village people

student Y.M.C.A. conference in June 1908 at Niagara-on-the-Lake

Toronto. Ever hear of the Chautauqua movement? I didn’t either! It was an American organization that expanded into Ontario at Niagara-on-the-Lake.

George Dunbar wrote, “A friend sent me this link to the history of Chautauqua, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Some interesting old photographs here.

To which journal editor Bob Lansdale replied, “Now THAT IS Canadian history I did not know.

“In the States, the Chautauqua movement was a big educational movement to train young uneducated people with knowledge so they could make something of themselves. It rose out of Evangelical meeting in tents with the training after sermons etc.

“One could carry on training by correspondence at home and then in the summer gather together for some proper school training (a summer vacation with a purpose). Of course that was all part of getting back to nature for a vacation. The need for housing and feeding created a problem and soon summer cottages, hotels etc where set up but tents continued.

“This is how Chautauqua was set up, grew and even became a singing sensation in the UNITED STATES…. I think south of the Buffalo area. They had great ceremonies for graduation.  Find it on the internet.

“The Professional Photographers of America chose to hold their annual conventions at facilities of Chautauqua to carry on their educational theme. They did it for 5 years in a row being the most convenient for most members in American and Canada. It was always hard to convince photographers to close up shop and attend conventions…. this was a new approach.  Eventually other States complained of favouritism and they removed to a variety of city-locations throughout the US.

“But I was not aware that a counterpart was set up in Canada and worked on the same principal. The things you learn!”

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