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Wilma Jess’s Square-Dance Dress, 1960s

Click on image to enlarge

Métis and settler, young and old, rural and urban – squaredancing in Saskatchewan bridges cultures and identities. Wilma Jess and her husband Bernard loved to squaredance and twirl around the dance floor together. Wilma loved country music and farm life. She grew prize-winning vegetables and flowers in the Outlook area where she and Bernard retired.

Welker’s Square-Dancing Line
Wilma bought her red square-dance dress from Vern Welker Men’s Wear store on Second Avenue in Saskatoon.  In business from 1948 to 1970, Vern and Clara Welker carried a line of square-dancing clothing for men and women. They were avid square dancers themselves.

Portrait of Verna and Clara Welker. Click on image to enlarge

For the Love of Dance
Wilma wore her Welker’s dress to many barn and hall dances. Square-dancing continues to be a vibrant part of Saskatchewan life with dances, lessons and competitions across the province every year. 




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