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Downtown Red Deer barbershop to celebrate 75 years

Barber Shop on Gaetz first opened its doors in 1947
Selene Fraser, Barber Shop on Gaetz owner, cuts Fernando Perez’s hair on Saturday. The barbershop will be hosting a 75th anniversary celebration this upcoming Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

The Barber Shop on Gaetz first opened its doors in 1947 and is still going strong today.

The business, located at 5020 Gaetz Ave. in the city’s downtown, is set to celebrate its 75th anniversary at a family-friendly sidewalk party Saturday, Aug. 20.

The event will feature live music, a barbecue and a silent auction to help raise money for the Canadian Mental Health Association and the Women’s Shelter.

Selene Fraser, the business’ current owner, took over the legendary barbershop 15 years ago.

“Our customers tell so many stories about the place and about previous owners,” said Fraser, who is the eighth proprietor of the barbershop.

“We’ve got the best customers. They come from all over the place. I have a customers who comes from Edmonton, Calgary and way up north who will wait until they come back to Red Deer.”

Some customers have been coming to the barbershop for decades, Fraser noted.

“The (longtime) farmers and fellas from Central Alberta all know the barbershop is here because they’ve been coming here, some of them, since they were kids,” she said.

Fraser’s grandfather was a barber at the former Penhold cadet base and owned various shops during his career. Fraser has been a hairdresser in Red Deer since 1986.

“I’ve worked all over the city at various shops,” she said, adding she used to have a mobile salon business and a salon in her house.

This past year has been a challenging one for the barbershop, Fraser said, as there was an electrical fire in the building last summer.

“I think we were three days in after our grand opening after COVID when the fire happened. I was struggling to find a place,” she said.

The owner of the Evergreen Massage and Steam Bath reached out and offered them a basement space for rent. The business operated there for about two months, but because some seniors and people in wheelchairs weren’t able to get down the stairs at that location, Fraser found another spot right across the street from the barbershop on Gaetz Avenue.

“We were there for six months waiting for our store to be renovated. It’s been quite a year,” she said.

“I’ve been wanting to have a customer appreciation day because our customers have been following us all over. They’re been so awesome and supportive.”

It was important to hold a 75th anniversary event to say thank you to those customers and to celebrate Red Deer history.

“I think it’s important to teach young people about history,” she said.

“Everybody had asked me, ‘Why don’t you stay over there (at the location across the street)?’ I say it’s because of the history. The shop has been here since the building was built. I think it’s important to carry that on and let future generations know what’s going on.”

The sidewalk party will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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