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The Artist Sur Rodney (Sur) and fellow artists

The series illustrates the North-American and more precisely the New York East Village art scene around Sur Rodney (Sur) from the 1960s to 2018. It depicts Sur Rodney (Sur)’s career as an artist, his involvement in the art scene and his relation to fellow artists. It gives an insight in the life of various artists by the means of personal correspondence exchanged with Sur Rodney (Sur), exhibition catalogues, and documents related to The Sur Rodney (Sur) Show (1980) and the All New Sur Rodney (Sur) Show (1981), which were both presenting artists from the Manhattan's Lower East Side art scene. Artists mentioned in the series are, among others, Andreas Senser, Gracie Mansion, Geoffrey Hendricks, Pauline Graham Leathem, Ronald Heydon, Nan Goldin, John Brill and Lorraine O'Grady. The series covers subjects like Black Contemporary Art, Performance art, and Queer Art. It also refers to Visual Aids, an organization working on AIDS awareness through art projects, while supporting artists living with AIDS and archiving their work.

The series is organized into the following sub-series:
P0234/ B1 Sur Rodney (Sur)’s talks, presentations and writings
P0234/ B2 Works of fellow artists
P0234/ B3 Correspondence with fellow artists

The series contains, but is not limited to, correspondence, newspaper articles, drafts, scrapbooks, exhibition catalogs, magazines and other publications, posters, notebooks, calendars, photographs, flyers, moving images, a press kit, a sound recording, and an Acker Awards box.

The Adams family and Sur Rodney (Sur)’s personal life

The series documents Sur Rodney (Sur)’s childhood in Montreal and his family background, illustrating the life of a black family in Montreal in the second half of the 20th century. Most of the documents have been collected by Jean [Gertrude Peters] Gordon.
The series contains correspondence between Sur Rodney (Sur) and his parents, Desmond Adams and Jean Adams, and documents related to family members, namely Desmond Rupert Adams, Sur Rodney (Sur)’s grandmother Hazel Irene Pierce, and Rodney’s brother David Adams. Several photo albums illustrate Sur Rodney’s childhood and his larger family. This series also contains documents related to the Negro Community Centre (NCC) and Union United Church, which both were frequented by family members, as well as Expo 67 and the Watchtower Society. Furthermore, the series informs about Sur Rodney (Sur)’s name change and his marriage to Geoffrey Hendricks.

The series includes, but is not limited to, correspondence, photographs, leaflets, programs, flyers, forms, diploma, passports and other pieces of identification, artwork, postcards, brochures, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook and an autograph book.


The series contains materials that document the Ottawa International Jazz Festival and Jazz Ottawa.

It contains four Jazz Ottawa badges and three plaques from the Ottawa International Jazz Festival.

Audio-visual material

The series contains documentation pertaining to the history of jazz in Canada in the second half of the 20th century. It documents Vernon Isaac’s career as a jazz musician through recordings of the LVJ Trio, Vernon Isaac’s Big Band, Jazz Ottawa and an interview with Vernon Isaac. It also includes recordings of Allan Wellman and Oliver Jones.

The series contains sound recordings and moving images.

Scrapbooks, photo albums and other graphic material

The series illustrates Vernon Isaac’s personal life as well as his career as a musician, and includes documents concerning his work with Three Jacks and a Jill, the Vernon Isaac trio, Jazz Ottawa, Ebony in Rhythm, and others. The photographs mostly relate to Vernon Isaac's work as a musician, but also includes images of him as a soldier, and of his family and friends. Some images depict his travels to Greenland and Alert, Nunavut. The series also includes publicity photographs showcasing other artists (some publicity photographs are inscribed by the artists).

The series contains 11 photo albums of various sizes, 10 scrapbooks (composed of press clippings, photographs, advertisements, correspondence, programs, postcards), loose photographs, posters, and a drawing.

Textual records

The series provides information on Vernon Isaac and other jazz musicians. It presents Isaac’s life as a musician as well as his family. It also contains material on Jazz Ottawa.

The series contains, among other materials, personal papers, newspaper clippings, correspondence, flyers, programs, biographies, invitations, newsletters, meeting minutes, financial documents and certificates.

Peter Johnston as a collector

The series relates to Peter K. Johnston’s activities as a collector of jazz-related items. It documents Johnston’s relations to other collectors as well as to Peter Levinson, who wrote a biography on Harry James in 1999, and his involvement in the Montreal Vintage Music Society (MVMS) and the Canadian Collectors’ Congress.

The series includes correspondence, directories, reference documentation, and photographs, among other material.

Jazz musicians

The series documents the jazz scenes in both the United States and Canada in the second half of the 20th century. It refers not only to celebrated jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson, but also to a variety of less well-known known performers.

The series includes two scrapbooks, 4 wall calendars, biographical information, discographies, press clippings, memorabilia, moving images, a sound recording, and a magazine, among other material.

Harry James

The series illustrates the career of Harry James, an American Jazz musician. Harry James was born in Albany, Georgia, United States in 1916. He was a trumpet player and band leader during the Big Band Era. Harry James was married to actress Betty Grable. He died in 1983.

The series includes without limitations two scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, discographies, press clippings, posters, and several issues of The Music Maker, a magazine published by the Harry James Appreciation Society.


The series provides information about surveys conducted by La Centrale, as well as gallery statistics.

The series contains survey forms as well as statistics and reports derived from surveys.

Human Resources

The series provides information on the management of personnel at La Centrale from 1983 to 2011. It informs about different administrative positions, recruitment, volunteering and internships as well as working conditions at the gallery.

The series contains a collective agreement, job descriptions, contracts, CVs, internship reports, guidelines, correspondence, and related documents.


The series provides information on the membership, member recruitment and subscriptions to La Centrale from its beginnings in 1973 to 2007. By giving access to documents kept by various members, the series documents the members’ involvement in the life of the gallery.

The series contains flyers, bylaws, meeting minutes, membership forms, lists, newsletters, posters, correspondence, invitations, newspaper clippings, publications and photographs.

The series is organized into the following subseries:

P128/J1 – Information about membership
P128/J2 – Members
P128/J3 – Members’ documents

Legal Affairs

The series provides information on the security management at the gallery.

The series contains police reports.

Facilities Management

The series provides information on changing property resources of La Centrale from 1974 to 2009. It also contains information on the gallery’s equipment.

The series contains plans and descriptions of the gallery’s different locations, photographs of exhibition spaces, lease agreements, insurance policies, and documentation about mobile equipment.

External relations

The series provides information on the relations between La Centrale and other organizations operating in the art scene, as well as information about the Quebec and Canadian cultural scene. It includes a data bank about art related organizations in Canada, USA and Europe from the early 1990s. The series also contains documents related to the RCAAQ [Regroupement des centres d’artistes autogérés du Québec], of which La Centrale was a member.

The series contains correspondence, reports, brochures, minutes, press clippings, reference documentation and posters.


The series provides information on the publications produced by La Centrale, including documentation on the publication process.

The series contains publications, working files (correspondence, programs, reports, CVs, drafts and notes) and contracts with the authors, as well as documents related to the Publication committee.

Artists and events

The series provides information on a wide variety of Quebec, Canadian and international women artists. Most of these artists exhibited at La Centrale or participated in events organized by the gallery. The documentation often goes beyond the events and exhibitions organized by La Centrale and also provides information about the professional development of the artists. The series also includes information related to the preparation of events at La Centrale.

The series contains, but is not limited to, correspondence, brochures, résumés, exhibition contracts, artist’s statements, photographs, newspaper articles, publications, posters, invitation cards, sound recordings, moving images, guest books, and a few objects.

The series is organized into the following subseries:

P128/E1 Artists and Events - Individual files
P128/E2 Photo albums
P128/E3 Guest books
P128/E4 Grant applications - visual files


The series provides information on La Centrale’s promotion of its activities and the coverage of gallery events and exhibitions in the media.

The series contains communiqués, interviews with artists, printed publicity for events, invitation cards, as well as press releases and press clippings about the gallery and its activities. It also includes correspondence and reference documentation related to printing and distribution of publicity, blank forms in use by La Centrale, and documents related to the gallery’s web-page. The series also contains newsletters, memos and other general correspondence addressed to the members of the gallery.


The series provides information on the exhibition and event programming at the gallery including the selection process.

The series contains exhibition proposals by various artists, including visual material and CVs, as well as selection files and meeting minutes of the Programming committee, including special committees like the Committee of the 25th anniversary. The series also contains the annual programming leaflets.

Financial records

The series provides an overview of La Centrale’s financial situation from the 1973 to the present. It provides information on funding sources, budget management, and taxes. It includes information on different funding programs, mostly from government agencies

The series consists of accounting records, financial reports and budgets, tax forms, grant applications and related reference documentation, and other records.

The series is organized into the following sub-series:

P128/B1 Accounting
P128/B2 Financial Records
P128/B3 Funding


The series provides information on the establishment and evolution of La Centrale from its beginnings in 1973 to the present, including its administrative structure, its objectives and mission, as well as general planning. It also contains information about the Société du 5 avril, of which La Centrale was a member.

The series includes founding documents, meeting minutes, correspondence, interviews, reports, and organizational charts, among other records.

The series is organized into the following sub-series:

P128/A1 History and founding documents
P128/A2 Meetings and committees

Documents iconographiques

La série témoigne des différents documents que Lucien Desmarais a utilisé comme outils pédagogiques lors des conférences et cours qu’il a donnés. La série témoigne également de plusieurs de ses réalisations et de celles de certains artistes québécois et étrangers et de quelques-uns de ses étudiants. La série permet de connaître les différentes sources dont il s’est inspiré pour la réalisation de son oeuvre. Elle comprend des reproductions de ses réalisations et d’oeuvres de réputation internationale.

La série comprend des diapositives, des photographies, un fichier index, une liste de diapositives, des notes.


La série témoigne des intérêts de Lucien Desmarais pour les arts de la scène et plus particulièrement pour le théâtre et le ballet. La série permet de connaître les nombreux et différents spectacles qui ont été présentés à Montréal depuis la fin des années 1940 jusque vers le milieu des années 1980..

La série comprend essentiellement des programmes de spectacles, des dossiers sur des artistes de la scène et sur les théâtres, des coupures de presses, des bulletins, des cahiers, des documents publicitaires et des textes de pièce de théâtre.


La série témoigne des intérêts personnels de Lucien Desmarais portant sur des artistes textiles, des peintres et des sculpteurs québécois.

Elle est principalement constituée de dossiers de presse, de coupures de presse, de photographies, d’affiches d’exposition et d’événements culturels et promotionnels, de cartons d’invitation, de brochures, de dépliants et de notes biographiques.

La série comprend les sous-séries suivantes :

P063/M1 Documentation générale
P063/M2 Artistes fibristes
P063/M3 Artistes métiers d’art canadien
P063/M4 Artistes textiles internationaux
P063/M5 Tapisseries internationales
P063/M6 Métiers d’art
P063/M7 Dossiers d’artistes
P063/M8 Couturiers modes costumes

Écrits et publications

La série porte sur les écrits et publications de Lucien Desmarais. Elle témoigne des contributions de Lucien Desmarais à des ouvrages de différents auteurs. Elle comprend des notes, des manuscrits et des épreuves de préfaces, les publications elles-mêmes, ainsi que quelques articles qu’il a rédigés pour des revues. Elle comprend aussi des coupures de presse, des revues de presse et de la correspondance.

Prix et honneurs

La série témoigne des prix et honneurs que Lucien Desmarais a reçus au cours de sa carrière d’artisant et tisserand concepteur. Elle comprend la présentation d’un projet au Conseil national de l’esthétique industrielle ainsi que des mises en nomination pour le prix Saidie Bronfman et pour l’Ordre du Canada.

La série comprend de la correspondance, un guide de soumission de projet et de candidature, un échantillon de tissu lui ayant valu un prix.


La série témoigne de la participation de Lucien Desmarais à des congrès, des conférences, des expositions internationales, et à des voyages qu’il a effectués en tant de délégué du Canada et du Québec. La série témoigne également des différentes manifestations auxquelles Lucien Desmarais s’intéressait et participait.

La série comprend des programmes souvenirs, des coupures de presse, de la correspondance, des brochures et des dépliants promotionnels, des horaires d’exposition, des cartons d’invitation, des photographies et des affiches.

Relations extérieures

La série porte sur l’implication de Lucien Desmarais dans des associations professionnelles et dans divers organismes dont il est fondateur, président ou administrateur. Elle témoigne également de l’évolution de la production artistique et des expositions au Québec, particulièrement à Montréal entre le milieu des années 1940 et la fin des années 1980. Elle permet de connaître les principales organisations des métiers d’art.

La série comprend des documents de gestion administrative, de la correspondance, des documents promotionnels, des cartons d’invitation, des coupures de presse, des photographies, des diapositives et des affiches.

La série comprend les sous-séries suivantes:

P063/I1 Associations
P063/I2 Organismes
P063/I3 Galeries d’art
P063/I4 Musées
P063/I5 Centres de recherche des métiers d’art
P063/I6 Artistes fibristes

Enseignement et conférences

La série témoigne des activités de Lucien Desmarais en tant qu’enseignant et conférencier. On y retrouve des textes et des plans des conférences prononcées ainsi que des discours.

La série comprend les sous-séries suivantes:

P063/H1 Enseignement
P063/H2 Conférences


La série témoigne des activités de Lucien Desmarais en tant que conseiller technique et membre de jury pour des fondations à l’occasion de la sélection de candidatures pour des prix.

La série contient des lettres, des notes, des rapports, des guides de fonctionnement, des coupures de presse, des annonces, des appels de candidatures, des photographies et une affiche.

La série comprend les dossiers suivants :

Service des parcs de Montréal
Gendreau - C. Théberge
Rockland Shopping Centre
Centrale d’artisanat du Québec
Métiers d’art du Québec
Guilde canadienne des métiers d’art du Québec
Le Grand Prix des métiers d’art, 1983-1988
Le fonds Jean A. Chalmers pour les métiers d’art
Expo 67 - Coordonnateur artistique
Programme du 1% du ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec
Conseil des Arts du Canada

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