In Step with the Train

In Step with the Train

The rhythm of the train echoed in the daily life of the Pontiac. Its clickety clack was even imitated by one of the greatest step dancers of his time, Donny Gilchrist. Born in 1925 in Campbell's Bay, Gilchrist was influenced at an early age by the music and dances of the logging camps.

Gilchrist's career was launched in the Second World War when he joined the army and became part of a show sent overseas to entertain the troops. He attracted international attention again as a performer in a 1967 world tour, part of Canada's centennial celebration. As well as being a major influence in the field of Canadian folk dance, Gilchrist was a key figure in the promotion of Ottawa Valley step dancing and its recognition as a unique style. He passed away in 1984.


Source photo: Donnie Gilchrist's train imitation


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The Cyclopark PPJ: A Pontiac Train Story

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