Fonds F2665 - Jim Kerr fonds

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Jim Kerr fonds


  • 1889-2002 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6.75 m of textual records.
18.5 cm of photographs (339 photographs; 119 slides)

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

James "Jim" Kerr, 1912-2003, was born in Calgary, Alberta, the son of James Kerr, 1877-1973, and his wife Jane Ross Kerr, 1875-1951. His parents were Scottish immigrants who came to Calgary in 1910. His father was a carpenter who worked for the Calgary School Board for many years. His sister Frances Kerr, 1908-1972, worked as a legal secretary and also kept house for her father and brother after Jane Kerr died.

Jim Kerr articled as an accountant with Williams and Williams in Calgary, 1931-1937, and became a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1937. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Ottawa, rising to the rank of Wing Commander. He worked on recruitment and training plans for the RCAF and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, and in the 1944 New Year’s Honour list was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his work. A sports fan, he also managed the RCAF Flyers Hockey Team, which won the Allen Cup in 1942. From July 1944 until the end of the war he served with the Air Ministry in England.

On his return to Canada he worked for Thomas Irwin & Son in Hamilton, Ontario, and then returned to Calgary where he became the Chief Accountant of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company in 1948, the General Manager 1956 and the President in 1963. He also managed the brewery-sponsored Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association. In the 1960s Kerr served on several committees of the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, including the Sites Planning Committee and the Grounds Development Committee, which recommended improvements of the grandstand and expansion into Victoria Park. Kerr undertook private accounting work over the years. He was a financial consultant for several small town hotels in Alberta, some of which had originally been part of the CBMC Hotel System, which was dismantled after 1957 when provincial legislation required brewing companies to dispose of their hotel holdings. He was also the accountant for Rothney Farm, owned by Sandy Cross, and for CHFM Radio Station. He never married.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Calgary Foundation, 2004.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of Jim Kerr's personal papers (1912-2002); personal papers of his father, mother and sister (1889-1973); RCAF-related papers (1940-1945); records kept by Kerr as accountant, General Manager and President of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company (1949-1972); Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association scrapbooks, etc. (1940-1964); records of various hotels for which Kerr was the accountant, including extensive papers for the Alberta Hotel in Oyen, managed by Frances McSorley (1949-1991); Calgary Exhibition and Stampede committee records (1959-1971); Rothney Farm accounts (1970-1995); and papers related to the Manchester Rotary Club, CHFM Radio, and the Lloyd Turner Testimonial Dinner. Includes extensive photographs of the family and Brewery, including views of the creation of the Brewery Gardens (1932-1935); the RCAF Flyers hockey team (1941-1942); and the Kerr's new house in Scarboro (1950-1951).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

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Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      The material is in English.

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Finding aids

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Digital content is available

      Related units of description

      Archival records of the Calgary Brewing and Malting Company, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, and

      Sandy Cross' Rothney Farm, are also held by Glenbow.

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      Title based on contents of records.

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