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City of Edmonton Archives
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Resources and References

Much of the material found in this series was deliberately collected and subscribed to by groups in Edmonton acting as community information centres for Edmonton’s queer community. Places like the GATE office, and later the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre and the Edmonton Pride Centre office established library space where reference and resource material was made accessible for their members and interested public. The published items, including books, texts, and periodicals, often bear the stamp of one of the above organizations, and were likely passed on from one location to the next as centres closed and re-opened under new names and structures.

This series, the most extensive of the fonds, consists of the following sub-series: Bibliographies/Directories; Reports and Reference Texts; Articles and Clipping files; Conference information; and Periodicals. The periodicals include both local publications, as well as those published across Canada, in the United States, and elsewhere. For some of the serials, such as The Advocate and Times .10, there are many issues, while others may be represented by just a single issue or volume. The clipping files, likewise, include some topics that are thick with clippings and articles (such as ‘Civil Rights-Equality Rights’, while others may consist of a single item. It is interesting to consider which subjects were deemed important enough or of broader interest to warrant creating a clipping and article file. The Conference files provide information on conferences held locally, nationally and internationally, and often consist of promotional brochures, and related correspondence and printed information.

Michael Phair Records

Michael Albert Phair, born August 1950, served on Edmonton’s City Council representing Ward 4 from 1992 until 2007. He was the first openly gay elected politician in Alberta, and a longtime LGBTQ activist. Phair was a founding member of the Aids Network of Edmonton [now HIV Edmonton], a member of Edmonton’s Pride Festival Society Board of Directors, and a key figure in the work of many of Edmonton’s early and current LGBQT associations. After leaving city council, Phair served on a variety of city organizations, including the Edmonton Social Planning Council, Edmonton Homeward Trust, and the North Saskatchewan River Valley Conservation Society. He is an adjunct professor with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. The Edmonton Public School Board announced in June 2015 that a west-end school will be named for him (scheduled to open in the fall of 2017), and on February 25, 2016 Michael Phair was named chairman of the University of Alberta Board of Directors.

This series consists of files kept by Michael Phair, including correspondence files; an issue related file on police action in parks, and artifacts including a t-shirt and service award plaque. While this is a very small representation of Michael Phair’s work and impact on the growth of Edmonton’s LBGQT community, it must be stated that in almost every series described in the GALA fonds, researchers will glean the importance of Michael Phair’s contributions. He was instrumental in establishing and helping to maintain many of Edmonton’s LGBQT associations, and was a mover and shaker behind collecting, preserving and eventually donating the Gay and Lesbian Archives to the City of Edmonton Archives. Michael Phair would be the first to recommend that all that he donated be incorporated as part of GALA, and this was achieved with most of what he brought in. The few files listed in this final series are those that could not easily be separated from Phair the individual: correspondence to and from him; his own written notes on specific topics, and his personal artifacts. His donated material included clipping files, subject topic files, and other material, but all was intended as further contributions and accruals for GALA. Needless to say, the researchers studying the history of gay activism in Edmonton will learn about the work and significance of Michael Phair.

Printing and Reproductions Branch

The records in this series relate to the functions of the Printing and Reproductions Branch. This branch, under Director Vern Skogg, was responsible for defining the use of materials, quality and quantity required, selecting the proper process, and producing the print job. The function was divided into two elements: plan printing and printing. Plan Printing serviced the needs of all City departments for blue and black line prints, sepias and mylars. There were three categories of printing: the printing of small reports, agendas, bylaws, inter-departmental letters and all of the council material for their meetings; a second category included the printing of all types of forms, letterhead, cards, brochures, books and reports; the third category was the tendering of printing requests that the shop could not handle because of large volume, or economy. This branch had a satellite print shop at the Police Station to facilitate the immediate turnover requirements of the Police.

Series consists of sample print jobs created by the Printing and Reproductions Branch.

File List:
Box 1:
File 1 - Storyland Valley Zoo Admission or Ride Tickets (ca. 1973);
File 2 - Tourist Parking Tags (ca. 1973);
File 3 - Ballot Card for Proprietary Electors - Public Schools(ca. 1973);
File 4 - Ballot Cards for Electors - Separate School (ca. 1973);
File 5 - City of Edmonton Remittance Advance (ca. 1973);
File 6 - City of Edmonton Check [cancelled] (ca. 1973);
File 7 - City of Edmonton Paycheck [cancelled] (ca. 1973);
File 8 - Census Forms (1972);
File 9 - Traffic Tickets (1971)

Box 2:
File 10 - Utility Meter Book (n.d.)


This series of records is related to the Commissioners’ roll of overseeing the financial affairs of the City. Financial matters include taxation and assessment, guarantee deposits for tenders, budgets and estimates, all records relating to accounting (except payroll – see series1 sub-series 6) and investments, including debentures, loans and the sinking fund. This series contains the following sub-series:

– 2.1 Taxation and Assessment
– 2.2 Budgets and Estimates
– 2.3 Investments

Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA)

The Gay and Lesbian Awareness (GALA) Society was formed in 1984 as a representative committee struck to petition the city of Edmonton to declare a Gay and Lesbian Awareness Day and Celebration Week for June 1984. GALA incorporated as a non-profit society in May of 1987 and after incorporation, broadened its mandate to include promoting awareness of the gay community and dealing with issues affecting them among Edmonton’s general public. An umbrella group, the GALA Civil Rights Committee, was formed to consider matters of civil rights and the law for Edmonton’s gay community (See Series 9). A second umbrella GALA committee concerned with PRIDE planning and events was also active (See Series 5), and in 1992, a GALA-Police Liaison Committee was established. Both the civil rights work (including the police liaison committee work) and the PRIDE festival planning expanded beyond the confines of GALA, and their work was eventually taken over by other organizing bodies. It appears the final year of GALA’s registration as a Society was in 1994, and post-1994 GALA efforts were largely handled by the Gay and Lesbian Community Centre of Edmonton. The PRIDE Committee work was eventually taken over by the Edmonton Pride Festival Society.

This series consists of GALA’s administrative records including their bylaws and constitution; financial statements; meeting minutes; and correspondence. In addition, there are copies of GALA grant applications, and records related to a GALA sponsored Symposium entitled “Flaunting It!” held in Edmonton in 1990. The meeting minutes and documents of the GALA-Police Liaison Committee are retained in this series, although after 1994, the Committee broadens its title to the LGBTQ Community/Edmonton Police Service Liaison Committee, and committee records continue until 2005.

Assessment Records

The City Assessor’s Department was responsible for raising the funds necessary for basic municipal services through the collection of taxes. The department assessed the value of businesses, land, real estate, and local improvements, maintained the records of tax assessments and payments for individual properties, and initiated action to collect overdue taxes.

This series contains records related to the assessment and collection of various municipal taxes. Aside from property taxes, the City also collected a service tax (essentially a municipal income tax), and a business tax, which was calculated as a percentage of the rental cost of certain business’ commercial space or offices. When property taxes went into arrears, the City had the option of buying the property from the owner, or auctioning them off to collect taxes owed through tax sales.

An order has been imposed on the material. It includes the following three sub-series:
Sub-Series 1 – Property Tax Records
Sub-Series 2 – Business Tax Records
Sub-Series 3 – Service Tax Records
Sub-Series 4 – Arrears and Tax Sales

Sidney Parsons

Sidney Parsons was born in Devon, England around 1893. He moved with his parents to New Jersey, where he worked as a brick layer, then a contractor. He moved to Edmonton in 1910.

Sidney Parsons ran unsuccessfully for Council in 1931, 1932, and 1934. He then ran as a Labour candidate in the 1935 Provincial election, but lost again. He was elected as an Alderman in 1938, then re-elected in 1940, 1942, 1944, 1946, and 1948. He stepped down midway through his final term as Alderman to run for Mayor, and was elected in 1949. He ran for Mayor again in 1951, but was defeated by William Hawrelak.

Sidney Parsons was active in the labour movement, and served as President of the Edmonton Trades and Labour Council from 1941 to 1945. He was also involved in the Ex-Servicemen’s Association, the Montgomery Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and was a member of the Edmonton Hospital Board.

Sidney Parsons passed away in Edmonton in 1955.

File 1 – Licenses: Permits issued from the Mayor’s Office (December 1949 - January 1952)


The series consist of correspondence between Municipal Airport officials and City employees, other levels of government, clients, and private individuals relating to the operation of the Municipal Airport.

William Hawrelak

William Hawrelak was born in 1915 in Wasel, Alberta. He moved to Edmonton in 1945 and established a soft drink company called Prairie Rose Manufacturing. He was also President of the Alberta Farmer’s Union, and of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues before entering municipal politics.

William Hawrelak ran unsuccessfully as an Alderman in the 1948 municipal election, but was elected the following year for a two year term. In 1951 he took over as Mayor when Mayor Sidney Parsons had to temporarily step down for health reasons.
William Hawrelak ran as Mayor in 1951, defeating the incumbent Sidney Parsons, and ran successful re-election campaigns in 1953, 1955, and 1957. In 1959 William Hawrelak resigned as Mayor following a Provincial inquiry into questionable land sales. He was re-elected as Mayor in 1963 and 1964, but was again ousted in 1965 because of his real estate holdings and land transactions. William Hawrelak was elected Mayor a final time in 1974, but passed away of a heart attack the following year while still in office.

The series consists of correspondence, invitations, meeting minutes, reports, daily journals, and speeches from William Hawrelak’s different terms of office.
An order has been imposed on the material. The arrangement includes three sub-series, which are as follows:
• Sub-series 1 – 1951-1959
• Sub-series 2 – 1963-1965
• Sub-series 3 – 1974-1975

Airport Tenants

This series consist of records relating to tenants of the airport, including leases, agreements, and correspondence with government organizations and private companies conducting business on airport land.

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