The footage, taken by well-known former Shaunavon resident Hymie Hanft, helps document Shaunavon in the 1960s with 14 - 8mm film reels of multiple events and daily lives including rodeo, parades, the 1963 ice carnival and more.
Kelly Attrell, Collections Manager for the GCHCC, is excited for people to finally be able to view the footage.
“We've had the footage for many years, but we weren’t able to view it until recently with help from the grant - so we really had no idea what was on the film until it was digitized,” commented Attrell.
The footage itself was filmed on 8mm format, making it extremely difficult to view without the proper technology.
“We’re very thankful for the grant and help from the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists,” stated Attrell. “Without that help we still would not know what was on that film.”
The GCHCC showed the footage during their 90th Anniversary celebration and at one of their Coffee Chat sessions earlier in the month to gain some insight about the footage from some of the older citizens in the community who might have remembered or been at the events.
The footage will soon be uploaded to the GCHCC YouTube page, making it available for everyone to see.
There are 14 films, each film having an approximate runtime of 4 minutes. As 8mm film has an estimated lifespan of 70 years, the content of these films was at risk of deterioration or loss. They were processed by Film Rescue International of Indian Head, SK, whose specialty is restoration and digitization of obsolete film material. The films do show their age, as the footage is grainy and has poor colour and lighting at times. As well, the videographer didn't have a very steady hand, so it's a bit shaky. There is also no audio.
"Hymie donated hundreds of artifacts and photographs to the Centre over the years," said Attrell. "He was an avid photographer, collector, and participant in Shaunavon events, and he was very interested in recording Shaunavon's history. The simple fact that it's old video footage of Shaunavon makes these films important, as we do not have anything similar in our collection."