Sundance Chronology

Sundance Chronology against the backdrop

of BC, Canada and the world

The “Golden Years” of Sundance, the 1970s and 1980s, were years of warfare and moon shots, of a thriving pop culture and social revolution.  Here are some of the events, changes and trends of those years.


1972 was the year Richard Nixon visited China.  On January 30th of 1972, 13 people were killed and many wounded in Northern Ireland during a civil rights march. The day would later be referred to as “Bloody Sunday.” On April 17th, 1972 , the film “The Godfather” made 26 million dollars within the first few days of its premier.  Three days later, Apollo 16 landed on the moon.  On August 12th, 1972, the US launched heavy air raids on North Vietnam.

During 1972, these were some of the songs that reached #1 on the charts.

Heart of Gold – Neil Young   

I Am Woman – Helen Reddy   

I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash   

1972-1973 School Year

Sundance was still in its planning stages.

Meanwhile, on September 5th, 1972, terrorists killed 11 athletes from Israel’s Olympic Team.

In BC, David Barrett (NDP) replaced 20 year premier W.A.C. Bennett, (Social Credit).

In sports, Paul Henderson scored the “goal of the century” on September 28th, to give Canada the win in the Summit Series, the first-ever top-level hockey showdown between Canada and the Soviet Union.

On October 23rd, 1972 Credit Cards were launched in Britain.

On October 30th, Canada had a Federal election, electing Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals with a minority government.  Meanwhile, on November 8th, 1972, Richard Nixon won the US presidential election.

On November 9th, Canada’s Anik I, the world’s first non-military communications satellite, was launched.  On December 11th of 1972, Apollo 17 landed on the moon.


January 27th, 1973, the US agreed to end fighting in Vietnam. And on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 1973, the first US Prisoners of War flew home from Vietnam.

On February 15th, the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific was established in Victoria.

On April 8th, Picasso died. On August 14th, 1973, the US ended bombing in Cambodia.

Here are some songs that made it to #1 on the charts during 1973.

Angie – The Rolling Stones   

Bad, Bad Leroy Brown – Jim Croce   

You’re So Vain – Carly Simon   

1973-1974 School Year

The doors of Sundance School on Quadra Street opened to students. George Olson  was its first principal.

The Vietnam War was crawling toward its finish.  Canada was sorting out language issues.  French Immersion programs and schools were increasing in number.  Feminism was a social issue, and questions like abortion rights were being debated.

The 1973 B.C. School Act banned corporal punishment in schools. These amendments applied only to public schools.

On November 13th, a jury refused to convict Henry Morgenthaler for performing 5,000 illegal abortions,though he later served ten months in prison and suffered a heart attack there..


On October 17th, OPEC dramatically raised the price of oil. This was a boon to Alberta but hurt central Canada.

On December 7th, Canada sold its first CANDU Reactor to South Korea.

On January 25th of 1974, Dr Christian Barnard, a South African surgeon, performed the first heart transplant.

On  May 23rd, 1974, New Brunswick became the first province to be officially bilingual.

Great Soviet ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov defected in Toronto on June 29th.

On July 2nd, Ralph Steinhauer became the first Aboriginal person to be a Canadian Lieutenant Governor when he was appointed to that role in Alberta.

On the political scene, the federal election on July 8th saw Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals winning a majority.

On July 31st, Bill 22 was passed in Quebec making French the official language of government and business in Quebec

August 8th, 1974 was the day President Richard Nixon resigned over Watergate.

Here are some of the songs that were popular enough to reach #1 on the charts in 1974.

Band on the Run – Paul McCartney & Wings   

Cat’s in the Cradle – Harry Chapin   

The Loco-Motion – Grand Funk Railroad   

The Way We Were – Barbra Streisand   

Seasons in the Sun – Terry Jacks   

74-75 School Year

The Vietnam War was officially over and Canada was going metric.

The report of the Le Dain Commission argued marijuana should be decriminalized.


On January 1st, 1975 , product labeling using the metric system was introduced.

In February 1975, a group of parents in Keremeos appealed to the Education Minister to remove Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell from school bookshelves.  They claimed that the book, used in grade 10 English literature classes, taught their children “how to swear aloud in front of the class” and contained irreligious remarks. The novel, originally published in 1947, is about life on the Prairies during the Depression.

On April 1st, 1975, Environment Canada switched to degrees Celsius, while on April 2nd, 1975, the CN Tower was completed in Toronto.

On April 30th, 1975, Saigon surrendered to the Communists.  On May 7th, 1975, US President Ford announced the end to the Vietnam War.

On May 30th, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories were given seats in the Senate.

On the somewhat sillier side, on May 26th, 1975 stuntman Evil Knievel suffered serious injuries when his attempt to jump 13 busses in a car failed.

Here are a few of the songs that reached #1 on the charts in 1975.

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon   

            Rhinestone Cowboy – Glen Campbell   

            You’re No Good – Linda Ronstadt   

            Afternoon Delight – Starland Vocal Band   

75-76 School Year

In British Columbia, the NDP were replaced by the Social Credits.

George left Sundance at the end of this year.

That September, Ontario schools began to use the metric system exclusively in classrooms.

On November 10th, The SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the lake freighter, sank suddenly during a gale on Lake Superior. Her last journey was immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot.

Leading the way again, on November 18th, Ontario made the wearing of seatbelts mandatory.

On December 22nd, 1975, William R. Bennett was sworn in as Premier of British Columbia, replacing David Barrett and once again giving BC a Social Credit government


On January 12th, 1976, the mystery writer Agatha Christie died.

A significant sports event took place on February 7th, 1976. The Toronto Maple Leafs captain Darryl Sittler scored ten points in one game.

Two important events in the arts from this period were the launch of Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler, and TV’s Saturday Night Live, produced by Canadian Lorne Michaels, and featuring Paul Shaffer and Dan Aykroyd.

Richmond School Board trustees met to decide whether to ban In the Heat of the Night due to its sex, violence and racial hatred; Lord of the Flies due to its violence; and Go Ask Alice, a book about a teen drug addict, containing explicit sex.  They voted to ban Go Ask Alice.

On March 26th, 1976, Argentine’s President Isabel de Peron was overthrown.

On June 30th, 1976, Parliament voted to abolish the death penalty.

Some of the songs that reached #1 on the charts in 1976 were these:

            Disco Duck (Part 1) – Rick Dees & His Cast of Idiots   

            Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright) – Rod Stewart   

1976-1977 School Year

Donna Wooliams became the principal of Sundance.

On September 18th, 1976, Chairman Mao died.

On October 14th, 1976, over one million Canadian workers, unionized and non-unionized, walked off the job for a one-day strike, or “Day of Protest,” to protest wage and price controls.

A very important event in 1976 was the introduction of the Timbit.

On November 2nd, 1976 Jimmy Carter was elected US President.


On January 25th, 1977, 250 US hostages were taken and held in Uganda.  On March 1st, 1977, they were freed.

Meanwhile, in Canada on February 27th, 1977, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided Keith Richards’s Toronto hotel suite while he was sleeping and seized 22 grams of heroin, 5 grams of cocaine, and narcotics paraphernalia.

On April 7th, the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game, defeating the Chicago White Sox.

August 16th, 1977 Elvis Presley died, and on August 19th, Groucho Marx died.

Some songs reaching #1 on the charts this year were:

             Da Doo Ron Ron – Shaun Cassidy   

            Dancing Queen – Abba   

            How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees   

            You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone.  

1977- 1978 School Year

Sundance School left its first home on Quadra Street, where there were tall, sashed windows, high ceilings, wide halls, but very little office space, and moved to its more modern Bank Street location, where it has stayed ever since.  There was talk over the years of moving the program into various other schools.  Willows was one of the suggestions.  However, the parents and staff were firm in their resolve that Sundance was so unique that it needed its own building.

Across the country, the change to the metric system continued.  From September 3rd  to September 5th  of 1977,  all the road signs were converted from miles to kilometers.

At about this time, Prime Minister Trudeau divorced his wife Margaret Sinclair.

Sexual orientation was being discussed, and the sexual revolution continued.  Quebec became the first jurisdiction (larger than a city or county) in the world to prohibit discrimination in the public and private sectors based on sexual orientation.

On December 3rd, 1977, the USA agreed to admit Vietnamese Boat People refugees, something Canada had been doing for some time.

On December 18th, Canada took a stand and cut trade links with South Africa over apartheid.


New legislation in 1978 meant that under the new immigration act homosexuals were no longer an inadmissible class.

On February 15th, 1978, Leon Spinks took the Heavyweight Boxing title from Muhammad Ali.

On  March 31st, 1978, Charles Best, the co-discoverer of insulin, died.

On April 3rd of 1978, Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall won 4 Oscars.

On June 21st, 1978, the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical Evita opened on the London stage.

July 25th, 1978, Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby” was born.

VIA Rail was established in 1978.

The Commonwealth Games were held in Edmonton, Alberta that year.

A new play, John Gray and Eric Peterson’s Billy Bishop Goes to War, was launched.

Some songs that reached #1 on the charts in 1978 were:

            Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart   

            Hot Child in the City – Nick Gilder   

            Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees   

            You Needed Me – Anne Murray   

1978- 1979 School Year

On September 17th, 1978, Muhammad Ali won back his Heavyweight Boxing title from Leon Spinks.

On November 26th, 1978, 900 followers of Rev. Jim Jones committed suicide in Guyana.

Nellie Furtado was born on December 2nd of 1978.

On December 8th, Golda Meir, Israel’s first woman Prime Minister, died.   And on December 10th of 1978, Israel’s Prime Minister Begin and Egypt’s President Sadat won the Nobel Peace Prize.

On December 11th, 1978, millions marched in Tehran against the Shah.


            January 8th, 1979, Sarah Polley, the actor, was born.

On May 21st, 1979, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup, defeating the New York Rangers 4 games to 1.

On May 22nd, 1979, Canadians went to the polls in the federal election. They defeated Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals and elected Joe Clark’s PCs, with a minority.  On June 4th, Joe Clark became Canada’s sixteenth, and youngest ever, Prime Minister.

On June 7th, the Sudbury Strike of 1978 ended after nine months.

On June 22nd, the World Hockey Association folded. Four teams, the Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, and Hartford Whalers, survived and moved to the NHL.

Here are a few of the songs that made it to #1 on the charts in 1979.

            We are Family – Sister Sledge

            Escape (The Pina Colada Song) – Rupert Holmes   

            I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor   

1979- 1980 School Year

Trivial Pursuit first made its appearance.  Created by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, it swept the country and appeared as a Family Time activity at Sundance.


In a quick turn-around, on February 18th, 1980, another Federal election had Pierre Trudeau’s Liberals winning a majority, defeating Joe Clark’s PCs.  On March 3rd, Pierre Trudeau became Prime Minister for the second time, replacing Joe Clark.

On April 12th , 1980, Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope run across Canada in support of cancer research.

On April 14th , The National Film Board won an Oscar for its animated films.

On April 30th ,  Gordie Howe finally retired.

At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.  Many of us remember being awakened that morning by its booming sound.

May 20th, Quebec voted against separation in the 1980 Quebec referendum.

            On June 28th, 1980, Terry Fox, cancer activist and inspiration for so many, died.

July 1st, 1980, “O Canada” became our official national anthem.

            Rubik’s Cube, although invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik, and originally called the “Magic Cube” by its inventor, was renamed “Rubik’s Cube” by Ideal Toys in 1980 and also won the 1980 German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle.   I think every student at Sundance either had one or had played with one that year.

It was a good year for games.  First released in Japan on May 22nd, 1980, Pac-Man became extremely popular.

These songs or albums reached #1 on the charts in 1980.

            9 to 5 – Dolly Parton   

            Another One Bites the Dust – Queen   

            Celebration – Kool & The Gang   

            The Wall (album) – Pink Floyd

1980- 1981 School Year

This was Donna Wooliams’s last year as Principal of Sundance.

On October 6th of this year, Trudeau announced his plan to patriate the Canadian constitution unilaterally.

On October 28th, the National Energy Program was introduced.

An event that took place on November 17th, 1980, affected how many children were brought up; Clifford Olson raped and killed his first victim.  Many parents were much more vigilant, driving their children to and from playdates, going to the park with them, and taking other measures to ensure that they weren’t in danger.

December 8th,  1980, John Lennon was murdered.

On December 31st, 1980, Marshall McLuhan, the scholar who gave us the words, “The Medium is the message,” died.


            In February, Nobody Has to be a Kid Forever by Hila Colman and Blubber and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t both by Judy Blume were recalled from Castlegar elementary schools.

Personal Computers (the PC) were introduced by IBM.

In 1981, the new “Plague” was identified as AIDS

Some popular songs of 1981, reaching #1 on the charts were:

Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes   

            Chariots of Fire – Vangelis

            Private Eyes – Daryl Hall & John Oates   

1981- 1982 School Year

Paul Palmer became Sundance’s third Principal that September.

On October 16th , Canada Post became a crown corporation.

On November 5th  the Canadian government and all the provinces, except Quebec, agreed on how to patriate the Canadian Constitution.

On November 13th, the Canadarm was first deployed aboard the Space Shuttle.

            How I Spent My Summer Holidays by W.O. Mitchell was first published in 1981.


In February of 1982,  the first reported cases of AIDS appeared  in Canada.

On April 2nd, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands

April 17th, 1982, the Queen signed Canada’s newly patriated constitution in Ottawa and the new Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms came into effect.

E.T., the movie every child wanted to see, was released on June 11th, 1982.  It was the summertime movie for kids that year.

Some songs popular that year, reaching #1 on the charts were:

         Abracadabra- Steve Miller Band   

         Down Under – Men At Work   

         Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder   

         Freeze Frame – J. Geils Band

        Maneater – Daryl Hall & John Oates   

        Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden

1982- 1983 School Year

On October 4th, Glenn Gould died.

On October 27th, 1982, Dominion Day was renamed Canada Day.

The Vietnam War Memorial was dedicated November 13th, 1982 in Washington, DC.

On December 1st, 1982, Michael Jackson’s released “Thriller.”

The Reverend Sun Myung Moon Married 2,075 Couples at Madison Square Garden.


On January 1st, 1983, the metric system of weights and measures was officially adopted by the federal government, although Imperial units were still used.

On January 21st,  JoAnn Thatcher, wife of Saskatchewan MLA Colin Thatcher, was murdered in her Regina home. Colin Thatcher would later be convicted of the crime.

March 23rd, 1983, Ronald Reagan announced his Defence Plan called Star Wars.

The 1983 Grey Cup was the first championship game held indoors, at the new BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. The Toronto Argonauts won 18-17 over the British Columbia Lions.

Stan Rogers died of smoke inhalation June 2nd, 1983 while travelling on Air Canada Flight 797.

On June 9th,  Bill 101, protecting the French language in Quebec was ruled unconstitutional.

On June 11th,  Brian Mulroney replaced Joe Clark as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

June 19th,  BC Place in Vancouver opened.

On the world stage, Sally Ride became the first woman in Space.  The Soviets shot down a Korean Airliner.  And on April 18th, 1983, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon was attacked by a member of an Islamist group.  Over 60 people, mostly embassy staff members, were killed.

These were a few of the songs that reached #1 on the charts in 1983.

            Africa – Toto   

            Beat It – Michael Jackson   

            Every Breath You Take and King of Pain, from “Synchronicity”

– Sting and The Police

            Flashdance…What a Feeling – Irene Cara   

1983 – 1984 School Year

Cabbage Patch Kids, created by Xavier Roberts in 1978, were introduced at the International Toy Fair in NYC in 1983. By October there were “riots” in stores around the country, since these cloth dolls with a big head were on the wish lists of many, many children. The dolls made the cover of Newsweek before Christmas. Most kids of a certain age had either the authentic Cabbage Patch Kid or a facsimile.

Nationally and internationally, on October 1st,  the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization was established, and on  November 17th, the Western Grain Transportation Act was passed.

On December 23rd, Jeanne Sauvé was appointed Canada’s first female Governor General.

Canada agreed to allow testing of American cruise missiles in the west.


On  May 19th, the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup defeating the New York Islanders 5–2 at Edmonton and ending the Islanders’ dynasty.

On June 30th, 1984, John Turner became Canada’s seventeenth Prime Minister replacing the retiring Pierre Trudeau.

The PG-13 Movie Rating was created on July 1st, 1984.

On August 31st, 1984, MuchMusic signed on.

Some of the #1 hits of 1984 were:

            Footloose – Kenny Loggins   

            Ghostbusters – Ray Parker, Jr.   

            I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder   

            Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper   

            Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go – Wham   

            What’s Love Got To Do With It? – Tina Turner   

            Like A Virgin – Madonna   

            Karma Chameleon – Culture Club   

            Jump – Van Halen   

1984 – 1985 School Year

The September 4th federal election routed John Turner’s Liberals as Brian Mulroney won the largest majority in Canadian history.

Avril Lavigne, singer-songwriter, was born on September 27th, 1984.

On October 31st, Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister, was killed by two of her own Sikh bodyguards.

November 28th, 1984, Marc-André Fleury, goalie for Pittsburgh, was born.

On November 6th, 1984, Saskatchewan MLA Colin Thatcher was convicted of the murder of his ex-wife Joanne.

On November 18th, the Grey Cup was won by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with 47–17 over the Hamilton Tiger Cats. It was played at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.

1984 was the year that Labatt introduced the first twist-off cap on a reusable beer bottle.


On February 10th,  a group of top Canadian musicians, Northern Lights, gathered to record the charity single Tears Are Not Enough for famine relief in Ethiopia.

On February 11th, the federal and Newfoundland governments signed the Atlantic Accord paving the way for joint development of Newfoundland’s offshore oil and gas reserves.

On February 28th, Holocaust denyer Ernst Zündel was found guilty of publishing false news and fomenting racial intolerance.

In March, at the so-called Shamrock Summit between Prime Minister Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan they agree to cooperate on Missile Defence and free trade.

On April 24th 1985, our Supreme Court ruled that the Lord’s Day Act violates Canadians’ freedom of religion.

The hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic was discovered by British scientists,

Mikhail Gorbachev called for Glasnost and Perestroika.  Hoping to shift resources to the civilian sector of the Soviet economy, Gorbachev also began to argue for the end to the arms race with the West.

New Coke became available on April 23, 1985.

On June 23rd,  Air India flight 182 exploded en-route from Toronto to London. Sikh terrorists were assumed to be responsible.

            The Handmaid’s Tale a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, was first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985.

These were some of the #1 songs of 1985.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears   
Money For Nothing – Dire Straits   
We Are the World – USA for Africa   

1985- 1986 School Year

On September 1st, 1985, the wreck of the Titanic was found.

On September 6th, 1985,  The Canadian Encyclopedia was launched.

On September 25th , 1985, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology opened in Drumheller, Alberta .


The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28th, 1986.

January 31st,  the Canadian dollar hit an all-time low of 70.2 U.S. cents on international money markets.

On April 26th, 1986 at 01:23:40 am, “Chernobyl”, the worst nuclear power plant accident in history resulted in a severe nuclear meltdown. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located in the Soviet Union near Pripyat in Ukraine exploded.

On May 24th, in Calgary, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup against the Calgary Flames

On August 5th, 1986, Canada adopted sanctions against South Africa for its apartheid policies.

On August 6th, 1986, BC Social Credit Party leader Bill Vander Zalm became premier of British Columbia, replacing Bill Bennett.

On August 11th, 1986,  Tamil refugees were found drifting off the coast of Newfoundland.

Negotiators began work on what would eventually be the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement.

The birds series of Canadian banknotes was released.

Two literary releases in 1986 were Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever

and Alice Munro’s The Progress of Love.

At this time the Iran-Contra scandal was unfolding.

The U.S. bombed Libya.

The U.S.S.R. launched the Mir Space Station.

Here are some of the songs that reached #1 in 1986.

        Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer   

        Papa Don’t Preach – Madonna   

        Take My Breath Away – Berlin   

        True Colors – Cyndi Lauper   

        You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi   

1986- 1987 School Year

On October 6th, Canada received a United Nations award for sheltering refugees.

On December 8th, the University of Toronto’s John C. Polanyi shared the Nobel Prize for chemistry for the development of the chemical laser.


In February 1987, there was a demonstration outside the New Westminster Public Library during a writer-illustrator’s talk to students in grades two and four.  Protesters felt The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Robin Muller taught about witchcraft and black magic.

On April 30th, 1987, the Provincial premiers agreed to the Meech Lake Accord.

In 1987, DNA was first used to convict criminals.

In June, 1987, The Five Chinese Brothers (originally published in 1938) by Claire Huchet Bishop and Kurt Weise. was removed from use in Vancouver schools because it was seen as stereotypical and derogatory.

On July 4th, 1987, Klaus Barbie, the “Nazi Butcher of Lyons,” was sentenced to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity.

Here are a number of songs that reached #1 in 1987.

            Bad – Michael Jackson   

            I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2   

            I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany   

            La Bamba – Los Lobos   

            Lean On Me – Club Nouveau            

1987- 1988 School Year

This was Bindo Lalari’s last year as the secretary of Sundance.

In October, Canadian and American negotiators reached agreement on the Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement.

On Black Monday, October 19th, 1987 the New York Stock Exchange suffered a huge drop.

On November 27th, 1987, Cowboy Junkies recorded their most famous album, The Trinity Session, at Toronto’s Church of the Holy Trinity.

The Reform Party was formed in 1987, under the leadership of Preston Manning.

Two literary releases of 1987 were Farley Mowat’s Virunga: The Passion of Dian Fossey and Mordecai Richler’s Jacob Two-Two and the Dinosaur.


On January 28th, 1988, Canada’s abortion laws were repealed by the Supreme Court.

On February 29th, 1988, Svend Robinson became Canada’s first Member of Parliament to come out as homosexual. In the same year, the United Church of Canada became the first church in Canada to allow the ordination of gays and lesbians.

On August 9th, 1988, Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Los Angeles Kings by the Edmonton Oilers.

Some songs reaching #1 in 1988 were:

            Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi   

            Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin   

            Love Bites – Def Leppard   

            Man In the Mirror – Michael Jackson   

            Need You Tonight – Inxs   

            Red Red Wine – UB40   

1988- 1989 School Year

This was Paul Palmer’s last year as Principal of Sundance.

            A Legacy for Learners: The Report of the Royal Commission on Education was completed in 1988.  Among the outcomes of the recommendations were the educational objectives and policies known as Year 2000,

On September 22nd, 1988, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney officially apologized for the internment of Japanese Canadians during WWII.

September 26th, 1988, Ben Johnson was stripped of his Olympic gold medal and world record when he tested positive for steroids.

On December 21st, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 people on board as well as 11 on the ground.

            U.S. forces shot down Iranian Air Flight 655, a civilian airliner, on Sunday July 3rd, 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, towards the end of the Iran Iraq War.

Skater Kurt Browning completed the first ever quadruple toe loop in World Championships of 1988 in Budapest.


On January 1st, 1989, the Canadian-American Free Trade Agreement came into effect.

In February, 1989, Canada Customs placed an import block on Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, six months after it had been for sale in Canada, then rescinded the ban within 48 hours.

March 1st, 1989, the Canadian Space Agency was formed.

On  May 25th, 1989, the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup against the Montreal Canadiens, playing in Montreal,

Here are some of 1989″s #1 songs.

            Hangin’ Tough – New Kids on the Block   

            I’ll Be There For You – Bon Jovi   

            We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel   

            Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler   

The school had a farewell celebration for Paul that June.  I think everyone there agreed that “Wind Beneath My Wings,” the song Evie chose to dedicate to Paul, expressed at least part of who Paul was in relation to the school.  He really did lift us up and help us become the best we could be.  His vision had given the school wings to fly.  We were as good as we were because of his direction.

Bette Midler wrote:

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

We all agreed that this described Paul, our hero.

We wondered about Sundance’s future without Paul’s amazing leadership.  But that’s another story.  The 80’s were over.

Soon, most of us, like Paul, would be teaching in different schools. The “regular” schools had begun to show an interest in alternate ways of teaching.   They had begun to encourage children to think for themselves.  They were more focused on social skills.  They looked at learning styles and individual differences.  They looked at different ways of reporting student progress.  We walked out of Sundance and into schools that were starting to respect what we had been doing.

5 thoughts on “Sundance Chronology

  1. Did we have Paul’s goodbye celebration at the Crystal Gardens and was there a slide show for him with the song Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson? Or did I totally dream that as a kid? It is a fuzzy “memory” that just jumped into my mind.

    • We did have Paul’s goodbye celebration at the Crystal Garden and there was a slide show, I think. The only song I remember from that event was “Wind Beneath My Wings,” but there could have been others. I do remember the Orff Group playing something beautiful, a canon or fugue.

  2. I was there the same years as Paul. I remember feeling like his goodbye was for us too, as grade sevens. It’s a self centred age.
    I love this background for our school years. I remember so many of those events, and the music was our soundtrack.

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