From the Vault Friday: 32nd County Fair

Image: SPRA 998.22.4.74

Todays “From the Vault Friday” features a program from the 32nd Annual County Fair, from the Grande Prairie Loggers Sports Association fonds (Fonds 042).

In 1973, the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce was searching for a way to promote the city as the “Timber Capital” of Alberta. They approached locally based forest industries and allied companies to put together some form of timber show to run in conjunction with Muskoseepi Days. The first timber show was held in 1973.

In 1974, the second logger’s sports was held in Bear Creek Park with one outside contestant, but it was obvious that what was needed was a strong campaign to attract both competitors and local spectators. That winter, the Logging Sports Committee began negotiations with the County of Grande Prairie Agricultural Society to hold the show in conjunction with the County Fair. As well, a number of professional competitors were brought in from the west coast to put on demonstrations of their various skills. As a result of the 1975 show, the committee was accepted into the Canadian Loggers’ Sports Association (CANLOG) as part of a Canada-wide competition circuit.

In 1976, the Grande Prairie Loggers Sports Association began to construct a logger’s sports park, complete with a log house facility, birling pond and climbing poles. That year competitors came from as far away as Australia.

From 1976 to the early 1990s, the event continued to be a part of the annual fair at Evergreen Park. The small association whose job it was to organize the show, however, was having difficulty attracting new members. The organization folded in 1994, the year the last Loggers’ Sports Show was held in Grande Prairie.

Image: SPRA 1998.22.4.26

Read more about the Grande Prairie Loggers Sports Association fonds (Fonds 042) 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.

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