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A visual history of Squamish Days

Residents will soon have more than memories to help them recall the 50 years of Squamish Days Loggers Sports celebrations.

Residents will soon have more than memories to help them recall the 50 years of Squamish Days Loggers Sports celebrations. The Squamish Days committee and community volunteers are pouring through old photographs, programs and news stories to compile a visual timeline that will be on display during this year's festival.

"We want to find some really unique and spectacular pictures of past events and people to commemorate the different things that have gone on over the years," said Alma Lewis, one of a half-dozen people working on the project.

Nancy McCartney, one of the main organizers of the displays, said most of the photos come from the Squamish Library, which received many pictures from the Squamish Times newspaper after it closed its doors.

McCartney and others are pouring through the library's boxes and donations from people who were involved in the festival in the past, to create the displays.

"It's interesting looking at them," she said. "They bring back memories of people. It's bittersweet to see them because some of these people are not around anymore.

"Just about everybody you knew volunteered for Squamish Days."

McCartney has been involved in Squamish Days since 1970 and said the photos will be exhibited at different locations around Squamish during the festival.

Organizers hope to have every year represented in the displays, and will likely group photos by events."We're trying to have a visual history of the festival," said Lewis.

"The big difference that you see in these pictures is that in the beginning it was just working people, dressed in the their work clothes," said McCartney. "And now it's athletes. It's a huge difference."

She said the black and white photos, which are in excellent condition, feature many different events - some of which are no longer part of the festival such as the Timber Queen beauty pageant and the Sea-to-Sky Do or Die where competitors hiked the Stawamus Chief, windsurfed and biked.

The scanned pictures will be returned to the library and the group will also print photos and articles from old issues of the Squamish Times newspaper.

"Some of the photos are really funny," said McCartney. "They're of people - [who] are older now - of when they were younger doing some crazy things."

She remembers the now defunct Timber Queen pageants - later renamed Miss Squamish - involved around 15 girls each year, and the winner went on to Miss PNE.

The photos provide a timeline of life in Squamish, and show the changes not only to the event, which went from a grassroots event to a professional show, but also to the town of Squamish and Canadian culture in general.

"When you have an event that's lasted 50 years you have to change with the times," said McCartney.

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