Fonds P222 - Michael Gallagher fonds

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Michael Gallagher fonds

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    Fonds Michael Gallagher

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    Reference code

    CA ON00159 P222

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    • n.d.; 1967-2018 (predominant 1975-1985) (Creation)
      Gallagher, Michael

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    80.3 cm of textual records other material

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    Name of creator


    Biographical history

    Michael Gallagher (1948 - ) was born in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. He is married to Colette Naubert and has two children – Natalie and Patrick.

    During Michael Gallagher’s formative years, he spent one year as a boarder at Sudbury’s Collège Sacré Coeur before returning to Sturgeon Falls to complete his secondary education. Following high school, Gallagher spent one year in Teacher’s College at Laurentian University. In 1970, he was accepted to the Ontario College of Art (OCA) in Toronto (now OCAD University), where he developed an interest in graphic design and commercial art. He graduated in 1974.

    In 1972, Gallagher decided to take a year off from OCA. During this time, he joined his childhood friend André Paiement in Sudbury to work on the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (TNO) production of À mes fils bien-aimés – Gallagher both acted in the play and designed the programme. At the same time, Gallagher was introduced to the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel-Ontario (C.A.N.O.). Established in 1972 by Pierre Bélanger, C.A.N.O. was a creative community of artists – originally based on a farm in Earlton, Ontario – whose goal was to promote the creation and dissemination of Franco-Ontarian arts and culture such as theatre, writing, music, and visual arts, in Northern Ontario. Michael Gallagher became a member of C.A.N.O. and spent time on the farm in Earlton, as well as in Sudbury working on TNO productions.

    By 1975, Gallagher had graduated from OCA and returned to Sudbury. In November of that year, CANO musique was founded by André Paiement and four other members of the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel-Ontario – Michael Gallagher, David Burt, Robert Dickson, and Marcel Aymar. CANO musique was a non-profit corporation with similar goals to its cooperative predecessor (namely producing and fostering Franco-Ontarian art), except that it focused solely on the art form of music. True to their cooperative namesake, CANO musique functioned based on equality with members taking on many roles within the self-managed group, and Michael Gallagher was no exception. In addition to being voted president at CANO musique’s inaugural board meeting, and with his previous experience doing sound for theatre productions, Gallagher initially took on the role of sound technician. Shortly thereafter, Gallagher also became artistic director and photographer for CANO, and created original artwork and design layouts for the group’s album jackets, posters, concert passes, and other promotional materials, as well as took photographs of the band during performances and promotional shoots. As the band’s popularity grew, so too did Gallagher’s responsibilities to encompass tour manager.

    While Gallagher maintained these many functions for the group CANO, they were also offered to clients as part of the services provided by CANO musique. In this capacity, Gallagher developed album art and layout concepts for liner notes; created promotional materials and posters for TNO, Éditions Prise de parole, and radio stations CBON and CBC Sudbury (among others); and provided stage management for La Nuit sur l’étang and the Northern Lights Festival Boréal.

    In 1985, following the release and tour of their final album, CANO dissolved. Michael Gallagher was living in Toronto, where he began working for the Ministry of Citizenship and Culture after spending three years at the Ontario Art Council’s touring office. By 2003, Michael Gallagher was Senior Communications Advisor for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. He is now retired and living in Toronto, Ontario.

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    Fonds Michael Gallagher consists of graphic material, textual records, sound recordings, video recordings and books documenting Michael Gallagher’s professional career. The majority of the materials are derived from Gallagher’s work for CANO musique, predominantly between the years 1975 to 1985, and reflect the breadth of the organization’s objectives, as well as Gallagher’s many roles within it. The fonds also contains some materials related to Gallagher’s time spent as a member of the Coopérative des artistes du Nouvel-Ontario (C.A.N.O.) in the years prior to CANO musique, as well as several graphic design projects undertaken after CANO musique dissolved.

    The graphic materials in the fonds represent a significant body of work created by Michael Gallagher, mostly as photographer and artistic director of CANO musique. Photographic materials include images for CANO album covers, publicity photos of the band, shots of CANO in concert, as well as individual members of the band. Not only do these images show the change in members over time, they also document some of the recording studios and concert venues CANO played throughout the years. The fonds also contains numerous mock-ups for CANO albums, promotional materials, and posters, as well as original artwork of logos, reflecting the various steps in Gallagher’s creative process. Posters promoting CANO albums and specific concerts are also included. Additional visual concepts and designs created by Michael Gallagher for other Sudbury organizations are included in the fonds as well, such as posters, promotional material, and mock-ups for La nuit sur l’étang, Northern Lights Festival Boréal, and Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (among others).

    In addition to graphic materials, the fonds also contains a number of textual records primarily related to CANO musique including correspondence to and from Michael Gallagher about the band, as well as records documenting the band’s history and lyrics, available in both English and French, showing the pride they took in reaching out to their fans in both official languages. Also included are a selection of Gallagher’s day planners, and administrative documents related to his role in CANO such as contracts and financial reports, through which a sense of CANO’s cooperative roots can be gleaned, as they outline stipulations such as equal sharing among members. Complementing these records is a thorough collection of newspaper and magazine clippings which provide a wealth of information about the band, as well as their reception throughout Canada and the United States.

    The fonds also contains several other types of records, including 14 books, many of which are limited editions and contain personal inscriptions, four CANO 45 rpm singles, an English version of the album Au nord de notre vie, and a VHS tape of the National Film Board of Canada’s documentary CANO, Notes sur une expérience collective. These records further serve to position Michael Gallagher within the extremely active network of Franco-Ontarian authors and artists in Northern Ontario during the 1970s and 80s, as well as highlight CANO’s prominent place within that community.

    Notes area

    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    The fonds was donated in April 2018.


    Language of material

    • English
    • French

    Script of material

      Location of originals

      Availability of other formats

      Some documents have been scanned.

      Restrictions on access

      In compliance with the Access to Information and Privacy Acts some documents are restricted.
      Financial records can only be accessed on site.
      Some records are restricted due to sensitive information.

      Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

      Copyright regulations apply.
      Restriction on reproduction applies to financial documents.
      A prior written permission from the Paiement family is required to obtain reproductions of documents created by André Paiement.

      Finding aids

      A preliminary inventory is available (in French) at the Laurentian University Archives.
      Out of respect to the members of the group CANO musique, the fonds level description is available in French and English, however the files have only been described in French.

      Associated materials

      At Laurentian University Archives:
      P127 Fonds Robert Dickson


      The first accrual was received April 10, 2018. A second accrual was received on July 11, 2018. A third accrual was received on March 23, 2019.

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      Creation: 2023-09-15

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