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No.: PR1630
TITLE: Walterdale Theatre Associates fonds
CREATOR: Walterdale Theatre Associates
DATE RANGE: 1960-2014
EXTENT: 7.78 m of textual records and other material
Includes 935 photographs, 564 negatives, 83 posters, 33 video cassettes (28 VHS, 3 Mini DV, 2 U-Matic) (54 hrs., 36 min.), 30 architectural plans, 19 transparencies, 14 pieces of artwork, 14 audio cassettes (11 hrs., 20 min.), 9 reel-to-reel audio tapes (95 hrs., 56 min.), 3 DVDs, 2 CDs, 1 8mm cinefilm (8 min., 20 sec.), 2 16mm cinefilm (2 hrs., 3 min., 34 sec.), 5 plaques, 2 5 ¼” floppy diskette.
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Started by Jack McCreath in 1958, a group of university-trained dramatists wanting to bring their talents to the community formed the Edmonton Theatre Associates. The Edmonton Theatre Associates was incorporated under the Societies Act on May 13, 1960. The objective was to establish and promote vital, entertaining and self-sustaining amateur theatre in Edmonton, Alberta. At first, the Associates performed at Victoria High School and the Jubilee Auditorium; then they rented and renovated an old schoolhouse in the Walterdale Flats. This theatre was dubbed the Walterdale Playhouse and formally opened in 1961 with a production of Epitaph for George Dillion, directed by Marjorie Knowler. The Edmonton Theatre Associates’ first melodrama was Dirty Work at the Crossroads, performed in March 1963. Their melodramas were later adopted by the Klondike Association, and ran in conjunction with Klondike Days; they performed these popular Klondike melodramas for almost thirty-five years. In 1966, to make way for the development of the Kinsmen Park project, the Edmonton Theatre Associates were forced to leave their Walterdale Playhouse, and found a new home in the Frontiersman Hall (114th Avenue and 107 Street) of the Edmonton Squadron of the Canadian Legion of Frontiersmen; this building became the New Walterdale Playhouse. In 1969, the name of the Edmonton Theatre Associates was changed to the Walterdale Theatre Associates. Since 1974, the Walterdale Theatre Associates have found a home in Strathcona’s old Firehall No. 1 (later Edmonton Firehall No. 6) and continue to present amateur theatre in Edmonton.

The fonds consists of records made or received by the Walterdale Theatre, its artists, crew, directors and volunteers, in relation to: play production, costume/makeup/hair design; set design/construction; board governance; playhouse renovation and fundraising; events and event planning; publicity, advertising, sales, and rentals; community/member engagement; lobby artwork; office administration and finances; and, theatre history.

Types of records present in the fonds include: meeting agendas, minutes and notes; correspondence and emails; memos and briefs; newsletters; handbills/programs and tickets; blueprints and floorplans; treasurers reports, financial statements, budgets, sponsorship proposals and grant applications; contracts and theatre policies (costume rental, building rental/lease); promotional materials (subscription mail-outs, clippings, magazines, public service announcements, media books/kits, posters, flyers); photographs, negatives, transparencies and scrapbooks; audio and video recordings of theatre productions, events and history; media coverage and reviews; historical logs of theatre productions; box office records and productions statistics; guest book; surveys and studies; handbooks; Walterdale Archivist notes; tech reports; org charts; death announcements/obituaries; Renovation Committee documents, property assessments and reports; lease documents; and, 1 graduate thesis.

The fonds has been arranged into the following series: 1. Administrative Records; 2. Financial Records; 3. Membership Records; 4. Production Records; and, 5. Affiliated Organizations.

ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: Other records pertaining to the Walterdale Theatre are located in the Mary Glenfield fonds at the University of Alberta Archives in Edmonton, Alberta.
RELATED RECORDS: Also see accession PR1974.0395 for a Walterdale Theatre Klondike Melodrama program.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the administrative history is from the records, from The History of Prairie Theatre, which is available in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 792.09712 St91 PAA, and from the Walterdale Theatre website,, accessed September 26, 2019.
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