Archival holdings

Textual Records

Extent: c. 1000 cubic feet, Outside Dates: 1879-present

The textual holdings of Records & Archives includes all records created by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place, the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA), the Canadian International Air Show (CIAS) and the Warriors' Day Parade Council (WDPC). The archival records are those that possess long-term administrative, fiscal or legal value.

Also housed as part of the Records Management Program, is another 3000 cubic feet of inactive business records.

Types of archival textual records held by Records & Archives include minutes of meetings of the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place; the Board of Directors of the CNEA; the WDPC; and of various committees formed by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the CNEA.

Other records in this category include: Annual Reports, Programmes, Prize Lists, special brochures, Art Gallery Catalogues, and (CIAS) Programs.

Corporate records from various Exhibition Place/CNE departments include: Office of the Chief General Manager (1929-1987), CNE Agricultural Department (1934-1982), CNE Women's Department (1920-1980), Exhibition Place Works Department (1879-1987), Exhibition Stadium Corporation (1946-1987), Exhibition Place General Manager of Administration & Corporate Secretary (1919-1987) and the CNE Sports Department (1879-1981).

Collections of records acquired from members of the public include the papers of Peg Willins-Hughes, wife of long-time CNE General Manager, Elwood Hughes.


Extent: c. 600 items, Outside Dates: 1879-Present

Since its founding in 1879, the CNE has awarded medallions, usually made of gold, silver or bronze, to winners of various agricultural, musical, artistic, sporting or other competitions. Visiting dignitaries, special guests and the official "opener" of the CNE each year, usually a Canadian or international figure of some prominence, were also presented with medallions.


Extent: c. 250,000 items, Outside Dates: 1890s-1993

The bulk of the photograph collection is made up of black-and-white prints and negatives that document the history, development and growth of Exhibition Place and the CNE.


Extent: c. 5000 slides, Outside Dates: c. 1950s-1986

The slide collection is comprised primarily of images donated to Records & Archives by members of the public and through internal transfers. The slide collection also includes duplicate images drawn from the Photo and Postcard Collections as well as from CNE Programme and Prize List covers. The slides are an invaluable resource for researchers and staff.


Extent: c. 700 items, Outside Dates: c. early 1900s-1989

The postcard collection contains some of the most colourful and significant views of Exhibition Place and the CNE.


Extent: 40 posters and preliminary designs, Outside Dates: c. 1889-1996

Included here are official CNE posters created each year by commissioned artists. Among the artists whose work has been featured on CNE posters are J.E.H. MacDonald, Eric Aldwinkle & Franklin Carmichael.

Moving Images

Extent: 353 reels of film, Outside Dates: c. 1920s-1997

The Records & Archives moving-image collection contains old footage of the grounds and events, feature films on the CNE, television ads and other miscellaneous films related to the CNE. Most films are 16mm, but many have been digitized for use by researchers and staff.

Audio Tapes

Extent: 450 tapes, Outside Dates: c. 1928-1994

The audio tapes are primarily of Grandstand stage shows, addresses and speeches given by CNE officials, or by dignitaries participating at the CNE.  Many of the Grandstand stage show tapes have been digitized for use by researchers and staff.

Architectural Plans

Extent: c. 500 items, Outside Dates: 1904-1987

Records & Archives holds the original architectural plans for many buildings no longer in existence as well as plans for the construction and renovation/alteration of existing buildings.

Sheet Music

Extent: c. 50 sheets of music, Outside Dates: 1883-1965

This collection includes sheet music used in CNE Grandstand performances of the 1880s to the 1960s and sheet music used by the Exhibition Chorus, 1920-1930.

Works of Art

Extent: 81 items, Outside Dates: c. 1891-2007

This collection includes works of art, such as paintings and sculptures which are owned by the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and the CNEA, and administered by Records & Archives.


Extent: c. 500 items, Outside Dates: c. 1880s-2012

The collection of artifacts includes a wide range of objects such as trophies, medals, prize ribbons, banners, souvenirs, coins, midway games etc.


Extent: c. 200 books and periodicals, Dates: 1856-2012

The library contains books and periodicals dealing primarily with art, history and archival science. The resources in the Library are used for general reference and/or in conjunction with studying and understanding original corporate records.