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Calgary Power Company Ltd. fonds

1886-1960, predominant 1907-1947

Physical Description:
10.2 m of textual records. -- 740 photographs. -- 9 film reels. -- 1 audio cassette. -- 40 drawings

The founding of the Calgary Power Co. Ltd. with the opening of its Horseshoe Falls hydroplant in 1911 brought large-scale, central-station-generated electricity to Alberta. Previously, part-time service had been supplied by small, privately-owned plants. Calgary Power's founder and first president was W. Max Aitken (later Lord Beaverbrook), and the headquarters was in Montreal. The company contracted to provide power for Calgary, the Canada Cement Plant (Exshaw), and Cochrane. The company was sold to Izaak Walton Killam in 1919. Killam owned Montreal Engineering Co. and the two firms had close ties. In the 1920s Calgary Power bought out other companies including Okotoks Electric Co., Calgary Water Power Co., and Wetaskiwin Utilities. Other companies were acquired and new hydroplants built in the following years. The company's "Modern All-Electric Kitchen" trailer toured Alberta in the 1930s to promote the use of electricity in the home. In 1947 the company head office was moved to Calgary. By that year 99% of Alberta's power came from the company, and divisional offices were in Edmonton, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Calgary and Lethbridge. A Red Deer office opened in 1952. Rural cooperative associations were assisted by Calgary Power's non-profit subsidiary, Farm Electric Service, in electrifying Alberta's rural areas. This was fairly complete by 1958. In 1951 Calgary Power became the first remotely controlled hydro system in North America. In the 1950s it turned to thermal generating plants powered by coal and natural gas. During the mid-1950s Calgary Power sponsored radio programs called "Here's Alberta - People and Places" and "Calgary Power Discovers", which were broadcast on CFCN, CFRN, CHAT and CJOC. The company's name was changed to TransAlta Utilities Corporation in 1981. For further information see TransAlta Utilities : 75 Years of Progress / [Sue Andruschuk, writer/editor]. -- [Calgary : The Company, 1986] and Powering Generations : The TransAlta Story, 1911-2011 / TransAlta Corporation. --Calgary : Kingsley Publishing Services, 2011.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of minutes (1909-1948), annual reports, agreements to provide service, legal agreements, lists of properties and assets, financial records, income tax returns, shareholders' records, construction records, and scripts for radio broadcasts sponsored by the company. Includes films, photographs and slides of power plant, dam and transmission line construction (1910-1962), and employee outings. Also includes Calgary Water Power Co. minutes (1890-1934), incorporation ordinance and bylaws, correspondence, agreements, annual reports, and financial records; and financial records of Montreal Engineering Co., Saskatchewan office, and Prairie Power Co., Regina. Also includes drawings relating to the automation of plants and dams.
RECORDS RELATED TO THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS ARE ALSO IN THIS FONDS. SEE INVENTORY FOR DETAILS: LOCATIONS SERVED: Acme, Airdrie, Aldersyde, Alix, Arrowwood, Balzac, Banff, Barons, Bashaw, Bassano, Bawlf, Beiseker, Bentley, Beverley, Black Diamond, Blackfalds, Blackie, Bon Accord, Bow Island, Bow River, Bowden, Brant, Brocket, Brooks, Bruderheim, Cadogan, Camrose, Cardston, Carmangay, Carstairs, Cayley, Champion, Chipman, Claresholm, Clive, Clover Bar, Cluny, Clyde, Coaldale, Coalhurst, Cochrane, Crossfield, Czar, Daysland, Didsbury, Eckville, Edberg, Elbow River, Ensign, Ferintosh, Fort Macleod, Fort Saskatchewan, Gleichen, Glenwood, Granum, Grassy Lake, Hardisty, Hayter, High River, Holden, Hughenden, Hussar, Innisfail, Irma, Irricana, Kananaskis, Killam, Kirkcaldy, Lacombe, Lake Chinika, Lake Minnewanka, Lamont, Legal, Leslieville, Lethbridge, Lougheed, Magrath, Metiskow, Milk River, Millet, Mirror, Morinville, Morleyville, Nanton, New Chicago, New Dayton, New Norway, Nobleford, Ohaton, Okotoks, Parkland, Pearce, Penhold, Picture Butte, Ponoka, Provost, Queenstown, Raymond, Red Deer, Rimbey, Rockeyford, Round Hill, Ryley, St. Albert, St. Paul, Sedgewick, Standard, Stavely, Sterling, Stony Plain, Strathmore, Suffield, Sylvan Lake, Taber, Thorsby, Tofield, Turner Valley, Viking, Vulcan, Wainwright, Warner, Westlock and Wetaskiwin. OTHER TOPICS: Alberta Government Telephones, Alberta Portland Cement Co., R.B. Bennett, Blue Quills School (St. Paul), Calgary Buffalo Athletic Association, Canadian National Railway (CNR), Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), CFCN, Eastern Irrigation District, Eau Claire and Bow River Lumber Co., Eau Claire Sawmills Ltd., David McDougall, prisoners of war, and Stoney reserve.

Source of Acquisition:
Gifts of Calgary Power Co. and TransAlta Utilities Corp., 1973-1984, Peter B. Wilson, 1991, and Lorne Woodrow, 2008.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Further additions expected.

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M-1542, M-1546, M-1547, M-6909, M-8288, M-9324, PA-1546, PA-2514, PA-3294, PB-616, PD-174, PE-110, NA-4416, NA-4477, RAT-20, F-72, F-120, S-90-(1-211)

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