Chautauqua 2017 - 2 Big Days
June 16-17, 2017
Stirling & Raymond
Stay up to date on this event by joining the Canada's Mormon Trail Chautauqua Facebook Page.
Explore new ideas. Embrace local culture. Enjoy interactive activities.
Based on the four pillars of education, cultural arts, recreation and religion (spiritual exploration), a Chautauqua was a road show that started in New York state in the 1880’s. It brought speakers, music, drama, novelty acts, children’s activities and more to thousands of rural communities, as well as offering a stage for local performers.
The Chautauqua was brought to western Canada in 1917 after strong encouragement by the United Farm Women of Alberta, and the Chautauqua head office was established in Calgary. With strong Alberta roots, it is very fitting that the revival of the travelling Chautauqua be in this province.
The original Chautauquas were advertised as “Entertainment, Inspiration and Education” and the affordable, family-friendly Mormon Trail Chautauqua is designed to provide this same experience.
From June 16-17, 2017, the communities of Stirling and Raymond are each hosting one day of the two-day Chautauqua with each community offering numerous activities under the four Chautauqua pillars which also showcase the unique characteristics of their community. Cardston and Magrath will host the Canada's Mormon Trail Chautauqua in 2018.
With a 2017 Chautauqua theme of ‘History, Health & The Arts’, the overall message of this year’s event is to celebrate the many individuals who walked and arrived by train from the United States to build uniquely designed communities, establish much-needed irrigation and create new enterprises where only prairie existed. Each community offers a different variety of entertaining and informative speakers, story-tellers, artists, entertainers and delicious cultural food offerings that allow you to experience the feeling of an old-time Chautauqua while discovering the history and welcoming character of the Mormon Trail.
There are also numerous interactive experiences for people of all ages to enjoy from board branding to rope making to acting, and guided tours in horse drawn wagons to interpretive walks along the hand-dug canal to campfire singalongs.
Start each day with the non-denominational morning devotion and a chuck wagon breakfast that will delight your taste buds. During the day, enjoy a leisurely tour of historic buildings, participate in a ‘make and take’ class and taste the local culinary speciality offered in that community. And in the evening, relax with old friends and new as you discuss your day at the Chautauqua.
You won’t want to miss the historical characters who played major roles in developing the area and give a glimpse into the dreams and ideals that continue to shape these communities today. A theatrical production written specifically for the Chautauqua will recreate some of the interesting, heart-warming and humourous events in the early days of settlement, giving visitors and residents alike a unique look into how this part of southern Alberta was created by early residents.
Don’t miss it! Come to the Mormon Trail this August and experience first-hand this unique chapter of North America’s rural development history… experience the culture of the Chautauqua.
Stay up to date on the event by joining the Mormon Trail Chautauqua Facebook Page
Click for the Chautauqua Handbill