Abbotsford Grand Squares

The Fun Club with Heart

Who Are We?

This is the beginnings of Abbotsford 'Grand' Squares originally called 'The Fun Club'. (confirmed in the '80's square dance Valley Circle magazine, but now referred to as the 'The FUN CLUB WITH HEART'.

It all started in February, 1981. Bob & Chris Bentley came home from dancing down south, where they had square danced. They then decided it would be a great idea to have a square dance club at home. Bob contacted Dennis Harmer, who had been calling at night school. Dennis agreed to be the club's first caller and the first square dance was held at the O.A.P. Hall on Cyril & Essendene on February 12th, 198l.

Now renamed the Abbotsford Social Activities Association. A.S.A.A. Hall (later, for convenience, the club began celebrating their anniversary in November) They started with three squares and Bob & Chris Bentley became the first president couple for three years. The club was averaging 41 dancers that spring. Dennis Harmer (& Betty) taught the beginners Monday nights and and Henri Rivard (& Yvette) called for Mainstream on Thursday nights. They then decided on green and white for the club colors (today specifically Kelly green) Henri Rivard also taught Round Dancing for the club.

The club was very active and danced at demos, at Senior Citizen Homes, at Mall openings, Abbotsford Berry Festival, Minter Gardens, July 1st parade and won a trophy for the best entertainment in 1989. Was proud to be the first club to allow women to dance in the man's position. Being non profit, every year, have donated to the food bank, and over time Salvation Army, Neurological Society, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Cyrus Centre for Youth and recently Zajac's Ranch for handicapped children. Participate in Square Dance Festivals.

In year 2000, at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre, 3,300 square dancers attended as far away as China & Japan. English being Called all over the world. In 2005 a mini festival was held in Abbotsford with 800 dancers attending. Most recent being 2017 Festival held in Cloverdale with over 400 in attendance with many of Abbotsford 'Grand' Squares attending these festivals. Wendy Krueger and David McVige, A'G'S President, being the Co-Chairs for Festival 2017.

Club events, Halloween Costume night, Christmas Celebration, pot luck suppers, Easter Bonnet Parade, '50's costume night, and more recently the Penguin Promenade dance (with fabulous penguin decor and everyone dresses in black and white). We have on our stage every dance night, 2 club mascots dressed in square dance attire: Plush large dogs Abby & Arfie donated by Mable Pohozoff and dressed by Sally Crisp and Tanye Heath with outfits made by Joyce Oshiro. Our Caller as of 2010, Heather Reynolds, has her own Holstein cow (collectibles).

No wonder the club's logo was The Fun Club with should have stuck!

President & President Couples for a year's term or more:

  1. Bob & Chris Bentley. Honourary Members;
  2. Bob & Eunice Weightman;
  3. Archie & Cicily Zylyk;
  4. Zella Higgenbottom (with the famous nick named Vice Squad of 7 Vice Presidents 'never before or after');
  5. Kay & Jim Murray;
  6. Rex & Paula Wills;
  7. Jim & Lorraine Miller;
  8. Fred & Lorrain Boyle;
  9. Poul & Esther Andersen. Honourary Members;
  10. Jim & Sandy Pearson;
  11. Don Chalmers & Tanye Heath;
  12. Jim & Grace Near (Don passed away that year);
  13. Tanye Heath, Honourary Member;
  14. David McVige & Wendy Kruger;
  15. David McVige longest time president for 13 years;
  16. Carol Swan-Laing

Callers & dates:

  1. Henri Rivard 1981- 1991;
  2. Don Hughes 1991 - 1993;
  3. Ken Crisp 1993 - 2010;
  4. Heather Reynolds (nee Wallace) 2010 - present

Special events:

  1. President Tanye Heath, 1998, brought forth the change in club outfits to a Kelly green apron with white interlocking squares (could fit all) worn over a white skirt;
  2. President David McVige brought in the first club jackets of Kelly Green with white lettering in 2015;
  3. Caller Heather Wallace became Mrs. Heather Reynolds March 2017.
  4. Longest time president, David McVige on stepping down, honours the helpers of new dancers (called square angels) with appreciation certificates, 2018, handed out by President David and angel pins were handed out by David's partner Dianne Wilson. Enthusiastic congratulations to all by Caller/Cuer/Teacher, Heather Reynolds.