Nine members of the Swiss Club Matterhorn, Calgary Alberta, formed the Swiss Folk Dance Club Alpenroesli in November 1981. The founders of the Club were: Maya Ackermann, Margot Bigler, Edith Furber, Kaethi Gyger, Maria Krohmer, Roesli Rutzer, Marianne Spielmann, Helga Wagner and Li Zahnd. Naegli Nigg played the Schwyzerörgeli and Heidi Arikan the Accordion. Folk Dance in Switzerland is an art form that continues to change and develop both in form and function. The main elements and dance forms have their roots in the 18th and 19th century. They are: the "Schottisch, Walzer, Ländler, Marsch and Polka". Most of the dances the club performs have been created during the past 100 years and include both very traditional old dances as well as contemporary dances to popular folk songs.The Club is the only Swiss folk dance group in Canada. The group has been able to participate at the Unspunnen Fest in Interlaken, Switzerland in 2006 where the dancers had the opportunity to showcase their skills and learn more about the development of Swiss folk dancing. The Club also performed at the North American Yodeling Fest in Banff in 2009. The highlight in 2010 was the participation at the Eidgenössische Trachtenfest in Schwyz, Switzerland. This event happens only every 12 years! The Club regularly performs for the Swiss Community and at public events.
Switzerland has 4 official languages and hundreds of regional and local dialects in a country that fits 16 times into Alberta. The four languages are: Swiss German, French, Italian and Rhaeto-Romanic. Local cultural dialects and traditions add further diversity. This diversity is also represented in our costumes. Ancient cultures, as well as all periods of Western civilization have left traces of their styles and characteristics in our national costumes and left their mark in the details. The dresses are neither historical nor theatrical costumes, nor are they uniforms to sell Swiss culture. They are authentic dresses still worn today for special festivities, occasions and functions by people who have a deep connection to their culture.
Glarus, Basel, Bern & St. Gallen / Toggenburg
Appenzell Ausserhoden, Oberwallis, Bern
Fribourg-Murten, Appenzell Innerhoden, St. Gallen-Toggenburg
Graubünden - Oberengadin, Bern, Waadtland
Freiämter (AG) Werkstagstracht, Tessiner Tracht