Fonds F1935 - Robert Willis fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Robert Willis fonds


  • 1954-1988, predominant 1960-1985 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

ca. 500 film reels. -- 7 video cassettes. -- 26 cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Robert Willis, 1932-2005, was born in Edmonton, Alberta. He received an honours degree in Advertising Art from the Ontario College of Art in 1955. He worked in Calgary for Master Film Studios Ltd., Alberta's first film production company, from 1955 to 1966. For six months in 1958 he took time out to work with Pearl and Dean Cartoons Ltd. in London, England as a cartoon director. Upon his return he became general manager and then president of the studio which had been renamed Master Films (Alberta) Ltd. The company specialized in concept to screen productions of TV commercials and sponsored 16mm documentary films. In 1966 the company became Canawest-Master Films Ltd. As vice-president, Robert served as producer/director/editor on commercials and sponsored films. In 1985 he took over Canawest-Master Films and merged it with On/film Productions Ltd. which he had incorporated in 1969. His company went on to produce more of the same types of features, including some work for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary. Robert went into semi-retirement in 1991. He and his wife Jean had one son Rob.


Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Robert Willis, 1991-1999.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of 500,000 feet of 16 mm film and some videos, predominantly raw footage and some finished feature films. Subjects include the petroleum industry, the Calgary Zoo, the Banff School of Fine Arts, Alberta tourism, Wardair, Ducks Unlimited, Alberta Wheat Pool, the Calgary Stampede, the 1988 Olympics and the United Way. There are also numerous early television commercials. Scripts and shot lists are also included; copy of scrapbook regarding career.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

The material is in English.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

No finding aid.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Notes area


Title based on provenance of records.


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Dates of creation revision deletion




Accession area