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North Vancouver Youth Band
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CA NVAN Fonds 180
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
predominant 1953-2010 (Creation)
- North Vancouver Youth Band
- North Vancouver
- Some materials outside the predominant range relate to early life of Director Arthur Smith.
Physical description area
50 cm textual records
123 photographs : b&w and col.
1 sound recording
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Archival description area
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The North Vancouver Schools' Band was formed in the basement of Queen Mary School on March 13, 1939, with eighteen boys and girls, drawing its members from the eight North Vancouver City and District High Schools, with J.B. Olson appointed Band Master. Its goal is "to provide instruction to the student members of the Society, and to provide them with the opportunity of partaking in music festivals, band concerts, competitions, parades, and similar activities, both in Canada and abroad." It was incorporated in 1956 as the North Vancouver City and District School Band, changed in 1963 to the North Vancouver Schools Band and in 1969 to the North Vancouver Youth Band.
While it was never officially a part of the school system, it has always had close associations with the School Boards. It has provided musical training and performance experience for young people from 8 to 21, generally with three tiers of bands graded by ability. It is one of the few bands that follows the traditional military style.
Early concerts took place at Lonsdale Theatre and Victoria Park, with other events in 1942 raising funds for “Milk for Britain’s Children”. Arthur Delamont, the leader of the Kitsilano Boys’ Band, succeeded Olson in 1943, but when he resigned in 1953, the demise of the band, whose membership had dwindled to only thirty, was feared.
The band’s fortunes revived in 1954 when Art Smith became Director of Music. His energy and leadership sparked much success in ensuing years. Full dress uniforms were provided in 1956. The band’s first outside venture was to the Calgary Stampede in 1959, where they were only a half point out of first place. Subsequent accomplishments included a first place at Calgary Stampede the following year, a 1966 trip to Disneyland, a trip to Montreal Expo (1967), and five trophies at the Toronto Band Competition (1968). They were invited to perform at the World Expo in Osaka, Japan (1970), and attended the International Folklore Festival in Billingham, England in 1973. They also made several recordings.
Art Smith received a posthumous Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award in 1991. A park at Lynn Valley Road and 29th Street was dedicated to him in 1996.
After Art’s death in 1978, his son Ron continued as Band Master. Peter Murray became Director of Music in 1978, to be followed by Joe Dowell in 1981 and David Henderson in 1985. Numerous trips to Europe and elsewhere took place during the 1980s, with membership reaching 180. Ron Smith retired in 1999. He stated that he chose music that the audiences would like and will also be interesting to the students.
Declining enrolment and a funding shortfall led to a crisis in 2011. In July of that year regular programming was put on hold, but the assets of the band retained in the hope that the future will again lead to a revival of its fortunes.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of records of the operations and activities of the North Vancouver Youth Band, including minutes of meetings, records related to fundraising, the organization and conduct of tours, and information on many of the people involved with this organization, particularly Band Director Art Smith. Many photographs chronicle the band’s activities.
Fonds consists of the following series:
Board of Directors' Minutes series 1
Parents/Ladies Auxiliary series 2
Fund Raising series 3
Correspondence series 4
Programs and Publicity series 5
Awards and Honours series 6
Dennis Esson series 7
Clippings series 8
North Vancouver Youth Band Members Handbook series 9
North Vancouver Youth Band Bell Choir series 10
Photographs series 11
Art Smith series 12
"Sounds of the North Shore" series 13
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Standard number area
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Description record identifier
North Vancouver Museum and Archives
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Rules for Archival Description (RAD)
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Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Created January 13, 2012
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Records within the fonds, and pamphlets in NVMA pamphlets collection.