Fonds BF 7 - Lumby Productions Ltd. fonds

Two farmers in the field refilling disc drills on a seeder with fertilizer and seed.

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Lumby Productions Ltd. fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Cartographic material
  • Architectural drawing
  • Technical drawing
  • Sound recording
  • Moving image
  • Poster

Parallel title

Description type


Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

BF 7

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1949-1984 (Accumulation)
  • 19-?, 1905-[1984] (predominant: 1960-1980) (Creation)
    Lumby Productions Ltd., 1965-1988

Physical description area

Physical description

2.800m of textual records
10115 photographs
43 audio discs (20 hr. 38 min. 14 sec.)
341 film reels (37 hr. 50 min. 22 sec.)
3 videocassettes (30 min. 59 sec.)
581 drawings (animation cels)
1139 drawings : pencil
4 prints : posters
221 audiotapes (53 hr. 19 min. 37 sec.)

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

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 Lumbys 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. Truely 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 Saskatchewan Corporate Registry 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 (1930-2017) 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 ca. 1934 at 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 1960s 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 1956. They had three children: Lisa, John Jr., and Jeff.

Custodial history

The records in this fonds were transferred to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in June 2001. Archivists accessioned records identified during processing as having no previous accession number, in 2003: R2003-252 (August 12, 2003).

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records created, accumulated and used by Lumby Productions Ltd. during its period of operation in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from the early 1960s through to the mid- 1980s. Also included are certain records belonging to Lumby Productions' Regina office which operated between 1970 and 1974.

The records include correspondence dealing with the making, distribution, sales, and promotion of sound recordings and with the purchase of equipment and supplies; files pertaining to the production of radio and television commercials; films; brochures for various companies, organizations and government agencies; scripts; copy; photographs; posters; mock-ups; film edge numbers; storyboards; printed material; notes; artwork; animation drawings; animation cells; administrative office files dealing with copyright, export information, film library lists and financial matters; production order files including billing information, and copies of works including films, audio tapes and photographs.

Also included are personal files of John and Helen Lumby; as well as additional photographs, moving images and sound recordings not found in client or production files. These consist of finished films, production elements, out-takes, videotapes, negatives, photographic prints, slides, audio discs, tapes and reels.

Certain records in this fonds pre-date Lumby Productions Ltd. and relate to John Lumby's earlier work as a photographer with the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.

The records in this fonds also consist of a small amount of records created by Size Small Productions Inc., formed in 1981 when the operations of Lumby Productions Ltd. were beginning to wind down. These records remained with the fonds during the initial arrangement of the records in 1988.

The fonds has been arranged into ten series over two periods of description in 1988 and 2003. These series are as follows: General Correspondence In; General Correspondence Out; Client/Project Files, Miscellaneous Files; Production Orders; Personal Files - John Lumby; Personal Files - Helen Lumby; Moving Images; Sound Recordings; Photographs.

Notes area

Physical condition

Records are in good physical condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

John Lumby donated these records to the Saskatoon office, Saskatchewan Archives in 7 accessions between 1976 and 1994: Saskatoon 873 (November 30, 1976); S81-167 (September 1, 1981); S85-111 (June 11, 1985); S85-181 (September 24, 1985); S88-73 (September 28, 1988); S94-59 (July 5, 1994), and S94-64 (July 14, 1994).


Arrangement reflects both original order and archival intervention.
Discernable series from the initial arrangement of the records have been maintained and described through retro-description of the fonds. Series titles supplied by the arranging archivists. Personal records of John and Helen Lumby discovered within the fonds were arranged as two separate series.
Loose animation cels found with the records in 2003 were added as an addendum to files III.13.b.iv in the Client/Project Files series.
Unaccessioned material found in the fonds was given an accession number in 2003.
Certain photographs have been retained in files to preserve context.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Sound recordings also available on CD.

Restrictions on access

Records are open for research use.

Preservation CD copies of sound recordings have been created for research purposes.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Use, publication and/or reproduction of records are subject to terms of an agreement with the donor dated 21 March 1989 and the conditions of the Copyright Act. Please consult reference archivist for assistance.

To consult the records, visit or contact the Regina office.

Finding aids

SAFA 24 (old guide GS 177, Collection A679) consists of fonds and series level descriptions; file level listings of textual records; item listings of photographs and audio recordings. File listings for Series I through IV are inventory format.
The electronic finding aid consists of item listings for photographs, audio recordings, film and videotapes.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Related material: Media House Productions, VT R-6232.1 through VT R-6243.2: Consists of 25 videotapes of "Size Small Country." The Lumbys were principals in Size Small Productions Inc., a co-producer and copyright holder for this television series. [Helen Lumby appears in all episodes. John Lumby directed the series.]
Prince Albert Pulpwood Ltd. fonds, FLIM R-3881 and FILM R-3382.
Saskatchewan. Department of Agriculture, FILM R-363. Documentary, "Save the Soil."
Saskatchewan. Department of Education, FILM R-588 and VT R-2146 entitled "My Paddle's Keen and Bright".
Saskatchewan. Department of Tourism and Small Business, FILM R-1313 and FILM R-1314, FILM R-3383.
Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Forest Products Corporation, FILM R-1313. Documentary, "A Forest to Build On."
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool fonds, Films: FILM R-3072, FILM R-3074, FILM R-3077 to FILM R-3079, FILM R-3083 to FILM R-3084, FILM 3086.1 to FILM R-3086.2, FILM R-3110, FILM R-3127.
See also photographs in the James Studio fonds and Prince Alberta Historical Society Collection (Regina Acc. A483 and A696). Consult the Historical Photographs Catalogue for item descriptions.

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Location for retrieval: Regina - Hillsdale
Note that fonds contains both "R" and "S" locator designations on files and items.


Oversize materials have been removed to appropriate oversize storage.
All films described in 2003 were cleaned, inspected and had splices repaired by archival staff.
Preservation CD copies of sound recordings are available at ACD R-15130; ACD R-15384 to ACD R-15386; ACD R-15640 to ACD R-15654 (audio discs); and ACD R-15164, ACD R-15167, ACD R-15171, ACD R-15173, ACD R-15178, ACD R-15183, ACD R-15187, ACD R-15188, ACD R-15191, ACD R-15193 to ACD R-15195, ACD R-15198, ACD R-15208, ACD R-15211, ACD R-15213, ACD R-15219, ACD R-15223, ACD R-15226, ACD R-15234, ACD R-15245, ACD R-15252, ACD R-15259, ACD R-15262, ACD R-15266, ACD R-15275, ACD R-15285, ACD R-15296, ACD R-15304, ACD R-15305, ACD R-15307, ACD R-15309, ACD R-15311, ACD R-15313, ACD R-15316, ACD R-15318, ACD R-15322, ACD R-15324, ACD R-15326, ACD R-15329, ACD R-15331, ACD R-15333, ACD R-15334, ACD R-15336, ACD R-15338, ACD R-15340, ACD R-15342, ACD R-15347, ACD R-15349, ACD R-15351, ACD R-15353, ACD R-15355, ACD R-15139, ACD R-15140, ACD R-15142 to ACD R-15163, ACD R-15299, ACD R-15303 (audio tapes).

Alpha-numeric designations

Textual records: old guide GS 177 (A 679)
Photographs: R-A30673 to R-A31079; R-A31098; R-A31102 to R-A31105; R-A31113 to R-A32134; R-B13778 to R-B 13869; R-B13872 to R-B 13893; R-B13921 to R-B13933; R-B13942 to R-B 13956; R-B13959 to R-B14087; R-C12780 to R-C13437; R-C13458 to R-C14585; R-D2441 to R-D2504; and R-D2510 to R-D2513;
Audio discs: DISC R-480 to DISC R-522;
Audiotapes: R-15139 to R-15359;
Films: FILM S-1 to FILM S-76.1; FILM S-1868 to FILM S-2102;
Videotapes: VT R-11773; VT R-11779 to VT R-11780;
Posters: R-OS 135

Alternative identifier(s)

Original ID

BF 7

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

BF 7

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions

Saskatchewan Archives. Archival Description Manual 2004.



Level of detail

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

  • Latin


Content of fonds.
Archivists' notes and introduction to Coll. A679.
Appraisal reports for National Archival Appraisal Board.

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres