Looking Back


Onoway Schools Have Long Been Part of the Music Scene

The Lac Ste. Anne School Division has had a long history of music festivals. They started in 1937 initiated by Rochfort Bridge Principal Joseph Majakey and attracted students from Mayerthorpe, Sangudo, Rochfort Bridge, Anselmo, Greencourt, Roydale and Cherhill. (In 1940 Cherhill won the prize for the school coming the furthest.) This was pre-school bus days so parents were responsible for bringing the children in - truckload after truckload, wagons, horse van, horseback, walking. An evening performance showcased the highlights of the day.

The Lac Ste. Anne School Festival expanded and soon Onoway, Cherhill, Rochfort and Mayerthorpe became centres for the events, and adjudicators came from Edmonton (by train in the earlier years). Local businesses donated cups/trophies for winners – large cups for group categories and small cups to be awarded to individuals – to be awarded at the evening concert. The Legion and Ladies of the Legion Auxiliary became integral partners in funding the festivals. Later, scholarships were awarded to winners. Onoway students got some of top prizes ($75) in 1978: Best Sr. Vocalist – Todd Butler, Best Intermediate Vocalist – Colleen Miller, Best Sr. Pianist – Russell McCann, Best Jr. Pianist – Elisabeth Thompson, Best Instrumentalist – Tom Saumer, Best Overall Performance – Todd Butler.

Program 1952
Bramley 1941

Program 1952

Ted Johnson, Principal of Beaupré School, was president of the Lac Ste. Anne School Festival Association in its 15th year.

Bramley 1941

The Grand Aggregate silver trophy was won by Hillcrest Creek School in 1941. Mr. Bramley stands proudly in front this trophy + the cups won by his pupils (+ his car in the background). The two plaques on the trophy show that Beaupre Intermediate Room on the trophy in 1939 and Brookdale Junior won it in 1940.

In addition to music (solos, duets, action songs, chorus, piano), events included Indian club swinging, drama, folk dancing, public speaking, choral speech. Each individual participant received a diploma and "score card". Stop by the Onoway Museum and see some of the trophies and diplomas. There are more documents in the museum archives.

One of the comments in LSA Music Festival documents sums it up this way: Regard not the prize as highly as that inward satisfaction which every boy and every girl may have by saying in their hearts "I have done my best."

Schedule 1989-90
Junior Chorus 1942

Schedule of Events 1989 90

By 1989-90, competition was fierce, event venues were spread across the school division, and entire days were allocated for events like piano.


Diploma Jr. Chorus 1942

Beauprę Intermediate Class rated Excellent in Junior Chorus in 1942

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Last updated: May 11, 2021