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The Origins of The Banff Centre

presentation to ACHORD March 2010 on the history of The Banff Centre with emphasis on the University of Alberta

Jim Olver

on 10 March 2013

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Transcript of The Origins of The Banff Centre

U of A Department of Extension began in 1912
First programming strategy, take existing university programs on the road
Albertans, before immigrating, had experienced first class museums, art galleries and concerts. They wanted to expose their children, born on the plains, to enriching cultural experiences.
"Can't the University do something to develop a program in the arts to enrich the lives of our people?
Donald Cameron
1932 Uof A Pres Dr. R.C. Wallace and Ned Corbett approached the Carnegie Foundation of NYC
Carnegie Foundation
$30,000 grant over 3 years to Dept of Extension for "the advancement in appreciation of drama, music and art"
Plan was to train teachers and community leaders throughout the province and they would train community members
First dicipline was in drama
Elizabeth Stirling Haynes
750,000 population of Alberta, 79,000 in Edmonton and 200 in Banff
Now and Then..
..Then and Now

Now, 76 years later, The Banff Centre still reflects the same mandate:
no permanent faculty
non parchment
responsive to quick change
short term programs
In 1933 an arts exhibit taken to a Town of 16 houses
1933 first summer course in theatre in Banff
1936 added music and art, '38 choral music, '41 weaving, design, modelling and pottery
movie theatres closed
touring acts stopped touring
communities fell back on their own resources for entertainment
People return many times over their lives to inspire creativity!
Haynes discovered over 300 small drama groups in the province all needing help in choosing plays, casting, costumes, lighting, directing
non-academic, no curriculum, no permanent faculty, no degrees
programs changing to respond to changing needs
people with common interests come together for short periods of time then taking their new discoveries and energy back to their communities
In 1966 U of C took over stewardship and began to integrate programming in to its departments.
Cameron, nearing retirement led a lobby to keep independence as a post-secondary learning institution in Alberta, which was achieved in 1979
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip waving at the
crowd while leaving in a vehicle . -- 1959.
Photographer: Alberta Government Photograph
The Extension Department of the University of Alberta. -- [1934].
Photograph of the Extension Department staff, gathered for a tea party.
Donald Cameron and Ned Corbett standing in back row centre. Elizabeth
Sterling Haynes (6th from left).
Painting faculty in 1946 . -- [1946].
Photograph of the painting faculty posing on the steps of the Banff
Auditorium. Left to right, back: Conrad French, George Pepper, Walter
J. Phillips, H.G. Glyde, James Dichmont. Front, J.W.G. MacDonald,
Donald Cameron, Frances Neal, A.Y. Jackson, Mr. & Mrs. Robert Newton
(President of U of A).
Photographer: [Bill Gibbons]
D.E. Cameron unloading a truck. . -- [1933?].
1 photograph
Photograph of D.E. Cameron, Director of the Library at the University of
Alberta, unloading a handicrafts exhibit from the Department of Extension.
Chalets under construction . -- [1949].
Photograph of Chalet III, now Farrally Hall, under construction with the
completed Chalet I, now Vinci Hall, in the background.
Students dining in Smith Hall . -- [1949].
Photograph of the first floor dining room in Chalet II (Smith Hall). It
was used until the Donald Cameron Hall dining room was built in 1958.
Photographer: National Film Board
Banff Auditorium sign . -- 1940.
Photograph of faculty and students next to a sign promoting Banff School
of Fine Arts events in front of the Banff Avenue Auditorium. From left
to right are Warren Smith, Maria Luisa Delgado, Dr. Frederick Koch,
playwrighting faculty, and Herb Smith.
"Jim, I don't know how it slipped through our fingers!"
Indira Samarasekera President U of A
Public schools, Info Centre and Breton Hall Theatre were obtained for the summer
Registration was $1.00 and tuition was free
Students were on their own for meals and accommodation
wheat $.19/bushell
eggs 3 cents per dozen
hogs 3 cents per pound
190 students the first year, mostly women, many school teachers, some from eastern Canada, USA and Australia
A new Province and a new University
1905 - Province of Alberta Founded
A.C. Rutherford first Premier
1906 - University of Alberta founded
located in Rutherford's constituencey!
following the lead of American universities - more than just academic study
Edward Ottewell was hired as first Director
Ottewell was top student in U of A's first graduating class
Department of Extension Programs
Utilize new communication tools to increase access to education
Travelling Library
Magic Lantern Circuit
technology of slide and film projection
slide library
series of travelling lecturers from U of A
Education by radio
a $7,000 lecturer budget funded, radio transmitter, aerial and radio technicians
once the secret was out they begged for a broadcast licence - and got it!
CKUA was born
Visit from the Carnegie Foundation in 1931 to learn about the Department's success
Tough times in Alberta - the 1930s
Drought and depression
Department of Extension changes direction
Socialist movement increasd in strength, United Farmers of Alberta
Communities in Alberta immigrated from older parts of eastern Canada, the United States, Europe, England, Scotland and Ireland.
Extension's first program in Banff 1933
The Banff School for the Fine Arts
Ned Corbett
1st director 1933-1936
Donald Cameron
1936 - 1969
Banff programming never integrated into U of A curriculum - distance from Banff and strong Cameron leadership maintained autonomy
Then and Now
.... much to the displeasure of southern Albertans
Henry Tory named first President
(shhh! convince tax payers who would never attend the U of A that their taxes were well spent)
- the battle of Alberta begins!
focus on innovative forms of education
increase community access to University
had 325 visitors!
Jim Olver
Jane Parkinson
1948 Campus established on Tunnel Mountain
the price has increased!
Full transcript