2008.015 - 2008.015 accrual

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00349 2008.015

Title

2008.015 accrual

Date(s)

  • 1928 - 2005 (Creation)

Level of description

Extent and medium

0.82 m textual records

24 books
4 scrapbooks
20 appointment

200 photographs
200 prints

57 video recordings
57 VHS tapes

Context area

Name of creator

(1920 - 2009)

Biographical history

Jan Rubeš was a singer, actor and director whose career spanned more than half a century. Born in Volynĕ, Czechoslovakia in 1920, Rubeš was the second son of a local bank manager. Although he had planned to follow his brother into medicine, his studies were interrupted by the closure of the Faculty of Medicine at Charles University by the German occupying forces during World War II. Rubeš transferred to the Prague Conservatory, where he studied under Hilbert Vavre and launched a career as a promising basso. In 1948, while representing Czechoslovakia at the International Music Festival in Geneva, Switzerland, Rubes sought and was granted political asylum in Canada. In 1950, he married fellow singer and actress Susan Douglas, who would remain his partner for the next six decades (and with whom he would have three children).

Rubeš was a soloist with the CBC Opera (1949-1958), and an original member of the Opera Festival Company of Toronto (later the Canadian Opera Company). He appeared more than 1,000 times in over 50 Canadian Opera Company productions, and participated in some 20 national tours. He also performed as guest soloist with opera companies in Frankfurt, Mexico, Central America, New York City, Detroit, Seattle, and New Orleans.

Between 1953 and 1963, Rubeš appeared as singer and host on CBC’s popular Songs of My People, a program that featured folk music from around the world. He also wrote, produced, acted and directed the TVO television program Guess What (1975), and sang on the CBC radio program Rhapsody with Ivan Romanoff.

Rubeš developed a film career later in life, appearing in more than 100 roles (some of his more memorable films include Witness (1985), One Magic Christmas (1985), The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick and Deceived (1991). He also appeared on Canadian and US television programs such as The Forest Rangers, The X-Files, King of Kensington, and Due South.

Rubeš won a Gemini Award for his role in Two Men (1989), the Queen’s Jubilee Medal (1978), the Canadian Centennial Medal (1967), and the Earl Grey Award for lifetime achievement in television (1990). He was artist-in-residence at Wilfrid Laurier University in 1981, and taught at the University of Windsor in 1985. In 1998, he was awarded a Honourary Doctor of Letters degree at the University of Windsor. In addition to his success in the performing arts, Rubeš was also a lifelong athlete who excelled in tennis.

Jan Rubeš died in 2009 at the age of 89.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Accession 2008.015 consists of five series (determined by format), ranging between 1928 and 2005.
These are: Scrapbooks; Appointment Books; Textual Documents; Photographs; and VHS Videotapes.

The first series, Scrapbooks, consists of four oversized, handcrafted scrapbooks likely assembled by Susan Douglas. These scrapbooks document Rubeš’ European opera career, Rubeš’ North American career, Douglas’ career, and their family life.

The second series, Appointment Books, covers the period between 1955 and 2005. These include personal appointment diaries and day timers, as well as a ledger.

The third series, Textual Documents, was largely assembled by the Rubeš’ son, Tony. These files cover the period between 1928 and 2005 and include press clippings, reviews, personal correspondence, mementos, resumes, and biographies.

The fourth series, Photographs, consists of numerous publicity shots, production stills and photographs from 1940 – 2002. The subjects include fellow cast members, colleagues, and family members.

The fifth series, VHS Videotapes, includes several of Rubeš’ performances from the 1950s to 2005. These guest roles in movies and selected television productions characterize the sort of roles that Rubeš played later in his career.

Accession 2008.015 contains textual material in relating to several productions,
including:

Figaro (Live musical performance, 1948)
Forbidden Journey (Film, 1950)
Guiding Light (Television, 1953?)
Witness (Film, 1985)
Kane and Abel (Television, 1985)
Dead of Winter (Film, 1987)
Two Men (Television, 1988)
Something about Love (Film, 1988)
The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick (Film, 1989)
Max Glick (Television, 1990)
Coming of Age (Television, 1993)
Stargate SG 1 (Television, 2001)
The Outer Limits (Television, 1999)
Snow Falling on Cedars (Film, 1999)
Flight of the Reindeer (Television, 2000)
Anthrax (Film, 2001)
The Republic of Love (Film, 2003)
Accession 2008.015 contains audiovisual material relating to several productions,
including:

Forbidden Journey (Film, 1950)
Lions for Breakfast (Film, 1975)
Deadly Harvest (Film, 1977)
Vandenberg (Television, 1983)
Charlie Grant’s War (Television, 1984)
The Marriage Bed (Film, 1986)
Kay O’Brien (Television, 1986)
Fame (Television, 1987)
The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick (Film, 1988)
Blood Relations (Film, 1988)
No Blame (Television, 1988)
Blind Fear (Film, 1989)
E.N.G. (Television, 19891992)
Street Legal (Television, 1990)
Max Glick (Television, 1990)
Class Action (Film, 1991)
Devlin (Television, 1992)
Coming of Age (Television, 1993)
Lambchop and the Haunted Studio (Television, 1994)
The Birds II (Film, 1994)
Roommates (Film, 1995)
Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (Television, 1995)
X-Files (Television, 1996)
Never Too Late (Film, 1997)
The Outer Limits (Television, 1999)
The City (Television, 1999)
Flight of the Reindeer (Television, 2000)
Stargate SG1 (Television, 2001)
Anthrax (Film, 2001)
Mentors (Television, 2001)
Tilt (Television, 2005)
Our Fathers (Television, 2005)
Appassionata: The Extraordinary Life and Music of Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatte (Film, 2006)

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Preservation concerns may limit access, consult archivist.

Conditions governing reproduction

Media Commons does own copyright of collection materials. Consult rights holder for reproduction(s).

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Contact archivist for further finding aid information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places