Fonds F0079 - J. Rodney Sykes fonds

Identity area

Reference code



J. Rodney Sykes fonds


  • 1921, 1956, 1964-1989, 1994 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

35 m of textual records and other records:
c. 350 photographs
82 architectural drawings
1 audio cassette
2 maps
2 posters

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James Rodney Winter Sykes was born in 1929 in Montreal, Quebec but was raised primarily in Victoria, B.C. He attended Victoria College and Sir George Williams University, located in Montreal. Mr. Sykes began his career as a chartered accountant, working out of both Vancouver and Montreal where he met his wife, Gisele. As an acountant, he has worked for Price Waterhouse and Company and, following his move to Calgary, Canadian Pacific Investments Ltd. With the latter company, Mr. Sykes organized Marathon Realty which later became a successful investment and development firm. Mr. Sykes' decision to run for mayor came from his belief that the city government could and should have been managed better. In a short amount of time, he resigned his job, ran for and was elected Mayor with an admirable majority.

He officially took office on October 28th, 1969. Mr. Sykes' eight-year tenure as Mayor was marked by a noticeable change concerning the duties of the head Calgarian, catering much more to the citizens and "opening up" City Hall to the public. Under his leadership, Calgary made improvements in the areas of transportation, housing, public participation, and enjoyed general prosperity. Mr. Sykes' mayorship was also known for the friction often experienced between himself and his council members. Mr. Sykes was re-elected in 1971 and 1974 but chose not to run for a fourth term in 1977.

In 1980 he became leader of the Alberta Social Credit Party, a position he later abdicated in 1982. In 1984, Mr. Sykes ran for a Liberal seat, lost and retired from politics altogether. Mr. Sykes still resides in Calgary with his wife. He is father to five and grandfather to 10. He continued to maintain an interest in property development and has written a regular column for the Calgary Sun.

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records created and collected during Mr. Sykes' three terms as Mayor of the City of Calgary, personal files accumulated during his seven years in City Hall, consulting records after his term in office, publications and other material. In 1975, the Mayor's role was defined as: political, in which the Mayor acts as chairman of City Council and as facilitator to citizens' issues; administrative, in which the Mayor contributes to policies and program implementation; and ceremonial, where the Mayor represents the City at all ceremonial functions and assemblies. Also consists of records created by Sykes during his employment at Canadian Pacific regarding a land use study for the railway lines in downtown Calgary.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • Political records
  • Administrative records
  • Ceremonial records
  • Personal
  • Press clippings
  • Consulting records
  • Publications
  • Husky Tower

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

File 05.03, 2004.007 is temporarily closed due to sensitive information.

Conditions governing reproduction

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Script of material

Language and script notes

Some files contain Hungarian, Ukrainian, Polish, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Finnish.

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Accession area