From the Vault Friday: Sweet Adelines

Image: SPRA fonds 038

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a playbill from the Sweet Adelines fonds (fonds 038).

In 1976, a Grande Prairie Chapter of the Sweet Adelines was initiated by Jean Duffy, who had been a member of a chapter in Edmonton but was now resident in Grande Prairie. By 1980, the group was a member of the International Sweet Adelines. To earn a chapter, the group had to have 20 members and prove, via singing competitions, that they had mastered the unique Barbershop style and sound. They had to show that they could organize events and portray the proper Sweet Adelines image and standards, as well as raise the funds to cover the costs of instructors, equipment, costumes and travel.

Over the 19 years for which they existed, the club provided entertainment for the community as a service or in fund-raising concerts, and participated in local events such as the County Parade and the Festival of Carols. They especially enjoyed singing in senior citizens’ lodges. As a chapter, they performed at regional competitions, attended other competitions in the States and Canada, and even sent some members to international conventions.

The group swelled to a total of 28 members, but dwindled in the early 90s. In 1994, with a membership of 12, funding and members became increasingly difficult to attract. The chapter dissolved in 1995.

Read more about the Sweet Adelines fonds (fonds 038) here.

View a selection of our photos on Alberta On Record.

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

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.