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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Of posters and papers - Annora Brown cameo 6


Joyce Sasse - In 1940 the “Macleod Stampede and Races” lasted for 2 big days, July 1 & 2. Annora Brown’s poster of the event tells us the theme was “Where Old Friends and New Friends Meet”.


There was “a monster parade” with prizes awarded for the “Best floats, best dressed cowboys, cowgirls, Indians, squaws, travois, best decorate boy’s bicycle, best decorated girl’s bicycle, and best clown”.

The poster acknowledged Macleod to be Alberta’s oldest town (1874-1940), and extended “a hearty invitation to all old timers of the North-west to meet and renew again friendships formed during the Frontier Days”. Furthermore “Old-timers prior to and including 1895 will be given complimentary tickets”.

The cost of Admission to the Grounds was Adults $ .75, Children $ . 25; special prices for Indians.

1940 was the year when the Stampede came under new management – “sponsored this year by Community Organization”.

(Thanks to the Hugh and Pauline Demsey’s First Nations Poster Collection at the Glenbow Museum for sharing this information.)

Not only were these posters printed by the Macleod Gazette, but the Gazette itself is proud to have its current masthead designed by Ms. Brown in 1949.

From a letter written in 1987 in reply when the Gazette asked for Annora’s memory of the masthead origin she wrote:

“We live so intensely in the present that the past is lost in haze and the future is more conjecture… The design was made to combine the thoughts of the town past and present. The one side has the town as it had been at the time of the first issue – a police fort surrounded by log buildings, Indian tipis and Red River Carts. At the other side, the town of the present – an agricultural centre with frame buildings, church spires, elevators and motorized vehicles.”

Our hope is that as we fan the embers of the life and work of Annora Brown to full flame, both younger people and newcomers will realize what a great contribution this woman has made as a cornerstone of the community. 260 of her paintings in storage at the Glenbow Museum are currently being photographed and digitized. By mid-September they will be available for viewing on the Glenbow website. Prints can then be purchased from the Museum.

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