- PA 316
Lumby Productions Ltd. of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan had its beginnings as a part-time recording operation formed through the partnership of John and Helen Lumby on September 15, 1961. The Lumby's stated intent was to "carry on trade and business of musical and dramatic productions and distribution of phonograph records".
The company became a full time operation in 1965 when it was incorporated as Lumby Productions Ltd., and continued to produce sound recordings, films, radio and television commercials, slide-tape presentations, promotional brochures and photographic work as well as other public relations services throughout the late 1960s and into the mid-1980s.
During the company's early existence in the 1960s it concentrated on the production and marketing of sound recordings. These included two volumes of a very successful children's record featuring Helen Lumby, "Miss Helen's Kindergarten Party." As well, Lumby Productions produced sound recordings and did marketing work for various local Saskatoon performers including the University of Saskatchewan's Greystone Singers and the Saskatoon Boys' Choir. It also produced two Saskatchewan Jubilee albums featuring various Saskatchewan artists.
In 1965, Lumby Productions branched out into custom recording services, architectural and industrial photography and motion picture production. Lumby Production's move into film was aided by contract work with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. During the late 1960's and early 1970's the company did most of the film and news production for CBC Saskatchewan. This led to the opening of a Regina office to help service the CBC account, and to the hiring of movie photographers Wilf Weber and Gerry Moir. Weber became a shareholder in Lumby Productions Ltd. in 1969.
Films were also produced for a number of provincial government departments and for private and crown corporations such as the Prince Albert Pulpwood Co. and the Saskatchewan Forest Products Corporation.
Over the years the scope of work undertaken by Lumby Productions Ltd. grew. Trully a multimedia production operation, the company engaged in the production of most pre-computer media that were used commercially. Lumby Production Ltd. provided clients with recording and record pressing services, photography, aerial photography, radio jingles, TV commercials, print advertising, public relations work, film production, film processing, animation and music for film.
The activities of Lumby Productions Ltd. were phased out during the early 1980's. During 1985-1986 the assets of Lumby Productions were transferred to Size Small Productions Inc., a new company formed by the Lumbys in 1981. Lumby Productions Ltd. was fully dissolved in 1988 and was struck from the provincial list of corporations in 1989.
Many of the Lumby film productions won awards at international competitions for documentary and industrial films. [For a partial list of nominations and awards see Introduction to A 679.]
John and Helen Lumby met while working at CFQC-TV in Saskatoon in the 1950s. John Lumby studied engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in 1949 and graduated from the Officer's Indoctrination Course University Reserve Training in June 1950. After an apprenticeship in industrial and commercial photography at Hansen Photographers in Edmonton, he worked as a photographer with the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix in the early 1950s. John Lumby served as Director of Photography at CFQC-TV in Saskatoon from 1955 to 1965 when he moved into full-time production work at his own company. He received a Certificate of Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan in 1964.
Born in Souris, Manitoba and growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Helen Hase Lumby worked as a writer, producer, operator and performer with CFQC Radio and CFQC-TV prior to forming the partnership in Lumby Productions. She was co-host of CFQC programmes "Little People" and "Carnival" during 1957-1958. She also produced a children's show and performed national radio spots for CHUM in Toronto for a brief period before rejoining CFQC-TV in 1960. At CFQC, Helen Lumby produced the children's television show "Miss Helen's Kindergarten", designed to fill the void left by the discontinuance of the kindergarten programme by the Saskatoon School Board in the late 1950s. The show aired between 1956 and1962 and won awards for exellence in children's programming. In the 1960's she was co-host of CBC radio's "The Passing Show", a fifteen minute arts and entertainment program.
At Lumby Productions Ltd. Helen Lumby worked primarily writing advertising copy and doing voice-overs for radio commercials. She also produced and was featured in the "Miss Helen's Kindergarten Party" phonograph records. Helen Lumby was active in the public relations aspects of Lumby Productions including print, radio and television advertising, press releases, brochures and promotional films.
Both John and Helen Lumby moved into production work with Size Small Productions Inc. in the 1980s. The Lumbys married in Saskatoon in 1957. They had three children: Lisa, John Jr., and Jeff. John and Helen Lumby currently (2005) reside in Baden, Ontario.