Fonds F0370 - Bernard Ostry fonds

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Bernard Ostry fonds

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Dates of creation area


  • 1940-1990 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

24.0 m of textual records
ca. 15 cm of photographs : col., b&w, and negatives ; 38 x 22 cm or smaller
12 audio tape reels : polyester, 19cm/sec ; reels: 18 cm or smaller

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Bernard Ostry (1927-2006), public servant and educator, was born in Wadena, Saskatchewan and spent his youth in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was educated at the University of Manitoba (BA, 1948) and in London, England. While in London, Ostry taught at the University of London and at the London School of Economic, as well as at the University of Birmingham (1951-1958). Ostry began a second career in 1959 when he was appointed executive secretary-treasurer of the Commonwealth Institute of Social Research (1959-1961). When he returned to Canada in the latter year he held similar positions in both the Social Science and Humanities Research Councils (1961-1963). He joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as an on-air personality in 1960 and was named supervisor, Department of Public Affairs (radio & television) in 1963, serving until 1968. In that year, Ostry was appointed chief consultant to the Canadian Radio Television Commission, as well as serving on the Prime Minister's Task Force on Government Information. In 1970 Ostry began his career in the federal civil service, first as assistant under-secretary of state (citizenship) (1970-1973), then as deputy minister and secretary-general of the National Museum (1974-1978) and finally as a deputy minister of Communications (1978-1980). Following a year in Paris, Ostry joined the Ontario civil service and served successively as deputy minister in the following portfolios: Industry and Tourism (1981-1982), Industry and Trade (1982-1984) and Citizenship and Culture (1984-1985). In the following year he was named chair and president of the Ontario Educational Communications Authority (TV Ontario), remaining in that post until 1991. In addition to his professional activities, Ostry has been a member and officer in several bodies in Canada and abroad, including the Canadian Conference for the Arts, Heritage Canada, the Administrative Council of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture, UNESCO, Paris, the Canadian Museums Association, the International Institute of Communications, Guelph University, the Stratford Festival, the Canadian Native Arts Foundation, the National Ballet School (Canada), and others. He is the author of several books, articles, and reports, including 'Research in the humanities and in the social sciences in Canada,' (1962), 'The cultural connection,' (1978) and, with H.S. Ferns, 'The age of Mackenzie King,' vol. 1 (1955). He died in Toronto on May 24, 2006.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds documents Bernard Ostry's education and personal life as well as his activities as public servant and author for the period 1940-1990.

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No restrictions on access.

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The fonds comprises the following accession: 1991-030. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/04/05 Jizi Chen:. Word Perfect (Creation)
2002/04/05 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2003/05/01 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in accruals, access restrictions.
2006/05/26 Michael Moir. Updated biographical sketch
2007/06/18 Dubeau. Corrected the restrictions on access note.
2009/07/10 Michael Moir. Updated access restrictions
2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM.
2014/11/02 Anna St.Onge. Attached pdf box list.
2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points.

Language of description

  • English


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