Screen capture from vintage 1955 Fall Fair Parade footage showing the Bulkley Hotel float.

Screen capture from vintage 1955 Fall Fair Parade footage showing the Bulkley Hotel float.

Vernon videographer digs up rare footage of Smithers in 1955

The 8mm reel included an incredible two minutes of the 1955 Fall Fair parade on Main Street

Vernon videographer Francois Arseneault is a collector of vintage film. Over the years, he has gathered more than 2,000 reels of amateur film footage dating to 1923.

Recently he dug up an 8mm, colour reel from 1955 from the Bulkley Valley that includes rare footage from Telkwa and Smithers of agricultural and land clearing activities and an incredible two minutes of what was most likely the 1955 Fall Fair Parade on Main Street in Smithers.

“This vintage BC reel continues on in central B.C. in 1955, during a time where the central interior was being opened for agriculture and development,” Arsenault wrote.

“Roads were often still gravel or dirt and travel slow. Television was still new and available only in the south. Prince George wouldn’t have it’s first TV station for another six years. Food production was increasingly become mechanized. For better for worse, land was cleared to create agricultural land. More people were moving north. Parades and celebrations were the social events on many of the town calendars. Before social media, and next to the local newspaper, a parade was perhaps the best way to showcase local businesses.”

READ MORE: Vernon videographer an ‘accidental historian’

The video above was recently published on Arseneault’s YouTube channel called Reel Life.



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