Fonds paa-9758 - Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club fonds

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Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds.

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PAA paa-9758

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1.0 m of textual records. --- 620 photographs. --- ca. 200 badges and ribbons.

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Biographical history

<p>The Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club (officially the Parkallen Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club) was founded as the Parkallen Square Dance Club in the Parkallen neighbourhood of Edmonton in 1953 by Jo and Jim Harris, among others. The club renamed itself the Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club in 1954. <p>Modern square dancing was first introduced to Edmonton in 1948 by John and Alice Toogood, who had learned how to square dance when they lived in Minnesota for one year. The Harris couple had been active with square dancing in recreation centres across Edmonton, were asked to help start one in Parkallen, and served as the club's first presidents until 1955. <p>The newly-founded club approached the Edmonton Public School Board to gain permission to meet at the Parkallen School. After a demonstration of square dancing for the board members, the club was allowed to meet at the Parkallen location and continued to do so for several decades.</p>;<p>The club's first dance was held on November 22, 1953 and it attracted nine squares (thirty-six dancers). The club continued to meet every Monday night for regular dances with special dances held occasionally. In 1964 the dance night was changed to Saturday night with Monday night being reserved for new dancers. <p>The club's first caller was a seventeen-year-old boy named Tommy Davidson, who called for the club's first year. He was followed by Ron McLean, who remained the caller for two years. After that, the club executive spent time visiting other square dance clubs around Alberta to find the next caller and decided to recruit Bill and Kay Coulter of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. The Coulters remained the club's caller couple until 1987 with Bill Coulter having a lasting impact on square dancing in Edmonton and across the province. <p>The club was governed by an executive that included a president couple, secretary couple, past president, treasurer, dance director, badge secretary, and committee chairs. <p>The Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club decided to cease operations and disband in 2008. At the time of cessation, the Button Bows Club was the oldest square dance club in Edmonton.</p>

Custodial history

The records were maintained by the Buttons and Bows Square Dance Club executive until the dissolution of the organization in 2008. The records then remained in the possession of former club members Jack and Joyce Francis, who donated them to the PAA in 2009 on behalf of the club.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of membership lists for the entire span of the group, newsletters, meeting minutes, registers of dance participants, financial statements, posters, flyers, correspondence, histories, and call sheets.

The newsletters include Buttons and Bows publications as well as publications from the Edmonton District Square Dance Association, the Alberta Square Dance Institute, the Alberta Square and Round Dance Federation, and the Canadian Square Dance Association. There is also correspondence from several of these organizations as well as from other clubs.

The histories were compiled by club members for various club anniversaries and consist of oral histories, recollections, and compendia of articles about club activities.

The photos are in albums arranged chronologically with all of the subjects meticulously identified. The badges were collected by club members from various dance that they attended, sister clubs, dance associations, and special events. The badges are arranged in polyethylene sleeves.

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The records were donated by Jack and Joyce Francis.


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  • The material is in English.

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There are no restrictions on access. Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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File list is available.

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Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Record No. PR3374;PR2010.0271<br><br>

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