John Palmer fonds [multiple media]
Record Information – Brief
John Palmer fonds [multiple media]
- Hierarchical level:
- [1880-1899]; [1943-2019].
- Type of material:
- Architectural and technical drawings, Art, Photographs, Moving images, Objects (including medals and pins), Sound recordings, Textual material
- Found in:
- Archives / Collections and Fonds
- Item ID number:
- Context of this record:
Record Information – Details
- Fonds includes:
11 lower level description(s)View lower level description(s)
- [1880-1899]; [1943-2019].
- Bilingual equivalent:
- Place of creation:
- Added country of publication:
- France, Romania, United States, United Kingdom
6.72 m of textual records.
5.634 MB of textual records (107 files).
404 photographs : 212 b&w and 53 col.; 51 b&w and 50 col. negatives; 7 b&w contact sheets (162 images); 31 col. slides.
51 drawings : pen, ink, pencil, watercolour.
1 painting : watercolour.
76 prints : posters.
6 technical drawings.
27 video cassettes (ca 31 hrs) : VHS, Betamax, U-matic, mini DV.
1 optical disk (1 hr 30 min.) : DVD.
3 audio reels (ca. 4 hrs.) : 1/4 inch reel.
4 small pencils.
1 lock of hair.
1 small trophy.
1 wooden plaque.
- Language of material:
- Added language of material:
- English, French, Romanian
- Scope and content:
Records pertain but are not limited to: manuscripts and typescripts of plays and other writings; typescripts and published plays by other playwrights; notes and notebooks containing both private thoughts and daily occupations, as well as stage director notes; theatre production files (containing director notes, production binders, production photographs, artwork and soundtracks); film project files, including video recording sessions used in the making of certain films such as Sugar (as well as published and audiovisual reference material); professional and personal correspondence; personal and biographical files (records relating to his childhood and education, his family and other elements of his life); general career files (such as résumés and biographical sketches, records relating notably to his teaching work and his work as a literary agent); promotional materials (posters, press releases and clippings, production and promotional photographs, programs, publicity); printed materials, notably arts and culture publications (along with posters from various Canadian theatre companies and a collection of underground and alternative publications).
- Additional name(s):
- Biography/Administrative history:
Palmer, John, 1943-2020 : Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1943, Murray John Palmer grew up and studied in Born in 1943 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Murray John Palmer grew up and studied in Ottawa. He became involved in theatre in high school and majored in English at Carleton University. He went on to win best original play at the Canadian Universities Drama League Festival in 1965 for Visions of an Unseemly Youth, and a year later won the best director award for Goebbels Gobbledygook, written by Larry Kardish. It was during this festival that Palmer would meet future long-time friend and collaborator Martin Kinch. In the late 1960s, Palmer began directing plays at Ottawa's Le Hibou Coffee House and later at the Black Swan Coffee House in Stratford, Ontario, which he co-founded with Martin Kinch. In 1967, Palmer, along with a handful of other young Ontario artists, received a provincial grant to train at U.K. regional theatres in order to come back to Canada to convert community amateur theatres across Ontario into a network of professional regional theatres. Palmer moved to Scotland, where he spent the better part of the year directing several plays for Glasgow's Citizens Theatre, Close Theatre Club and the Glasgow School of Art. Having returned to Canada the same year, Palmer worked as artistic director at the Woodstock Little Theatre, then teamed up yet again with Martin Kinch and founded the Canadian Place Theatre (CPT) in Stratford. The CPT presented Canadian-based theatre during an era when the Canadian stage was still dominated by British plays and artists. Palmer's first play of his trilogy, entitled Memories for My Brother, premiered at the CPT in 1969. Palmer then moved to Toronto, where he co-founded the Toronto Free Theatre in 1971 with Kinch and Tom Hendry (whom they had met in Stratford in the late 1960s). During this period, Palmer produced several of his plays, notably The End (1972) and the collective and immersive play The Pits (1975). He also directed such theatre productions as Hope by Larry Fineberg (1972) and Gossip by George F. Walker (1977). Over the next thirty years, Palmer wrote and directed for several innovative Canadian theatre companies and arts venues: Theatre Passe Muraille (Fabian Jennings' Charles Manson, a.k.a Jesus Christ - 1971; Brad Fraser's Wolfboy starring Keanu Reeves - 1984); Factory Theatre (A Touch of God in the Golden Age - 1972; Henrik Ibsen on the Necessity of Producing Norwegian Drama - 1976); St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (Bland Hysteria - 1971). As a pioneering Canadian queer artist, Palmer also wrote and produced plays that dealt with sexual orientation (Confessions of a Necrophile - 1967), plays containing LGBTQ characters (The End - 1972) and gay-themed plays (A Day at the Beach - Toronto Free Theatre, 1987; Singapore - Factory Theatre, 2000). He also scripted and directed the 2004 independent film Sugar (which was nominated for a Genie award and won Best Canadian Feature at Toronto's 2004 Inside Out Fest). Palmer notably wrote and directed independent feature films such as Monkeys in the Attic (1974) and Me (1975). He co-wrote the short film The Archer (2005), in which he also acted. As of the mid-1970s, Palmer went on to teach theatre and playwriting in various academic institutions across Canada and the United States, such as Ryerson University, the National Theatre School, Julliard and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Palmer was also one of the first founders of the Playwrights Guild of Canada. John Palmer received a number of accolades and awards during his career, notably being named "man of the year" in theatre by the Globe and Mail in 1971. In 2013, Palmer was afflicted by vascular dementia, and in 2016 he moved into a health centre in Ottawa. He died of complications from COVID-19 in May 2020 at the age of 77.
- Finding aid:
Multiple records (Electronic) Finding aid is a file list for volumes 1 to 43 MSS2718 (90: Open)
- Additional information:
- General Note:
- Records received by LAC from Mark and Myra Palmer (brother and sister of John Palmer) in 2021.
- Subject heading:
Ordering and Viewing Options
- Conditions of access:
Textual records, graphic material and audio-visual material: Copyright applies. The recipient of copies is responsible for determining whether material is subject to copyright and for ascertaining the name of the person or organization holding copyright. The recipient is also responsible for determining whether any use of copyrighted material does or does not constitute an infringement of copyright under the Copyright Act.
Graphic material (photo): Copyright applies.
Graphic material (art): Copyright applies.
Moving images (video): Copyright applies
Sound recording: Copyright applies.
Textual record (electronic): Copyright applies.
- Date modified: