Title and statement of responsibility area
James Oakland Valleau fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material - photograph
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- Source of title proper: Title based on name of creator.
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Dates of creation area
- Valleau, James Oakland
Physical description area
7 cm of textual records. - 27 photographs
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Archival description area
Name of creator
James Oakland (Jim) Valleau was born 3 Nov 1916 to Rose Anna Storey and George Carleton Valleau in Saskatchewan. James was one of seven children born to Rose and George - John Ivor (1914), George William (1915), Charles Bert (1918), Edith Muriel (1921), Jean, John and Donald.
Jim was raised on the family farm in Moose Range, Saskatchewan. After serving as an R.C.A.F. pilot during the Second World War, Valleau married Ethel Matheson, ca. 1945. By 1958, Jim and Ethel were living in Edmonton. Jim worked for many years in the grain business as a seed buyer. Jim and Ethel also operated a grain farm near Clandonald, Alberta. Jim and Ethel had four children - Marilyn, Bob, Tom and John.
James Oakland Valleau died in Edmonton on 21 Dec 2014, at the age of 98. He is buried in the family cemetery in Moose Range, Saskatchewan.
As many of the records are prior to Valleau’s birth, as such, his relation to the documents in uncertain. It is assumed that Valleau collected them in pursuit of his interest in the early theatrical scene of the City of Edmonton.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of records collected by James Valleau, presumably once living in Edmonton. They relate to different events in Edmonton, often prior to James' own birth or living in Edmonton. As such, his relation to the documents is uncertain. It is assumed that Valleau collected them in pursuit of an interest in the history of the city. The records are divided into three main topics - the Edmonton Industrial Association and its 1914 promotional trip, 'The Edmonton Spirit'; the early theatrical scene in Edmonton; and miscellaneous.
Edmonton Industrial Association
The Edmonton Industrial Association, which operated under the aegis of the Edmonton Board of Trade, was created to promote Edmonton and industrial opportunities to a wider national and international audience. In June 1914, a two week promotional train excursion named 'Edmonton Spirit' was made from Edmonton to Toronto, with stops in Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Stratford and Guelph. The train journey was interspersed with civic receptions and tours of local facilities. Among the passengers were some of Edmonton's leading businessmen. A twice-daily newsletter was published each day of the journey.
The records include itineraries, notes, articles, newsletters, announcements and accounts of the 'Edmonton Spirit' train excursion. There are also two panorama photographs of the excursion participants, taken in Winnipeg and Milwaukee.
The theatrical programmes include material that was originally created by Kenneth A. Ross. Mr. Ross came to Edmonton from Ontario around 1913 and appears to have had ambitions of being a concert impresario. He was manager or presenter of some concerts in 1916. Then in 1917, Ross, with the cooperation of the Edmonton Women's Musical Club, arranged the 'Edmonton Concert Series', to be held in the 1917-1918 season, and produced a brochure with biographies of the upcoming performers in order to promote sales.
In 1920, Ross was promoted to manager of the Musical Merchandise Sales Co., who was the Canadian distributor of Brunswick phonographs. However in 1923, Ross was convicted in Calgary of the theft of 133 gramophones from the McLaran Gramophone Corp. of Stratford, Ontario, and sentenced to three years in the Prince Albert penitentiary.
The theatrical records of Kenneth A. Ross include handbills, programmes including the brochure for the 'Edmonton Concert Series' produced by Mr. Ross, photographs and album. The photographs, most of which are in the photo album, are portraits of several of the concert performers, many with salutations addressed to Kenneth A. Ross or his wife. The Ross theatrical records also include a handbill for a play, 'The Temple of Fame', in which both Kenneth Ross and his wife are listed as performers. Accompanying the handbill is a handwritten document, 'Red Cross Nurse', which is likely the script for Mrs. Ross' address in the play.
There are also other theatrical programmes that are likely not associated with Kenneth Ross as they are for concerts either before his arrival in Edmonton, or after his 1923 conviction. It is not known if these programmes were originally used by Valleau, or by someone else and collected by Valleau.
The miscellaneous material includes a commencement programme for the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing, an advertisement for Thompson & Dynes women's wear shop in Edmonton, and newspaper clippings.
Immediate source of acquisition
This collection was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by James Oakland Valleau in 1980 and 1988.
The material was arranged by the archivist by creator.
The photographs were assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-403 and EB-44.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
There are no restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright may apply.
Reproduction restrictions may apply.
Finding aid available online.
No further accruals are expected.
Accession numbers: A80-27, A88-3
The records of the former MS-271 Spirit of Edmonton fonds were repatriated into this MS.
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