It's very satisfying to research family group portraits because they are a glimpse into that family unit at a particular time and place. This one is labelled "Uncle Angus, Aunt Clara, Jack & Colin Fraser," and is also inscribed, "To Annie, With Xmas Greetings, Angus & Clara."
The image was photographed at the Albert Smith Art Studio in Shoal Lake, Manitoba. According to The Western Canada Photographers List by Glen C. Phillips, Albert Smith was working in Shoal Lake from 1907-1925. This is probably one of his early Shoal Lake portraits.
In 1906 the 32 year-old Angus Fraser, and his 29 year-old wife, Clara can be found living in the Marquette, Manitoba district with their two sons, John, age 3 and month-old, Colin1. By the 1911 census, the family has moved to 320 Aubrey Street, Winnipeg. The two boys now have a sister named Mary, born March 1910. Angus is a physician, and the family is probably doing okay financially, as the family now employs a 16-year-old domestic servant by the name of Mary C. Hart2. Today, the house on Aubrey Street is long gone, replaced by a strip mall/brake shop.
Clara's maiden name was McCulloch3. She and Angus were married on the 27th of March 1902 in Winnipeg.
From the information we've gleaned from the census records, we can date this image to late-1907.
1 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, Marquette, Manitoba, population schedule, Marquette District, subdistrict #9, p.23 (penned), family 115, Angus Fraser family; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 July 2012); citing Library and Archives Canada microfilm T-18353 to T-18363.↩
2 1911 census of Canada, Winnipeg City, Winnipeg, Manitoba, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 16, subdistrict # 16, p.15 (penned), family 172, Angus Fraser family, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed July 1, 2012), citing microfilm LAC microfilm T-20326 to T-20460↩
3 “Manitoba, Marriage Index, 1879-1931,” database, entry for Angus Fraser and Clara McCulloch, 27 Mar 1902, reg #1902, 001837 Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 1 July 2012), citing Manitoba Consumer and Corporate Affairs. http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php: accessed 2 April 2012.↩