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Archival description
School for the Contemporary Arts fonds Sub-series
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Dido and Aeneas opera files

Sub-series consists of records relating to the production and performance of the opera Dido and Aeneas by the English composer Henry Purcell. Activities documented include production design, financing, program and score, and publicity. Records include set and costume design sketches, rehearsal schedules, stage plans, stage lighting schedules, event summary form, financial ledger, vocal and full score (publications), program book, photographs slides and negatives of rehearsals and performance (file 7), publicity photos (file 8), media releases, and press clippings.

External correspondence

Series consists of the Director's correspondence with individuals and organizations outside of the university. Activities and events documented include the Centennial Theatre project (file 1); participation in conferences, faculty exchange programs and visiting artists; collaboration and participation in various arts organizations; liaison with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Universities Council of British Columbia (UCBC); special projects and events (Expo '86 World Festival, Calgary '88 Olympics Arts Festival); a 1984 proposal to establish a Canadian Centre for Contemporary Arts;liaison with local public and high schools; reviews and commentary on other university programs, and grant applications.

Records include correspondence, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, agreements and letters of understanding, media releases, proposals, grant applications, project descriptions, postcards, conference programs, CVs, questionnaires, architectural drawings (file 19), notes and working papers, brochures and other printed reference material.


Sub-series consists of newsletters created by the School and its predecessors; includes the student newsletter Horse Sheet (1969), the Centre for the Arts newsletter (1982), the School for Contemporary Arts Newsletter (SCAN, 1996-1998), and the Praxis Centre newsletter (1997-1999).

Public programming - general files

Series consists of records relating to general public programming matters not falling under a more specific category. Activities, events and topics documented include performing groups associated with the university (SFU Madrigal Singers, the Simon Fraser University Theatre Company, the Magnetic Band), a 1974 copyright dispute (file 8), public and media relations, correspondence with visiting artists, the 1977 residency by five members of the Royal Shakespeare Company (Patrick Stewart, Sheila Allen, Richard Pasco, Ben Kingsley, and Juliet Aykroyd). Records include event programs, membership lists, correspondence, petitions, workshop evaluations, proposals, reports, attendance statistics, press clippings and media releases, architectural drawings (set design, file 17), reprints and other printed reference material.

Purcell String Quartet files

This sub-series consists of records relating to the association of SFU and the Quartet. Activities documented include contract negotiations, budget, funding and reporting, campus performances and workshops, off-campus tours, and the decision in 1982 to discontinue the residency. Records include correspondence, proposals, reports, contracts and agreements, funding requests and grant applications, programs, tour itineraries, maps and briefing notes, media releases, publicity photograph (file 14), and press clippings.

Student film workshop productions

The Simon Fraser University Film Workshop began in May 1967 when the university first obtained 16mm production facilities. The Film Workshop was a non-credit, production-orientated program coordinated through the Centre for Communication and the Arts that became the foundation for the SFU Film Minor program.

Under supervision of the University Resident in Film, students learned directing, filming, lighting, and sound technique, and served as cast and crew for each other's films. Students worked in 8mm, 16mm and videotape formats and produced films for educational rather than commercial purposes. At the end of each year, the films were screened on campus. Many of the films went on to win prizes in local and international student film festivals and have been screened all over North America and at European film festivals.

The film mentors leading the workshop in the early years included Shiela Reljic (1967 - 1969); Stan Fox, from CBC Vancouver (1969-1971); Luke Bennett, a New York film editor (1971-1972); Vincent Vaitiekunus (1972-1974); and Guy Bergeron, a filmmaker from Quebec (1974-1976). In 1979 Robert Nicholl, Jo Kirpatrick and Rick Patton, all filmmakers from the National Film Board (NFB) came to the workshop. That same year two more additional NFB filmmakers Tony Westman and Mark Smith joined the program along with Al Razutis (an independent experimental film maker from Vancouver). Staffing increases were met with an expansion in the Centre for the Arts and the creation of the film minor program that included courses in production and theory. This was supported by the growing curriculum of the Centre for the Arts that included a wide range of courses in theatre, sound, dance and studio art.

In 1987 SFU professors Patricia Gruben and Colin Browne conceived of Praxis, a national film writing and production workshop housed at the university. This program, along with SFU's four-year film program has enabled budding filmmakers to direct and produce their first feature films with renowned directors, writers, and editors.

The collection consists of textual records and 16mm films created by students who participated in the SFU Film Workshop program. For most of the film titles there are multiple reels which represent the individual production elements (i.e., A Roll, B Roll, Magnetic Track, Optical Track, Work Print) that were used to produce the final film version. Some films have related textual records that document the director's production notes used when editing the film.

Summer Institute files

This sub-series consists of records relating to the planning, organization and delivery of the Summer Institutes. Activities documented include planning, funding, hiring of instructors, publicity and media relations, development of workshop content, review and reporting. Records include program descriptions, schedules and reading lists, correspondence, proposals, meeting minutes, reports, budgets and financial papers, funding proposals and grant applications, letters of appointments, invoices, cheque requisition forms, expense statements, media releases, programs and flyers.

Summer Symposium files

This sub-series consists of records relating to the planning, organization and delivery of the Summer Symposiums. Activities documented include planning, development of workshop content, student evaluation of the program, and final reporting. Records include correspondence, reports, meeting minutes, schedules and outlines, budgets and financial working papers, evaluation forms.

Theatre program and event recordings

Sub-series consists of audio and audio-visual recordings of individual plays performed at the Theatre. Includes five performances between 1965 and 1972 (sound recordings only) and 2 pieces from 2002 (moving images); see item list and descriptions for details of individual performances.

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