Welcome to Camrose Founders Days Festival

Celebrate culture and heritage during our largest community historical festival, Camrose Founders Days. WW I continued in 1916, influencing all corners of the world, even the small prairie community of Camrose as news filtered home about the plight of soldiers. It is said that Canada "came of age" during those war years. Camrose would not be the same.

Event Brochure

From the files of the Camrose Canadian 1916

  • In January we will have the fourth annual Ski Tournament in Camrose. It is expected to be the largest yet with competitors from Alberta and Revelstoke, B.C. Admission to watch is 35 cents.
  • Handy hint, one tablespoon of powdered alum will purify cistern water.
  • Editorial commending the actions of the soldiers training in Camrose. There were only good things said about them.
  • March 1916 - In Edmonton, the bill was passed giving women the right to vote. Alberta was one of the first provinces to do so.
  • Western horses are bringing very good prices. A farmer near Ohaton had horses bring $200 to $250 each.
  • An oyster supper will be served by the Swedish Friedhem Church on March 21.
  • A grand military concert and dance will be held at the David Theatre March 24. There will be artists from Edmonton including Irish and Scottish and opera singers and a demonstration of a rifle drill. There will be a supper and a dance with Baker's Orchestra, Edmonton. Tickets were $1. All surplus of actual expenses will go to the local Red Cross. Later, it was reported that the affair was a great success, with over 300 people attending and $60 was donated to the Red Cross.
  • Because of prohibition, Camile David had a sale of invalid wines in bottles and cases. Available were cherry whiskies, cherry brandies, imported wines, champagnes and orange bitters, all at special prices.
  • April 12 Grand Concert at David Theatre by world renowned Russian artists, Cherniarksy. Tickets are $1.50, $1.00 and $ 0.75.
  • Another event at David Theatre April 7, a Cinderella Dance under the support of the 151 Battalion, dance 8-12 PM. Gentlemen $1 and ladies are admitted free.
  • Camrose has seen a steady increase in settlers, many newcomers and a great deal of farm land sold, including a big ranching deal of a 1,200 acre ranch south of Camrose sold to an Ontario company.
  • May 25, 1916, Frank Mohler, a well-known breeder of polled Angus cattle has sold stock to the value of $11,000 in the last three months.
  • A fund called the Patriotic Fund to raise money for the war efforts in Camrose and area totalled $21,559. The amount was double what was expected and a record for Camrose. It was unexpected, considering that 60% of the population is of foreign origin. There is a complete list of the donors and the amount they gave.
  • Camrose area has lost over 400 men as casualties of the war.
  • Prohibition comes into effect July 1, 1916. There is a complete listing of what is allowed and who can keep and hold liquor in their possession.
  • Big ad giving free tickets to one night movie at David Theatre if they will answer questions about the type of movies the public would like to see in the future.
  • Notice about a sheriff's auction of the entire contents of the Union Hotel, Bawlf.
  • Ad for ice delivered for sale 1 cent per pound. Phone your order in. Deliveries on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • From London, England: Several foreigners have been sentenced to three months hard labour imprisonment for selling cocaine to soldiers.
  • The first cases of selling whiskey illegally were brought before the court in Camrose. The owner of a Boarding House, The Farmer's Inn sold a drink of whiskey to a government agent on July 24, which brought him a fine of $50.
  • Oct 19 For sale Cabbages, 2 full sacks, 100lbs. for $1.00. Rutabagas 9 lbs. for 65 cents. Will also sell fresh cabbage and turnip leaves for cattle feed. All orders delivered.
  • Tofield public and high school was completely destroyed by fire, cause unknown. The building was 7 years old and the cost was $9,000.
  • Hot water bottles for sale at The Rexall Store, guaranteed for 1 year and cost $1.50.
  • A request for men’s underwear for prisoners of war. If you have a suit to spare, Mrs. F. Adam is making up boxes to send to our boys who are prisoned in Germany.
  • A notice of where to place the water barrels: Persons being supplied with water from the town are asked to place their barrels as near to the door of their homes as possible to make it easier for the water delivery man.
  • Every issue had a large ad for Eddy’s matches.
  • Dec 1916 The Camrose Canadian is having a subscription contest with prizes of a new car, a Chev or a Ford, a piano and gold and silver watches.
  • The next issue announced that the contest was cancelled as there were not enough candidates.
  • The fox farm in Camrose has now been operating for three years with splendid results. It includes a half acre of land and 30 pens. At this time they have 25 cross foxes, 23 silver foxes and 5 reds.
  • Dec 1916 Stock fish for making Ludefisk is available at Hampen’s Grocery.
  • Dec. Another patriotic campaign is started with over $8,000 so far.



The Camrose Founders Days Festival Committee is proud to be honouring D.R. Francoeur as our 2016 community Founder!

A successful businessman and community
leader our Camrose Founder!
David Raymond (D.R.) Francoeur

Remembered fondly as D.R. by friends and family, David Raymond Francoeur moved to Camrose from Quebec in 1911, looking for opportunity. Responding to the needs of the agriculturally based community, D.R. recognized the need for a farm implement business. He entered into a partnership with his brother Fernand called Francoeur Bros., marketing themselves as general machinery dealers and western distributors of Jardins' Threshing Machines.

D.R. and wife Marie Anne pictured above.

The business was prospered, contributing to the growth of Camrose as noted in Henry Klassen's book A Business History of Alberta. "The new retail firm was to make implements available to farmers ad help bring hinterland trade to Camrose. In doing so, Francoeur Bros. would contribute to the town’s growth. As more and more farmers moved into the Camrose region, Francoeur Bros. build a substantial business selling threshing outfits, as well as engines, fanning mills, pumps, windmills and many other items that farmers needed. There machines the firm provided, often through credit sales, were backed by reliable, fast service." The brothers were additionally recognized within the top 100 Entrepreneurs who Built the Province as chosen by Alberta Venture.

D.R. and wife Marie Anne pictured above.

Francoeur Bros. change the business name to Alberta Machinery Company in 1920 and continued to operate within the family for several generations.