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About Chautauqua

Chautauquas and Tent Chautauquas were popular from the 1880s until approximately 1920.  They were TRAVELLING VARIETY SHOWS.  They provided entertainment and edification (education) to the towns of the West, the Wild West, the Gold Rush and various other burgeoning small towns and villages.  Primarily they brought news of politics, science and discovery, new inventions and they brought an element of culture to the people scattered across the country.  For example, a Chautauqua might introduce people to the new invention of the telephone or give a report from the hallowed halls of Ottawa.  An opera singer might perform, or a classical pianist.  As Chautauquas travelled, they picked up and lost local talent, too.  Perhaps a jig dancer or accordionist would join in one small town but by the third or fourth town, bow out and return home to take in the crops or recommence teaching the school year. Read More ...  

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“Cranbrook Community Theatre is delighted to affiliate our 4th Annual Chautauqua with the Multicultural Society this year.  Reflecting early Canadian culture of the 1900s, our old-style variety show well complements the theme of the Multicultural Festival that weekend" Melodie Hull, Director of Chautauqua

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