Movie Monday: Farming

Image: A film still showing a combine in the field, circa 1954 (SPRA 449.01.08, 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

Welcome back to Movie Monday! Today’s film offers a spectacular look at life on a farm in the mid-1950s. Not only do we see a wide variety of farm machinery at work, such as tractors, combines, grain trucks, and a very early model of a self-propelled swather, but we also see much of the labour that goes on behind-the-scenes, away from the fields, to establish and maintain a working farm.

Raymond and Iva Foster specialized in raising purebred Herefords and seed crops. As their efforts were met with success, they were able to add to their operation new machinery and a new barn (the construction of the barn can be seen in this film). Horticulture was also part of their rural lifestyle, as evidenced by the tilling of a garden and a close-up of Iva’s flowering bush. Maintenance of the gardens, yard, buildings, and machines would have been an ongoing project.

Without a doubt, weather would also have played a significant role in the Fosters’ lives. The temperature, precipitation, humidity, and wind would all have been a factor in the success – or failure – of the crops. In the winter, snow and cold were always an obstacle, and seem to have been especially so during the winter of 1955-1956! This film shows the Fosters clearing both rural roads and sidewalks in town; after the road has been opened, the snow banks rise well above the top of the car!

Farmers in the ‘50s and ‘60s faced many challenges, but they also lived in an era that saw significant breakthroughs take place in the world of agricultural research and innovation.

Movie Monday: Wedding and Boating

Image: A film still showing a bride and groom’s car (SPRA 0253.01.01, Fonds 253: Jerry Stojan 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.

It’s time for Movie Monday! Today we are sharing a film from the Jerry Stojan family fonds, featuring scenes of a wedding, as well as an outdoor expedition. This is one of many 8mm films from the Stojan family fonds that is dated circa 1961.

As we share our film collection with you, we are taking the utmost care to protect the integrity of the films. This means we do minimal (if any) editing, letting the original content speak for itself. Today’s video is an excellent example of the procedure undergone by most of our films.

Upon acquisition, the condition of each reel of film is evaluated by the archivist. Categories on the examination form include smell, general condition, film base, and footage (length). In this case, the film had a musty smell but was deemed in good general condition. The 3” reel of 8mm acetate film contained 50 feet of film, which amounted to approximately three minutes and forty-five seconds of video. This film had no sound track.

The film reels are then sent to an audio-visual media technician and film conservator where they receive a more comprehensive examination and are cleaned and repaired if necessary. The only foreign matter found on this film was a bit of dust and dirt. Film conservators also have the technology needed to digitize archival film. While all possible measures are taken to preserve the original reels, digitization allows the films to be preserved for a much longer period of time and makes them much more accessible for viewing – and that is what Movie Monday is all about!

Finally, as the videos were being prepared for our YouTube channel, the only edits performed were the removal of long portions of blank film reel and the addition of title and credit slides at the beginning and end of each video. In a few cases, sound was muted on YouTube for copyright reasons, but no visual content was removed. What you see in the films on our channel is exactly what the creator intended for you to see!

Movie Monday: Boat Construction and River Trips

Image: A film still showing an outing on the Wapiti Queen (SPRA 1974.74.22M, Fonds 138: Griff James 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 tells the story of a riverboat, the Wapiti Queen, presumably built by Griff James circa 1963. The film begins by showing the boat in its very beginning stages of construction and by the end of the film we have seen the boat embark on a number of voyages.

Griff James was an avid outdoorsman and obviously enjoyed carpentry as well. The Wapiti Queen was built by hand from beginning to end. A few minutes into the film, the launching of the Wapiti Queen is shown – an auspicious occasion celebrated with friends. Though conditions appear favourable as the boat launches, shortly thereafter we see scenes of ice in the river, indicating that the building of the boat was a winter project and Griff was eager to test the boat as soon as possible!

The Wapiti Queen’s maiden voyage was a success and the remainder of the film documents the many journeys the James family embarked upon. The trips appear to be of a leisurely nature, though at one point rapids are traversed, and picnics in the sun and fishing along the shore are all part of the experience.

A number of the videos featured on Movie Monday contain scenes of riverboating trips, but this is the only film to show the construction of a boat, making it quite a unique addition to our collection!

Movie Monday: Fashion Show

Image: A film still showing models in a local fashion show (SPRA 0477.04.03.07, Fonds 477: Eaglesham and District Drama Club 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.

If you have an interest in fashions of the past, this Movie Monday is for you! Today we are sharing footage from a 1989 fashion show, presented by the Eaglesham and District Agricultural Society.

The outfits in the fashion show were created and donated by local businesses, and modelled by local citizens. Clothing categories included sports and casual wear, Western wear, career wear, and dress wear. Models ranged in age from toddlers to senior citizens, making it a true community affair. Throughout the show, door prizes were offered and accessories were demonstrated by volunteers.

The Eaglesham and District Agricultural Society was founded in 1971 with fifty-one charter members. The Society purchased a fairgrounds where exhibition buildings, a race track, ball diamond, BMX track, and playground were added over the years. The Agricultural Society supported – and continues to support – many community events like the fashion show featured in this video. The Society’s aim is to enhance the quality of life in the district by strengthening relationships between rural communities and by supporting local youth and cultivating leadership.

Note: some portions of this film have been muted due to copyright.

Movie Monday: Outdoor Activities

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!

Movie Monday: Air Show and Rotary Convention

Image: A film still depicting planes at an air show (SPRA 1974.74.22, Fonds 138: Griff James 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 Movie Monday film features two Rotary-related events. The first is an air show that was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie, and the second is a Rotary convention.

The Rotary Club of Grande Prairie was formed in January of 1951, meeting at the York Hotel. For its first fundraiser, the club created and sold calendars that featured the birthdays and anniversaries of community members. The project started in 1963 and lasted until the early 1970’s. In 1973, Rotary assumed responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the city’s campground. And that same year, the club’s Green-a-thon program began, encouraging students to become involved in the community and keep the city clean. These are only a few of the ventures undertaken by the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie in its first decades, and many of the club’s early projects still continue today!

On October 13, 1986, the Swan City Rotary Club was chartered, thanks to the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Grande Prairie. In turn, the Swan City Rotary Club now funds the Movie Monday project here at the South Peace Regional Archives! Rotary clubs set an excellent example of teamwork, community service, and creating goodwill within their local communities and beyond.

Movie Monday: Tiemans’ 50th Wedding Anniversary

Image: A film still showing the Tiemans cutting the cake at their 50th wedding anniversary (SPRA 1985.3.82B, Fonds 039: Bert & Miriam Tieman 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 we are featuring our second film from the Bert & Miriam Tieman fonds. This video documents the celebration of their golden anniversary. It is inspiring to see that although the Tiemans had no family in Canada, they were surrounded by a generous community that gathered with them to commemorate the momentous occasion.

One of the décor elements that can be spotted in the film is a pair of swans, perhaps made of some type of paper or cardboard. Swans symbolize attributes such as grace, love, and devotion, and are often associated with weddings and anniversaries. Interestingly, swans are also the official bird of Grande Prairie, adding another element of significance to the décor at the Tieman’s celebration.

In 1926, swans were discovered to be nesting in the Grande Prairie area. A combination of protective legislation and effective wildlife management was introduced, leading to the eventual removal of swans from the endangered species list. After Grande Prairie received its charter in 1958, the city was declared the “Home of the Trumpeter Swan” and is often referred to as “Swan City”.

If the remainder of the Tiemans’ films are any indication, the couple thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and the creatures that inhabit it. Visit our YouTube channel to view more of their films and see how many different types of animals you can spot!

Movie Monday: 12th Annual Fiddlers’ Jamboree

Image: A film still showing performers at the Fiddlers’ Jamboree (SPRA 0001.10.01.12a-b, 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 Movie Monday will be of special interest to our music-loving followers. The featured video is an excerpt from the 1999 Fiddlers’ Jamboree – an event organized by the Grande Prairie Museum.

The first Fiddlers’ Jamboree (held in 1988) was not only organized by the museum, but hosted in the venue’s community room as well. The event was a great success and was held in the Golden Age Centre the following year, in order to increase capacity. Eventually the jamboree outgrew these facilities as well, and in 1999 (the year this film was taken) it was moved to the Grande Prairie Regional College for its 12th Annual edition.

Today, more than thirty years after its inception, the Fiddlers’ Jamboree remains a popular community event. Each year, the festival draws performers and spectators of all ages and skill levels from across Western Canada and the Northwest Territories. Genres of music played at the event include country, bluegrass, and Irish fiddling. The jamboree provides a unique opportunity for fiddling enthusiasts to celebrate the diversity of their craft, while preserving the heritage of fiddle music than spans generations.

Movie Monday: Moving the Hythe Hospital

Image: A film still showing the old Hythe hospital being moved (Fonds 637: Hythe Homecoming 2016 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.

Two weeks ago we shared the oldest film in our Movie Monday collection; today we are presenting the most recent! Though the relocation of the Hythe hospital occurred less than 7 years ago, it is nonetheless an event worth commemorating here on Movie Monday.

The Hythe Hospital was built in 1947. Before its construction, local homes had served as informal hospitals. For more than a decade before the hospital’s construction, meetings were held on a regular basis in order to finalize plans for the proposed hospital, and campaigns took place in an effort to raise funds. When the 12,000 square foot building finally opened on December 12, 1947, many local citizens and business offered their congratulations and praises for the new facility. The December 18, 1947 edition of the Herald-Tribune published many pieces related to the new hospital, including one stating that “the building and opening of the hospital is an achievement in community cooperation”. Indeed it was! Dr. Glas, who had been delivering babies in the old police barracks prior to the hospital’s construction, was only one of the individuals who played a key role in the building of the hospital. He had practiced medicine in Prague for 8 years before coming to Hythe and was a well-respected member of the community.

After having served the community for nearly forty years, the original hospital was replaced by a new facility. The old hospital was converted to a medical clinic and pharmacy, but was vacated in 2009 and remained empty for 5 years. Finally, on September 12, 2014, the building was relocated to an empty lot in the village and was given a new life. Now known as Glas House, in honour of Dr. Glas, it houses rental units and a public access space, and is operated by the Hythe & District Pioneer Homes Foundation.

Movie Monday: Peace River

Image: A film still showing a Peace River sign (SPRA 449.01.20, 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

It’s Movie Monday, and today we are sharing our fourth film from the Foster family fonds. This film shows scenes of a 1965 road trip that took the family to Moberly Lake, a Pacific Great Eastern Railway, bridge, the Dunvegan Bridge, Taylor Bridge, and the Bennett Dam construction site at Hudson’s Hope. The Fosters enjoyed many family vacations over the years, travelling as far as Australia in 1964! A number of these trips are preserved on 8mm film and will be featured later on Movie Monday.

As the infrastructure of northern Alberta and British Columbia continued to develop in the ‘50s and ‘60s, many inhabitants of the Grande Prairie area hopped in their cars and drove off to witness remarkable feats of engineering, such as Bennett Dam and the Dunvegan and Taylor bridges. Highway 2, which connects Dawson Creek to Alberta, was built in 1952 – just in time for all the Albertans who would make the pilgrimage to the Taylor Bridge and the dam site at Hudson’s Hope!

Many of our Movie Monday films feature scenes of the Dunvegan Bridge and Bennett Dam. Visit our YouTube channel to check them out!