Tag Archives: small town life

Salmo Celebrates! (1939)

80 years ago. . .

Salmo, BC, celebrates Dominion Day with a parade and sports day on July 1, 1939. After the parade through town, Dominion Day queen Sara Kristina Hamberg is crowned, local men compete in a mucking contest and a baseball game, the Nelson Boys’ Band plays, and everyone enjoys an ice cream cone.

 

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One of the day’s highlights was a performance by the “crack drill team” of the Nelson chapter of the Nomads of Avrudaka, which was probably affiliated with the Pythian Sisters Temple No. 10. According to Wikipedia, the Nomads of Avrudaka were a female auxiliary of the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan, a side degree of the Knights of Pythias. These may be out-takes from a longer film; the South Kootenay News (at right, July 6, 1939, p. 4) seems to indicate that the performance was half an hour long!

 

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Dominion Day Queen Sara Hamberg, freshly crowned. (Digital frame grab)

These video clips comprise edited excerpts from silent 16 mm film footage shot by Vancouver filmmaker Alfred E. Booth (1892-1977). In the 1930s and 1940s, Booth travelled extensively in the BC Interior, shooting footage of the various regions and communities for his company, Travel Films. The source film is the compilation reel “[Kootenay-Boundary area] : [footage and out-takes],” one of 39 film reels in the Alfred E. Booth fonds at the BC Archives.

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For more examples of BC Interior and Vancouver footage shot by Alfred E. Booth, see the following blog posts:

A Visit to Nakusp and Edgewood (ca. 1939)

This video clip comprises edited excerpts from silent 16 mm film footage shot by Vancouver filmmaker Alfred E. Booth (1892-1977) of Travel Films.  In the 1930s and 1940s, Booth travelled extensively in the BC Interior, shooting footage of the various regions and communities, including their amenities, businesses, and people. This footage was for use in films promoting the communities as travel and commerce destinations. In most cases, the completed films have not survived; but some of the raw footage and out-takes are preserved at the BC Archives.

The Nakusp footage includes views of the main street and residents, the retired sternwheeler S.S. Bonnington, the cenotaph, the Arrow Lakes Hospital, and activity at a sawmill. At 3:15 in the clip, there is a brief sequence shot across the lake in Edgewood. It shows the Arrow Lake Hotel, Edgewood General Store, and residents at the lakeshore for the arrival of the S.S. Minto. The latter shot is very brief in the original, so I have “stretched” the shot (to render it in slow-motion), and concluded with a freeze-frame made from the last image.

The source film is the compilation reel [Kootenay-Boundary area] : [footage and out-takes], one of 39 film reels in the Alfred E. Booth fonds at the BC Archives.

For more examples of BC Interior and Vancouver footage shot by Alfred E. Booth, see the following blog posts:

Meeting the Minto at Edgewood on Upper Arrow Lake — the last frame of a very brief shot. (Digital frame grab from V1995:01/016.01 item #2)

At play—and work—in the Central Okanagan (mid-1940s)

During the Second World War, the BC Government Travel Bureau launched an ambitious program of in-house film production.  The Bureau’s Photographic Branch shot 16 mm colour footage on Vancouver Island and throughout the southern Interior.  This material would be fashioned into several colour-and-sound travelogues highlighting the province’s major regions and local attractions.  Most of these films were finished and released in the early postwar years, when the filming program was also extended to northern and central BC, the Hope-Princeton Highway, the Alaska Highway, and the route of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway.

Some of the wartime footage appeared in The Okanagan Valley: British Columbia’s Orchard Playground (1943-47).  The edited excerpts above include scenes from Kelowna and Summerland, with glimpses of Peachland and Naramata.  They highlight the Kelowna Regatta and the packing of apples by female workers at a packing house.  For a description of the complete film, see BC Archives AAAA2464.

Excerpts from this and the other BCGTB travelogues of the 1940s and 1950s are featured on the RBCM DVD release, Evergreen Playland:  A Road Trip through British Columbia (2008).

Kelowna. Aquaplaning On Okanagan Lake, 1943.

Kelowna; Aquaplaning On Okanagan Lake, 1943. This photo was taken by the Travel Bureau crew while shooting footage for “The Okanagan Valley”. (BC Archives I-29928, detail)

Greenwood and Phoenix, BC (ca. 1939)

 

This video clip comprises edited excerpts from silent 16 mm film footage shot by Vancouver filmmaker Alfred E. Booth (1892-1977). In the 1930s and 1940s, Booth travelled extensively in the BC Interior, shooting footage of the various regions and communities, including their amenities, businesses, and people. The first sequence (0:071:21) shows the main street of Greenwood, local residents, and a visiting baseball team. The segment from 1:22 to 3:15 is thought to depict the site of the abandoned mining town of Phoenix. (At 1:221:45, there are two shots showing an unidentified structure.) Following 3:16, the locations of the painting, farming and river scenes are unknown. The source film is the compilation reel “[Kootenay-Boundary area] : [footage and out-takes],” one of 39 film reels in the Alfred E. Booth fonds at the BC Archives.

“Summertime curling” (Nelson, BC, ca. 1945)

“Ice?  Curling?  Watermelon?

A light-hearted (if not downright surreal) look at Nelson’s Summer Curling Bonspiel, as featured in the travelogue Kootenay West (BC Government Travel Bureau, 1944-1945).  The clip concludes with an homage to Okanagan watermelon — a sequel, of sorts, to the sequence I featured in a recent blog post, “Different Melons”: Osoyoos, B.C. (ca. 1945).

Incidentally, all of these BC government travelogue clips are included in the DVD Evergreen Playland: A Road Trip through British Columbia (RBCM, 2008).

For an archival description of the Kootenay West film, see http://search-bcarchives.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/kootenay-west

“Ice? Curling? Watermelon?” (Digital frame grab from the RBCM DVD Evergreen Playland)

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Summer Curling Bonspiel parade, Nelson, BC, 1945.  (BC Archives I-27280, detail.)

From Castlegar to Nelson and Slocan Lake

This video clip continues our West Kootenays road trip in the mid-1940s. It highlights Castlegar, power generation on the Kootenay River, Nelson, and Slocan Lake. (There’s an unexpected little vignette showing young women at work in a Nelson matchblock factory!) The clip comprises excerpts from Kootenay West, a BC government travelogue filmed in 1944-45 and copyrighted in 1948. The source film is BC Archives AAAA1079 at the Royal BC Museum.

From Osoyoos to the Arrow Lakes (West Kootenays, 1944-45)

This video clip shows a road trip from Osoyoos to Castlegar in the mid-1940s, highlighting Greenwood, seed growing at Grand Forks, Rossland, the Trail smelter, and a sternwheeler trip on the Arrow Lakes.  The clip comprises excerpts from the first half of Kootenay West, a BC government travelogue filmed in 1944-45  and copyrighted in 1948.  It is a twin film with Kootenay East, shot and released in the same years.  During the Second World War, the BC Government Travel Bureau had been working on a film with the working title “The Kootenays: British Columbia’s Mountain Playground”.  Cameraman Clarence Ferris came back with so much good footage, however, that the Bureau decided to release two films instead.  As with some other Bureau films, post-production work was delayed by wartime priorities and completed in 1945-47.

The Arrow Lakes sequence is particularly appealing because it features the sternwheeler Minto, which served communities on the lakes from 1898 to 1954 as part of the CPR Lake and River Service.

These excerpts were also featured in the Royal BC Museum DVD Evergreen Playland: A Road Trip through British Columbia (2008).

The S.S. Minto at Renata, BC. (Digital frame grab from the DVD “Evergreen Playland”.)

“Different Melons”: Osoyoos, BC (1945)

This eye-popping tribute to melons (both modest and monstrous) is an edited excerpt from the BC Government Travel Bureau travelogue Okanagan Valley: British Columbia’s Orchard Playground (1943-1947).  To read a description of the whole film, click here.

The BC Archives also holds some Travel Bureau photos of zucca farming and processing.  These b&w stills were taken when the film was being shot, and show some of the same scenes.  The archival photos can be viewed via this link.

Incidentally, this and many other BC government travelogue clips are featured in the DVD Evergreen Playland: A Road Trip through British Columbia (RBCM, 2008).

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Of Mines and Men: A Miner’s Home and Family (1945-48)

An excerpt from Of Mines and Men, 1945–1948. This film was created by the BC Government Travel Bureau’s Photographic Branch, and was used to attract employees to the mining industry. The film emphasizes the comfortable homes and amenities available to miners and their families at BC mining camps.

Building a Cozy Home for Your Brood Hen (Saanich, 1930s)

The BC Archives holds several 16 mm films shot by the provincial Department of Agriculture in the the 1920s and 1930s. Among them is a reel of unedited footage on the activities of Boys’ and Girls’ Agricultural Clubs, mainly filmed on the Saanich Peninsula. In 2011, it was one of several short films transferred to video for better access, through generous funding from the Friends of the BC Archives.

Since the original footage is not edited into any structure, and lacks explanatory inter-titles, it appears to be from a film that the department shot but did not complete. One interesting section shows children at a rural school receiving packages of eggs for hatching, and a young girl preparing a brood box for a hen selected to do the job. This section exists in its raw form, with the individual shots out of sequence. Using a digital video file made from the VHS reference copy, I have trimmed and edited the shots into what I believe was its intended form.

 

A Boys’ and Girls’ Poultry Club at a rural school on the Saanich Peninsula, 1930s. (Digital frame grab from BC Archives V2012:01/001.02.)

 

A girl from a Boy’s and Girls’ Poultry Club moves her brood hen to new quarters; Saanich Peninsula, 1930s. (Digital frame grab from BC Archives V2012:01/001.02.)