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No.: PR0392
TITLE: Nick Ochotta fonds
CREATOR: Nick Ochotta
DATE RANGE: 1946-1995
EXTENT: 4473 negatives and other material
Includes 1713 photographs, 12 transparencies and 0.02 meters of textual material
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Nick Ochotta was born January 23, 1926 in Redwater, Alberta. The Ochotta family moved to Boyle, Alberta two years later where they resided until Nick Ochotta’s final year of High School, when they moved to Edmonton, Alberta and he attended Victoria High School. Two years later (1945-46) Nick Ochotta entered the military service where he learned to fly and also studied photography. In 1953, he borrowed a plane and flew to Denver to purchase Kodak’s new colour processing kits, which were not available in Canada. Within months, he and Ross McBain of McBain Camera Limited formed a partnership in a company called Film Services. This was the first photo-lab that offered colour processing in Western Canada. The initial partnership was a one-third/two-thirds split (Ochotta/McBain). In 1958, Nick Ochotta bought out Ross McBain’s portion of the ownership, and North West Colour Labs was formed. In 1961, North West Colour Labs merged with Shipley Photographic and the company continued to grow, becoming the largest photo-finishing lab in Western Canada, employing 250 people. In 1987, Nick Ochotta sold North West Colour Labs to Colortron who later became Qualilex (Kodak) Limited. During this time span, Nick Ochotta’s personal interest in photography continued. He did not create his photography for commercial purposes, but for images that appealed to him personally. Nick Ochotta’s photography ranged from salon images, which he exhibited, to cityscapes, rural landscapes, portraits, art photography and international travel photography. Nick Ochotta retired from managing photo-processing labs in 1993, and he continued to do his own photography. Nick Ochotta passed away on Dec. 4, 2009.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: This fonds consists of colour and black & white negatives, photographs and transparencies taken by Nick Ochotta, as well as a few exhibition critiques, calendars, certificates and research material.
ARRANGEMENT NOTE: Original order, which was roughly chronological, has been maintained. Exhibition prints have been kept together as a group. Where possible, negatives and photographs have been matched and cross-referenced. In addition, the photographer’s original numbers have been cross-referenced with the numbers assigned by the Provincial Archives of Alberta.
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