Fonds MG 583 - Jason Schoonover fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Jason Schoonover fonds

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Reference code

MG 583

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • ca. 1895-1977 (inclusive) ; 1975 (predominant) (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

.10 m of textual records; 25 photographs; 236 slides; 4 audio reels; 7 film reels; 1 audio cassette; 1 45 rpm record; 1 digital image (139KB)

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

“Writer, adventurer, expedition leader, ethnologist, archaeologist, paleontologist, canoeist, naturalist, photographer and Fellow Emeritus, Stefansson Medalist, Citation of Merit awardee, and on the Honor Roll of the prestigious Explorers Club—was brought up on farms, and in villages and small towns in Saskatchewan, Canada, and cities like Saskatoon and Vancouver. This explains why he feels equally at home canoeing in the remote north of his homeland, one of his passions, and living in mega-cities like Bangkok. Following university (Burnaby’s Simon Fraser, English and History, 1970), he launched a multi-media career as a disk jockey, and expanded into writing, directing and producing in radio, TV, stage, newspapers and magazines, including stints as a columnist. His largest stage production was writing, directing and producing Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s 80th birthday party gala in 1975, an extravaganza involving over 300 performers and personnel. He founded Schoonover Properties and invested everything in Saskatoon real estate.” (from Jason Schoonover’s website

Custodial history

Scope and content

This fonds contains materials pertaining to the writing, planning and production of Diefenbaker’s 80th Birthday Party in 1975. Specifically, it includes handwritten and typed notes, correspondence, photographs, slides, film and audio reels, and some clippings. The film includes footage gathered and created for the event (including new interviews with John and Olive Diefenbaker) as well as the finished product as presented during the birthday gala.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Donated in two main accruals in 2016 and 2021, which are arranged separately.

Materials in the first accrual were organized into 4 groups:

  1. Planning notes and Materials
  2. Correspondence.
  3. Photographs
  4. Audio/Visual Material

In the first accrual, all materials arrived in two folders (plus the audiovisual materials), with no obvious order. Correspondence and photographs were removed into their own folders leaving the planning notes and materials behind in the order they were found in. Correspondence was organized alphabetical by correspondent, to bring correspondence from the same people together. Photographs were grouped by subject, mostly as found in the original order, and audiovisual material was organized to bring same types of media together.

The second accrual supplements the photographs and audio/visual material, consisting primarily of master film and slides. The slides were organized to the extent possible based on the MCs’ script for the narrated slide presentation.

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Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access, though audio visual material may need to be vetted before it is released.

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Uploaded finding aid

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