Thompson Valley Stars

It was quite a drive to Fort Saskatchewan, so the Meyers loaded up their Sprinter ‘Advertisement on wheels’ on a Thursday afternoon on August 20th. When they left Kamloops, it was a balmy 31 degrees. They bunked down in the Sprinter van for a cold night at Jasper, waking up to pouring rain and only 4.5 degrees! On the road again, with fresh snow in the hills, they arrived in Ft. Sask. on Friday, in good time for the hour-long pre-rounds from 7 – 8 pm by Ron (Donna) Baba of Medicine Hat. Mainstream dancing (no rounds between tips) went from 8 until 10 pm with the time whizzing by. Gary Winter of Edmonton, Jerry Jestin of Yuma, AZ and Steve Edlund of Surrey were the callers. As the evening went on, there were so many dancers gathered on the floor that they had to open up the wall dividing the hall, to accommodate the now 250 dancers (over 30 squares).

This dance was held at the Dow Centennial Centre, a beautiful large modern ‘Convention Centre complex’, which gave the dancers many rooms to dance in. On Saturday morning they could choose to just ‘Round dance’ and also take in a Round dance Phase 3-4 ‘Work shop’, or dance ‘Plus’ to Jerry & Gary, or dance ‘Mainstream’ to Steve & Gary.  In the afternoon, there was a choice of dancing Mainstream, or Plus, or Phase 2, 3 & 4 Round dancing, or level A1 & A2 of square dancing. Then Saturday evening started with an HOUR of phase 2 & 3 ‘Rounds’, then a choice of dancing Mainstream, or Plus, or just Rounds, in different areas in the same building.

At 10:00 on Sunday morning, one could take in a Callers’ Workshop with the 3 callers hosting it, or a Cuers’ Workshop with the Babas. Then all the participants of the workshops were treated to a wonderful luncheon at the nearby Comfort Inn, along with all the volunteers who helped put on this wonderful Jamboree weekend. 

Sunday afternoon was much the same idea of choices as the Saturday afternoon, with the different levels of dancing taking place in 4 different areas of the Centennial Centre. 

Round dancing started at 7 pm until 7:45 on Sunday evening. This was followed by a choice of Mainstream OR Plus, until 9:15, and then ALL of the square dancers joined in one area to dance Mainstream to ALL three callers. It was a wonderful and exciting ending to an absolutely fabulous weekend of dancing.

For those who didn’t have to get back home, or get back to work, there was a ‘Trail Out’ dance on Monday morning, again with all 3 callers calling. This started at 9:30 am until 10:15 am, with 10 squares present.

I would certainly highly recommend this festival to those who love to dance. It is featured every two years in Fort Saskatchewan and is one of the best ever Jamborees the writer has been to. 

For more information, including new dancer sessions starting in the Fall, call
250-376-5636, or email:

The benefits of the recreation can be explored at:


Also, see the online video:

star Photo Albums

Leave a Reply