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Authority record

Microfilm and Records Branch

  • AR-RG-1-S-3
  • Corporate body

The records in this series relate to the functions of the Microfilm and Records Branch. This branch, under Director Tom Rannie, provided all City departments with services ranging from folding, inserting and metering of mail plus special deliveries and regular daily pickups and deliveries of mail, as well as providing microfilming services. The City of Edmonton established their first 16 mm microfilm program in 1952 in conjunction with Civil Defense for the security of essential documents. During the late 1960s this program was expanded to combine both 16 mm and 35 mm microfilm systems which gave complete flexibility and had the added advantage of making use of equipment in the Computer Operations Centre.

City of Edmonton. City Assessor's Department

  • AR-RG-3
  • Corporate body
  • 1892-1988

The City Assessor’s Department was responsible for raising the funds necessary for basic municipal services through the collection of taxes. Beginning in 1955 the department was also responsible for administering the various licenses required by the City, including licenses for businesses, dogs, and mobile homes, and for collecting data for the census and voters’ lists.

In 1976 the tax collection function was moved to the Finance Department, and in 1988 the remainder of the Assessment Department was absorbed by the Finance Department as well.

City of Edmonton. Edmonton Municipal Airport

  • AR-RG-2
  • Corporate body
  • 1926-1971

On June 16, 1926 Edmonton's airport become the first licensed municipal airport in Canada. Upon its establishment the airport was the responsibility of the Engineer's Department. A short-lived and ill-fated experiment occurred in 1927 when the City leased the land to farmer Mary Watt, who was expected to clear the brush, graze animals and raise hay on the land while maintaining it as an air field. When this project failed the Engineering Department retook control of the airfield.

In 1929 the newly incorporated Edmonton and Northern Alberta Aero Club was given responsibility for the airport. A Council Report that year recommended that since the airport was owned by the City a municipal official should be placed in charge. As a result, the Finance Committee appointed James "Jimmy" Bell airport manager on February 5, 1930. A former WWI bomber pilot and active member of the Aero Club, Bell would be a fixture at the airport until his retirement in 1962. For the first few years Bell was responsible for maintaining the hangar and field, while the Aero Club continued the field operations. Airport construction was done by staff of the Engineer's Department.

In 1940, as a result of the airfield's important role in the war effort, the Federal Government took over operations of the Edmonton Municipal Airport. This lasted until November 1, 1946, at which point control of the airport was transferred back to the Engineer's Department.

In 1947 James Bell became Superintendent of the Airport, presumably making the airport a separate department. This is confirmed by the functional organizational charts of the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1950s and 1960s the airport superintendent supervised all construction, maintenance and operational activity associated with the airport. He supervised a staff of around twenty, which included clerks, maintenance workers, fieldmen, watchmen, electricians, and janitors.

In 1965 the Edmonton Municipal Airport returned to the control of the Engineer's Department for budgetary reasons, however this was short-lived, and on December 29, 1967 the airport became independent once more when a Bylaw to regulate the operation of the Edmonton Industrial Airport (No. 3092) was passed.

In 1971, as part of a departmental reorganization, the responsibility for the airport was given to the newly formed Engineering and Transportation Department.

On April 1, 1996 the Edmonton Municipal Airport was transferred to the Edmonton Regional Airports Authority under a 56 year lease.

1994 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee

  • AR-RG-7-S-3
  • Corporate body
  • [ca. 1986]-1987

The Commonwealth Games are an international athletic competition among British Commonwealth countries. In late 1986 the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada invited Edmonton to bid on the 1994 Games, and the 1994 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee was established. The Committee was likely a function of the City's Corporate Communications office. The Committee was responsible for preparing a bid to be the host City for the games. The bid was presented in November 1987, but ultimately Victoria, British Columbia was selected as the host city.

Alberta 75th Municipal Anniversary Committee

  • AR-RG-7-S-8
  • Corporate body
  • 1979-1980

In 1979 the Province of Alberta established the Alberta 75th Anniversary Commission to plan and develop Alberta's 75th Birthday. Subsequently, all Alberta municipalities received $20 per capita, with Edmonton accepting $9,827,180. Edmonton's City Council established a Municipal Anniversary Committee to serve as a coordinating organization to evaluate public proposals and ideas. The Municipal Anniversary Committee was responsible to City Council. The Committee included three sub-committees: Flagship Projects, Community Projects, and Liaison.

RCMP Centennial Committee

  • AR-RG-7-S-6
  • Corporate body
  • 1973-1974

The City's RCMP Centennial Committee was established in February, 1973. The Committee was composed of members of Civic administration, the RCMP, and members of the community. They worked separately from the Provincial RCMP Centennial Committee.

The City's RCMP Centennial Committee was responsible for planning commemorative celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Northwest Mounted Police (later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in 1873, and the 100th anniversary of their arrival in what is now Alberta in 1874.

Edmonton's 75th Anniversary Committee

  • AR-RG-7-S-5
  • Corporate body
  • 1978-1979

The Edmonton's 75th Anniversary Committee was established in 1978. The Committee was charged with planning celebrations for the 75th Anniversary of Edmonton's 1904 incorporation as a City in 1979. The committee created 25 subcommittees to liaise with stakeholders and undertake the work of planning the various events.

Douglas, James McCrie

  • AR-MS-27
  • Person
  • 1878-1950

James McCrie Douglas was born 5 Feb 1867 in Middleville, Larnark County, Ontario to Presbyterian minister Rev. James Douglas and Margaret Blyth Douglas, both of Scotland. James McCrie Douglas was educated at Morris, Manitoba and became an early career there as a school teacher. He moved to Strathcona in 1894, where he operated a general store with his brother, R.B. Douglas. The Douglas Brothers’ store was located on the northwest corner of 104th Street and Whyte Avenue and soon became a landmark in the Strathcona area. The same year James married Mary Cameron Brickerton.
He was elected an alderman of Strathcona before 1909. In that year he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Strathcona, a seat he held until 1921. In 1911 he was chosen as part of the Canadian delegation which traveled to England for the coronation of King George V.
In 1914 James joined the Canadian Army. He worked in the Supply Division, achieving the rank of Captain. After the war, returning to Edmonton, he was elected a city alderman in 1922 and in 1929 he was elected Mayor of Edmonton, a position he held until 1931. In 1941 he was once again elected as an alderman and he remained in office until his retirement in 1949.
James McCrie Douglas also pursued farming after purchasing land (west half section 26, township 51, range 25, west 4th meridian) from Col. F. C. Jamison in 1922. Mr. Douglas spent a great deal of time over the next 10 years clearing the land and learning farming. In 1931 a nephew, J. Douglas Shaw, was sent to the farm for the summer to help James. Shaw would spend the following two summers on the farm with his uncle, eventually going to the Olds School of Agriculture. J. Douglas Shaw and his wife helped James McCrie Douglas on the farm after the death of Mary Douglas in 1947 and eventually took over the farm after James’s death.
James McCrie Douglas died on 16 Mar 1950 at at the age of 83 yrs.

Rath, Gilda

  • AR-MS-43
  • Person
  • [ca. 1930]-current

Gilda Rath is a descendant of the Lamoureux family, of Lamoureux, Alberta. She worked as a nurse in charge of health services for the Edmonton Indian Agency where she became involved in research in a rare blood type found among some First Nations people in the Edmonton area. She did considerable research on this topic, some in association with Dr. D.I. Buchanan (Province Medical Director, Canadian Red Cross for Alberta), Rev. Emile Tardif (Archivist for Alberta-Saskatchewan Province), Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and her husband, Dr. Otto Rath (the Regional Director of the Canadian Department of Health and Welfare). The Raths moved to Ottawa in the mid 1970s. Otto Rath died 1 Apr 1979 in Montreal.

Hudson's Bay Company

  • AR-MS-51
  • Corporate body
  • 1795-1915

The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) has operated in the Edmonton area since it constructed Edmonton House in 1795. It was located at various points along the North Saskatchewan River until it built its final post on the present grounds of the Legislature Building in 1830. Apart from fur trading activities at the fort, Fort Edmonton became a headquarters for trading operations in a large territory surrounding and north of the post.
By the 1890s, Fort Edmonton was in disrepair and soon after, the HBC transitioned into retail stores. Fort Edmonton was dismantled in 1915. In the mid-1960s a reconstruction of Fort Edmonton was built at Fort Edmonton Park and is one of the main attractions at the park.

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Hudson's Bay Company and the 175th anniversary of Fort Edmonton, the Edmonton Bay sponsored a model building contest of Fort Edmonton, in 1970. The winner was Donald J. Barron.

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