Fonds F0254 - Louis Applebaum fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Louis Applebaum fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Moving images
  • Philatelic record

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

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Physical description area

Physical description

34.62 m of textual records
ca. 600 photographs
50 negatives
1 contact sheet
ca. 330 audio tapes
245 audio cassettes
2 DATs
360 discs
6 compact discs
ca. 25 film reels
40 video tapes
28 posters
2 architectural drawings
1 stamp

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Louis Applebaum (1918-2000) was a composer, conductor, and arts administrator. He was born and educated in Toronto, except for one year studying in New York with Roy Harris and Bernard Wagenaar. His career in film began in 1940, composing scores for the National Film Board of Canada, later becoming its Music Director. His over 200 film scores included productions in Canada, Hollywood, England and New York and were awarded many honours such as an Academy Award nomination (The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945), Canadian Film Award, Genie and Gemini. Applebaum was the first Music Director of the Stratford Festival and composed scores for over 70 of its plays. He founded and operated its Music and Film Festivals and conducted operas at Stratford and on tour. His fanfares have introduced every Festival theatre performance since opening night in 1953. Scores for radio, TV series and specials, numbering in the hundreds, have been heard on the CBC, CTV, BBC, CBS, NBC, and United Nations radio. His concert works in all genres have been widely performed throughout the world and include large works for symphony, ballet and the music stage. His commissions for ceremonial occasions include the inauguration of three Governors-General, the opening of Expo 67 in Montreal and visits by the Queen. His last opera, Erewhon, with a libretto by Mavor Moore was premiered by Pacific Opera Victoria in 2000. Applebaum was a consultant to many artistic institutions: the National Arts Centre (1964-1967) where he was instrumental in the creation of the NAC Orchestra, the Canada Council (1957-1999), and the Universities of Ottawa, Windsor and York. He helped found the Canadian League of Composers, the Canadian Music Centre, the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Canadian Guild of Film Composers and was closely associated with the Banff Centre, the Canadian Music Council and the Laidlaw Foundation as Chair of its Arts Panel. Applebaum was one of the founders of C-Channel (a TV arts channel) and Group Four Productions (a film production company) and for many years taught at York University. In 1971, he became Executive Director of the Ontario Arts Council, resigning in 1979 to become Chairman of the Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee which submitted its Report to the Canadian Government in the Fall of 1982. He was president of CAPAC, the performing rights society in 1988 and subsequently chaired a committee leading to the creation of SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) and became its first president (1990). He would later serve as President of the SOCAN foundation. In recognition of his contributions to the arts in Canada, Applebaum was bestowed with many honours including Officer and Companion, Order of Canada (1976, 1995), Order of Ontario (1989), Centennial Medal (1967), Honourary LLD, York University (1979), and Arts Toronto Lifetime Achievement Award (1998).

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds contains records include scripts, scores, correspondence and papers, reports, photographs, films, lectures, and interviews documents Applebaum's activities as a composer, conductor, and arts administrator.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The fonds is arranged in the following series: Scores, 1941-1977 Scripts, 1949-1979 Correspondence and papers, 1940-2000 Daily appointment books, 1942-1998 Reports, 1947-1995 Clippings, 1941-1978 Printed material, 1940-1980 Blueprints, 1965 Photographs, 1944-1976 Phonograph records, 1942-1958 Films, 1942-1961 Papers of the Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee, 1979-1984 Papers related to Louis Applebaum's career as composer and administrator, 1941-2000 Sound Recordings, 1953-1996 Video Cassettes, 1977-1979 Parts, 1977-1988 Professional Associations, 1955-2000 Personal, 1931-1936 Lectures, addresses, talks and interviews, 1986-1995. Series descriptions are available as a PDF attached at the fonds level.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access is open. Written permission from the donor is required prior to reproduction of any kind, and requests must be directed to the University Archivist, York University.

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Generated finding aid

Associated materials

Records of the Federal Cultural Policy Review Committee form part of RG 97, Department of Communications, National Archives of Canada. Related records may be found in the Mavor Moore fonds (F0359) and Walter Pitman fonds.

Related materials


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1979-002, 1983-003, 1985-006, 1989-018, 2000-009, 2002-003, 2002-012. No further accruals are expected.

General note

Some audiovisual materials are stored off-site for preservation, and requests for access must be made in advance of your visit to the archives.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/03/20 Marie-Josee Levesque:. (Creation) 2002/03/20 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist 2003/06/24 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in accruals. 2004/05/31 Sean Smith. Updated fonds level description to include accessions 2002-003 and 2002-012. 2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM. 2018/04/22 KCP. Post-migration metadata clean-up. Uploaded legacy finding aids as PDFs to accession descriptions and series description as a PDF attached at the fonds level. Published description and generated finding aid. 2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points. 2022/02/16 KCP. Imported 1985-006, 1989-018, and 2002-003 into series. 2022/09/21 KCP. Imported 2000-009 into series.

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Accession area