Winnipeg in Focus is a database for archival descriptions and digital collections at the City of Winnipeg Archives.

Collection c00007 - Owen Clark collection

La Verendrye Band in front of the St. Boniface Cathedral Ed Sersen at The Mouldie Figge Jazz Club (Pritchard Avenue and McGregor Street, Winnipeg) Paul Grosney, Jack Fulton, Ed Sersen, Sammie Davis, John Kelcey, Jack Hampton at The Mouldie Figg... Paul Grosney, Jack Fulton, Ed Sersen, Sammie Davis, John Kelcey, Jack Hampton at The Mouldie Figg... Red Norvo and his band Owen Clark and Lenny Breau at the Rainbow Dance Gardens (224 Smith Street, Winnipeg) Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #2 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #3 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #4 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #5 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #9 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #11 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #12 Chas Cruickshank and His Orchestra #13 The Nabob Girls Orchestra CKY Playboys Nankin Gardens Orchestra Gene Deagle and His Arcadians Earle Hill and His Cavemen at the Cave Supper Club Art Furney Orchestra, Manitou Beach, Watrus, Saskatchewan
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Owen Clark collection

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  • Multiple media

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Dates of creation area


  • 1890-2007 (Creation)
  • [before 2007] (Collection)
    Clark, Owen

Physical description area

Physical description

1545 photographs, 117 slides, contact sheet, 41 negatives, 12 postcards ,7 scrapbooks, 1 photograph album, 22 pamphlets and/or publications, 11 pieces of sheet music, 24 posters, 2 compact disks, 20 VHS video cassettes, 107 8mm video cassettes, 4 Mini DV, 18 audio cassettes, textual records and various ephemera

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Archival description area

Custodial history

The collection was gifted to the City of Winnipeg Archives in 2007 by Owen Clark. Along with items donated from Owen Clark’s private collection, various individuals gave items and collections to Clark when he interviewed them as part of the research for his book on local musical history: Winnipeg Musician’s Association, Ed Sersen, Viola Robertson, Des Munn, Charles Cruickshank, Mary Nelson, Bob Lyde, Monty Levine, Del Wagner, Elaine Robertson, Libby Morris, Pierre Béluse, Roger Vermette, Audrey Jones, J. McAvoy, Kae Nordman, Jay MacLeod, Frederic Perry, Pearl Wylie, Johnny Bering, Joanne A. Smith, Esther Findley, Arlene & Berks Baker, Bud Currie, Herb Carvey, Art Woodfield, Tommy Buick, Steve Senyk, Dick Carr, Ed Beddome, Bud McIntosh, Jimmy Carson, Gail Gillies, Fred Petruga, Hilda Horner, Ray Edmand, Murray Anderson, Guy Clouter, Sharon Barker, Eddy Laham, Jim Blendick, Harold Hunter, Stanley Collins, Dave Shaw, Larry Crawford, Frank Staff Jr., Vic Davies, Irvin Plum, Barclay Johnson, Al Doe, Dave Shearer, George Reznick, Rae Tallin, Bill Pounder, Bob Jackson, Tom Jestadt, Josephine Shaddy, Teresa Cameron, Paul Baran, Larry Laker, and Brian Wagner. Most of the donors transferred ownership of their records to Owen Clark and he subsequently signed copyright over to the City of Winnipeg Archives.

Scope and content

The collection consists of material relating to Winnipeg and its music history, particularly its jazz, blues, and big band music from the late 1890s to 2007. This material was used by Clark in Musical Ghosts: Manitoba’s Jazz and Dance Bands, 1914-1966. As well, the collection includes vintage photographs and related material on Winnipeg-based musicians, music and dance venues, and the bands, singers and performers who worked in these establishments. The collection also records the architecture of dance halls and clubs in Winnipeg and in Manitoba and Saskatchewan towns. In addition, social and cultural activities in Manitoba are represented in the descriptions recorded on many of the photographs. The collection contains digital, visual and audio media of interviews and musical sessions by musicians captured in many of the photographs.

The main body of the Owen Clark Collection contains records given to Owen Clark or records from his private collection. It also contains a bound scrapbook that was compiled by Manuel Finkelman, a dancer at the Orpheum Theatre from 1922-1923. It contains newspaper clippings (many from The Winnipeg Tribune) documenting the entertainment scene in Winnipeg, Manitoba, especially the Orpheum Theatre and vaudeville acts from 1921-1927. The scrapbook was discovered by Gene Shelley (Eugene Schibler) during demolition of the Theatre in 1948 and given to Owen Clark around 2004.

Textual records and ephemera in the Collection include local band business cards, newspaper clippings, music magazines, telegraphs, letters, menus from restaurants in Winnipeg, achievement certificates, and newsletters, among other items.

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There are no restrictions on access to these records

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Researchers are responsible for observing Canadian copyright regulations. Sources explaining copyright rules can be found in the donor file alongside the terms of use information developed for this Collection

Finding aids

File list available in Research Room

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Further accruals are expected

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