01.15
Banff and Jasper, [ca. 1961]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of a family trip to Banff and Jasper including the Chateau Lake Louise, a gondola ride, scenery, the Banff School of Fine Arts, at Miette pool, harvesting, picking fruit, the Cariboo Wagon Road, Lady Franklin Rock, a campsite, fishing, an abandoned cabin, and boating.
Location: 449.01.16
Ruth and Ralph Carrell 47th Wedding Anniversary, 1962
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of Ruth and Ralph Carrell’s 47th wedding anniversary including the couple with cake and gifts, the guests, and the food.
Location: 449.01.17
Boy Scouts, 1963
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of a Boy Scout camp or jamboree including a parade, the camp, canoeing, sailing, swimming, hiking, cooking over a fire, and a group photo.
Location: 449.01.18
Jasper, 1964, 1967
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of family trips to Jasper including the family looking down on Jasper, a picnic shelter and bighorn sheep, the Jasper Sky Tram, and mountain scenery.
Location: 449.01.19
Peace River, 1965
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of a 1965 family Peace River trip including Moberly Lake, fishing, the P.G.E. Railway, Dunvegan Bridge, the Dunvegan ferry, Taylor Bridge, the Peace River, and the Peace River dam at Hudson’s Hope.
Location: 449.01.20
Janus’ Prom and a Picnic, 1965
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of Janus’ prom, a picnic, buildings (possibly in Edmonton), and a costumed man.
Location: 449.01.21
Kids and Home Sweet Home, [ca. 1967]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of the Foster family home near Sexsmith in various seasons. The children are shown occasionally.
Location: 449.01.22
Parade, [ca. 1965]
8 mm film
The film shows scenes of a parade, possibly in Valleyview.
Location: 449.01.23
Foster Family Film, 1949-[ca. 1967]
Video Cassette
A video recording of some of the 8 mm films in this collection (449.01.01, 05, 06, 09, 11, 15, 20) and a film of a trip to Yellowknife which was not retained.
Location: 449.01.24
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