Fonds 263 Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc.


Click Here To Order Photos

1979-2003. — 55 cm of textual records. — 20 photographs. — 1 negatives. — 1 maps.

Back to Finding Aids

Agency History

In 1979, the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce hosted the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championships in Grande Prairie for the first time, and the public was hooked! The next January, the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc. was formed. Their mission was “to provide the best opportunities for people to learn, observe, socialize, and/or participate in the exciting and unique sport of Hot Air Ballooning and to make Grande Prairie the Hot Air Balloon capital of Canada and the World.”

With this mission in mind, the Association and hundreds of volunteers began an enthusiastic program of events. They hosted the Canadian National Hot Air Balloon Championships for the next two years (1980 and 1981) and again in 1983. They worked closely with the Trumpeter Swan Balloon Club, holding the 1980 event in conjunction with Alberta’s 75th Anniversary. In 1983 they began a bid for the World Hot Air Balloon Championships but withdrew in favour of Paris, where ballooning had begun exactly 200 years earlier. They then made a serious bid for the 1985 World Hot Air Balloon Championship, but it was not successful. At the same time they organized the 1984 North American Championships in Grande Prairie.

In 1989 and 1992 the Association again hosted the Canadian Nationals, and in 1986, 1993 and 1998 the Alberta Championships. With dwindling volunteers the organization turned its attention to small local events in conjunction with the Trumpeter Swan Balloon Club, and in 1996 the club and association amalgamated under the Events Assoc. With the merger came the Club’s Hot Air Balloon, “The Spirit of Grande Prairie.” About this time, the association found that doing smaller events not sanctioned by the Candian Balloon Society and tying in with other community groups and activities garnered more interest in the sport of ballooning, as well as being more fun and less cost. Although they would host the Canadian Nationals again in 2002, the large events were not pursued with the same energy. Taking their place were community events such as the RCMP Anniversary Balloon, the Sunrise Festival, the Canada Day Parade and Evening Night Glow, and the Sports Expo.

Custodial History

The records were deposited in South Peace Regional Archives in 2004 by a representative of the Association, Pat Tebbutt.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of the records of the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc., including minutes of executive and annual meetings, financial statements and society returns; files relating to the major events; photographs and posters advertising the events; financial records of the assoc.; and communications from associated organizations.


Related records: Beth Sheehan fonds; Photography series; Hot Air Balloon sub-series

Table of Contents

Series 263.01 Executive Records
Series 263.02 Event files
Series 263.03 Financial records
Series 263.04 Associated organizations
Series 263.05 News clippings
Series 263.01 Executive Records. — 1979-1992. — 13 cm of textual records.

The series consists of the executive records of the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Association, including the minutes of executive meetings, minutes from annual meetings, and the Society Returns submitted to Alberta Community Development each year. There is also a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and the ByLaws of the organization.

Back to Table of Contents
Series 263.02 Event files. — 1979-2003. — 24 cm of textual records. — 36 photographs. — 1 negatives. — 1 maps.

The series consists of files for each event: the 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1989 and the 1992 Canadian Nationals; the 1984 North American Championships, the 1986, 1993 and 1998 Alberta Championships; as well as smaller events such as the Sunrise Festival. The 1979, 1980, 1984, 1989 and 1992 files contain photographs of the balloons and their pilots, and there are over-sized posters advertising the 1981, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1998 and 2001 events. There are two files regarding bids for the 1983 and the 1985 World Championships which were not successful and a map used to plot the flights. Files contain correspondence, event reports, and information on the balloons, pilots and their standings in the event. Also included is a map in six pieces showing landing sites from Smoky Heights to Wembley. There are also 16 Hot Air Balloon Championship posters and one felt flag.

Walk on Air, 1993
Poster from the 1993 Alberta Hot Air Baloon Champianships held in Grande Prairie
Location: 263.02.03
Sunrise, 1998
Event poster for the 1998 Hot Air Balloon Festival and Alberta Championships held in Grande Prairie
Location: 263.02.04
Alberta Hot Air Balloon Championships, 2001
Poster for the 2001 Alberta Hot Air Balloon Championships held in Grande Prairie
Location: 263.02.05
The Spirit of Grande Prairie, 1989
20 photograph; colour; 4 x 6 in.
“The Spirit of Grande Prairie”, owned by the Trumpeter Swan Balloon Club and later by the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc., flew in many Provincial and National Hot Air Balloon Championships.
Location: 0263.02.01
Sites Used By Hot Air Balloons, 1986
6 maps
A contour map in six pieces including Smoky Heights, Debolt, Sexsmith, La Glace, Wembley and Grande Prairie
Location: 0263.02.02 A-F
Back to Table of Contents
Series 263.03 Financial records. — 1980-1992. — 10 cm of textual records.

The series consists of the financial records of the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc: financial statements from 1980 to 1989; four ledgers with general accounts from 1980-1992; and licencing and accounting for the bingos which provided the funding for the Association.

Back to Table of Contents
Series 263.04 Associated organizations. — 1979-2001. — 7 cm of textual records.

The series consists of material from organizations with which the Grande Prairie Hot Air Balloon Events Assoc. was affiliated: a 1986 proposal for a Hot Air Balloon Park in the County of Grande Prairie; newsletters from the Alberta Free Balloonists from 1984 to 1998; and some information from Transport Canada, the Canadian Balloon Association and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale

Back to Table of Contents
Series 263.05 News clippings. — 1981-2001. — 1 cm of textual records.

The series consists of magazines and news clippings regarding Hot Air Balloon Events in Grande Prairie between 1981 and 2001.

Back to Table of Contents