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Step back in time during Arts Days

Fort Macleod residents take a step back in time this week to celebrate 2001 Alberta Arts Days.
“Fort Macleod Steps Back to 1874” is the theme of the celebration that runs Friday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 2.
“I think people are really interested in this because it’s a very different theme,” Fort Macleod Allied Arts Council executive director Carmen Drapeau said. “It’s appealing because people can relate to an old-fashioned theme.”
Fort Macleod is one of five feature sites for Alberta Arts Days.
Partners in the Arts Days celebration include the Empress Theatre, The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police, the 1884 North West Mounted Police Barracks provincial historic site, Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services, Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre and the Town of Fort Macleod.
Friday, Sept. 30
“Fort Macleod Steps Back to 1874” begins Friday with a free Hutterite breakfast from 8-10 a.m. at the community hall.
“Food is part of culture,” Drapeau said. “Anything that humans create is culture. Food and art goes together.”
At 12 noon at The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police there will be an opening ceremony that includes a re-enactment of the first meeting of Col. James Macleod, scout Jerry Potts and Blackfoot Chief Crowfoot.
There will be demonstrations at the Fort Museum by blacksmiths, wheelwrights, leathersmiths, quilters and other old-time craftspeople.
From 12 noon to 5 p.m. there will also be exhibits by local artists in stores. The artists will also be present, demonstrating their art and there will be workshops for the public.
A scavenger hunt involving the artists’ displays, in which people can win prizes, also gets under way on Friday.
“They’ve got to go and get signatures from all the artists,” Drapeau said.
Actors dressed in period costume will perform a drama at the Sile Grill Restaurant.
At 2 p.m. the Empress Theatre will screen a
classic western
A live band will play Ragtime music from 2-6 p.m. on Main Street.
At 8 p.m. at the community hall there is family hoe down at which people must dress western. There will be square dance lessons at the hoe down, and sasparilla will be served.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump northwest of Fort Macleod will host its own Alberta Arts Days
celebration. There will be free admission to the interpretive centre all three days of Alberta Arts Days.
The UNESCO world
heritage site’s celebration kicks off Friday with orientation tours, and the “Living Off the Land” program.
Head-Smashed-In will also stage its “Stones and Bones” program in which people can bring arrowheads and other artifacts they have collected to be examined by archaeologists.
Saturday, Oct. 1
From 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Main Street there will
be black powder demonstrations by the Fort Whoop Up Gun Club, and a shootout with whisky traders.
People will also have the chance to meet actors dressed as Col. James Macleod, Chief Crowfoot and Jerry Potts.
There will be demonstrations of traditional First Nations drumming and dancing, an old-fashioned bake sale and authentic crafts displays.
The demonstrations by old-time craftspeople continue from 12 noon to 5 p.m. at the Fort Museum.
At 7 p.m. there will be a live main stage event at the Empress Theatre featuring Fort Macleod singer-songwriter and Juno nominee John Wort Hannam.
The main stage event will also showcase can-can dancers, Vaudeville acts, plays, First Nations dancing, the Red Coats play and belly dancing.
A free shuttle bus will take people to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump from Fort Macleod on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday, Oct. 1 at Head-Smashed-In, there will be demonstrations of First Nations drumming and dancing, and an arts and crafts show.
The Alberta Birds of Prey Centre from Coaldale will also have some of its birds on display at the interpretive centre.
Sunday, Oct. 2
An ecumenical church service at the 1884 North West Mounted Police Barracks provincial historic site starts the activities at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. There will also be a time of reflection in historic Union Cemetery.
An old-fashioned family picnic will take place from 12 noon to 4 p.m. at the 1884 North West Mounted Police Barracks site, with people encouraged to bring their own picnic lunches.
There will be a pie auction conducted by the church ladies, banjo music, hot dogs and root beer for sale, dancing to old-time fiddle music, three-legged races, tug ‘o’ wars and gunny sack races.
Community Spirit Mini-ster Lindsay Blackett is to attend the picnic.
Tours of the NWMP Barracks provincial historic site are also planned, and life mini dramas will be staged.
The Alberta Arts Days celebration also continues Sunday at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, with First Nations drumming and dancing, First Nations entertainment and the arts and crafts show.

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