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Archival description
Concordia University Library, Special Collections Subseries English
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Textual records

Sub-series contains documents concerning the foundation of Powerhouse Gallery, and various exhibitions at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse. Materials predominantly concern the Gallery’s first exhibition Windows: From the Inside Out: Painting, Photography, Ceramic and Sculpture (1973). Other exhibitions documented in this sub-series include Codpieces: Phallic Paraphernalia (1974), The Past to the Present (2001), and Powerhouse: Where Are We Now? (2001).This subseries also contains La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse publications, including Women’s Bookworks (1979) and Les Centrelles (2004).

Photographic materials

Subseries contains photographic materials documenting Windows: From the Inside Out: Painting, Photography, Ceramic and Sculpture. This series is composed of slides of the exhibition taken by Margaret Griffin documenting the artworks and their placement in the Gallery.

Art Work and Objects

Subseries contains 2 original artworks from the exhibition Windows: From the Inside Out: Painting, Photography, Ceramic and Sculpture (1973), and a t-shirt with a photograph of the founding members of Powerhouse Gallery.


The sub-series documents Peter Madden’s work as a playwright.

The sub-series includes Peter Madden’s theatre plays, screenplays as well as radio dramas. It contains drafts and final versions, photographs, newspaper clippings, ephemera and an audio reel.


The sub-series documents Peter Madden’s work as a poet.

The sub-series contains drafts and final versions of poems as well as some paintings used as illustrations.


The sub-series documents Peter Madden’s work as a storyteller.

The sub-series includes drafts and final versions of stories for adults as well as for children.

History and constitution

This sub-series documents the historical development of the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW), from its beginnings in 1965 as the Trinidad & Tobago Association (TTA) Drama group, through its incorporation as the BTW in 1972, to today. It also contains material pertaining to the Negro Theatre Guild, formed by members of the Montreal Black community in the early 1940s.

The sub-series contains, among other documents, letters patent, programs, newspaper clippings, a constitution, historical outlines, photographs, notes, play scripts, letterheads, logos, poster, studies, a newsletter, membership lists, briefs, mission statements, and correspondence.

Meetings and committees

This sub-series provides insight into the administration and organizational structure of the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW). The BTW is governed by a Board of directors, to which all committees and directors report. It includes documents related to meetings of the Board of Directors; Executive Committee; Management Committee; and the Planning and Priorities committee. It also contains documents concerning General meetings and meetings of temporary committees.

This sub-series contains, among other documents, meeting minutes, reports, correspondence, lists of board members, organizational charts, job descriptions, meeting notes, and various documents presented or discussed at the meetings, as well as newspaper clippings, and grant applications.

Human resources

This sub-series documents the management of human resources, including the rights and duties of staff working at the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) in the 1980s and 1990s. It also provides insight into summer employment programs in which the BTW participated, including the Work Orientation Workshop, organized by the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Black Community Association.

This sub-series contains, among other documents, contracts, agreements, and correspondence.


This sub-series documents planning and development of the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW). It also provides insight into the search of a permanent location for the BTW in the 1980s, and the proposal for the establishment of a festival honoring Martin Luther King.

This sub-series contains, among other documents, 3-year-plans, action plans, newspaper articles, a proposal, and correspondence.


This sub-series provides an overview of the Black Theatre Workshop's (BTW) financial situation from the early 1970s to 2008. It also provides insight into the resources required to produce plays and other programming at the BTW.

This sub-series contains financial statements, budgets, ledger pages, invoices, and other financial documents related to the activities of the BTW.


This sub-series provides insight into the financial support received by the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) from the 1980s to 2008. It documents the BTW's two major sources of income: government support received by way of various grants and fundraising campaigns. Materials related to fundraising campaigns document both the financial and social aspects of these events. The sub-series contains materials related to the BTW's annual Vision Celebration (or Vision Gala), which has taken place every January since 1987. At this event, an important member of the community is honoured with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award. The first of these awards was given to musician Oscar Peterson, followed by Oliver Jones, Daisy Peterson-Sweeney, and Dorothy Wills, among many others. The sub-series contains biographical information of all award recipients from 1987 to 2008.

The sub-series contains grant applications, reports, newspaper articles and newspapers, fundraising plans, presentation folios, correspondence, photographs, invitations, programs, expense reports, and financial statements, among other documents.

General audience

This sub-series documents plays produced by the Black Theatre Workshop (BTW) from the early 1970s until the 2007-2008 season. It also illustrates other events organized by the BTW, including festivals, workshops, and poetry jams, among others. It also documents the professional career of several actors involved with the BTW.

This sub-series contains photographs, programs, press releases, newspapers and newspaper clippings, drawings, floor plans, collages, flyers, project proposals, reports, invitations, entrance tickets, play scripts, meeting notes, box office records, correspondence, schedules, budgets, drafts, goboes, and the first issue of the Black Theatre Workshop News, among other documents.

Theater for Young Audiences program

This sub-series provides insight into The Black Theatre Workshop’s (BTW) contribution to education at the primary and secondary levels and contains documentation pertaining to The Theater for Young Audiences Program, which was first implemented in 1983. A number of plays were produced exclusively for this program and were shown to both elementary and secondary school audiences. These were generally presented in schools in the Greater Montreal area, but also shown in Nova Scotia and the United States among other locations. The sub-series contains documents pertaining to school tours, which took place from 1986 to 2011. Many of these tours took place during Black History Month. Materials document the plays that were part of the series, necessary preparatory work, the schools that hosted the performances, and finances, along with feedback from teachers, students and actors.

The sub-series contains correspondence, photographs, drawings, promotional material, educational material (teachers’ guides), play scripts, project outlines, reports, financial records, contracts, booking sheets, schedules, performance evaluations, newspaper clippings, and sheet music, among other documents.


The sub-series provides insight into the Black Theatre Workshop’s (BTW) many initiatives to support young performing artists. A first attempt to install a program to support young artists was the Beginners’ Workshop, which took place in January and February 1984, followed by an 11-week project known as the Summer Theatre, which took place during summer of the same year. The idea was revived with the installation of the Youthworks Program, which existed from 2002 to 2013. This workshop series offered free specialized theatre training for Montreal teenagers from 12 to 25 years old, who envisioned a career in the performing arts. Each spring the workshop series finished with the presentation of a play, as there were, among others, Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery ; Death of the Bourgeois Dream ; What If?, and Urban Legends / The Procrastin8r.

The sub-series contains play scripts, brochures, meeting notes, reports, program outlines, communications, photographs, schedules, photographs, and sound recordings, among other documents.

Accounting records

The sub-series provides information on the gallery’s accounting activities.

The sub-series contains account books, cheques, cheque stubs, bank books, invoices, and receipts.

Financial statements

The sub-series gives information on the yearly financial operations and activities of the gallery.

The sub-series contains financial statements.

Grant applications

The sub-series gives information on the funding of the gallery.

The sub-series contains grant applications and correspondence with granting bodies.

Special events and fund-raising

The sub-series gives information on the gallery’s fund-raising activities, including special events and campaigns.

The sub-series contains permits, correspondence, lists of potential donor organizations, receipts, registrations, programs, information bulletins, and invitations.


The sub-series provides information on the gallery’s incorporation and on its history.

The sub-series contains the charter, a historical sketch, and an organization chart.

Physical facilities

The sub-series gives information on the rental and management of gallery spaces.

The sub-series includes leases, insurance contracts, installation plans, and legal notices.

External relations

The sub-series provides information on the relations between Optica and other organizations and persons.

The sub-series contains correspondence with government organizations, other galleries, artists, and associations.

Exhibition requests

The sub-series gives information on requests by artists to exhibit their work at the gallery.

The sub-series includes exhibition requests, jury criteria, and lists of exhibitions that were rejected or never presented.

Event organization

The sub-series relates to the organization of the gallery’s exhibitions and its other activities.

The sub-series includes permits, mailing lists, directories, correspondence, event calendars, publicity materials, and contracts with external publications.


The sub-series documents agreements and preparations for exhibitions.

The sub-series includes contracts of agreements, correspondence, posters, photographs, (prints, slides, negatives), audiovisual documents, and exhibition catalogues.


The sub-series provides information on the agreements and preparations surrounding the activities of the gallery.

The sub-series contains documents related to the presentation of all these activities, such as contract agreements, correspondence, posters, photographs, audiovisual materials, and exhibition catalogues.

Family and Friends

The sub-series contains letters, cards, and other items received from (and some copies of his correspondence to) Herb Johnson's family and friends.

Music Colleagues

The sub-series contains correspondence received from friends and acquaintances in the music business.

Personal business correspondents

The sub-series contains 8 folders, chronologically arranged, of correspondence received by Herb Johnson. The documents reflect his interests, his personal and family affairs, his music business, and his involvement in musicians' union affairs.

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