Fonds Acc3010 - Tignish Cooperatives video project fonds : [1975]

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Tignish Cooperatives video project fonds : [1975]

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  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds

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Reference code

CA PCA Acc3010

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  • Copied to videocassette 2003 (Reproduction)
  • [1975] (Creation)
    Video Theatre
  • [1975] (Creation)
    Webster, Gary

Physical description area

Physical description

45 videocassettes

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Name of creator

Video Theatre

Administrative history

The Video Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia was a branch of the National Film Board which made videos relating to issues in the Maritime region. Ralph Holt was Executive Director of the Video Theatre. Barry Burley and Niall Burnett were staff members.

Name of creator

Webster, Gary

Biographical history

Gary Webster was a professor of political studies at the University of Prince Edward Island. He and Elizabeth Cran worked together on a history of the cooperative movement on Prince Edward Island.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The Tignish Cooperateives video project began in 1974/1975 with a discussion between Barry Burley and Niall Burnett of the National Film Board Video Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Gary Webster. The original idea of a videotape about the cooperative movement in Prince Edward Island was scaled down to West Prince and predominantly Tignish where the cooperative spirit had flourished and had seen the first Fishermen's Union on the Island, Station #1, the development of Tignish Fisheries Joint Stock Company and its evolution into the Tignish Fisheries Cooperative Association following the Cooperative Associations Act, the formation of a Marine Plants Cooperative, and the development of the Tignish Credit Union and Tignish Cooperative. Interviews were conducted in 1975 with individuals closely involved with the fisheries cooperative movement at all stages, primarily by Gary Webster and Barry Burley with the sometime assistance of Niall Burnett, Lucie DesJardins and Ralph Holt. On completion of the interviews two videos were produced by Video Theatre: "A question of survival" about the Tignish Fishermen's Union, Tignish Fisheries and other local cooperative history, and "Room for a Co-op" which dealt with the Prince Edward Island Marine Plants Cooperative.

The fonds consists of 45 interviews with individuals involved in the fisheries cooperative movement in Tignish including fishermen and their wives, members and officials of the Fishermen's Union, Tignish Fisheries Joint Stock Company, Tignish Fisheries Cooperative and the Marine Plants Cooperative, as well as personnel from the Marine Colloids Plant in Tignish. Interviews include four charter members of the Tignish Fisheries: Ferdinand Gaudet, Harold Cormier, Arthur Chaisson and Will Shea. Second generation fishermen who began fishing in the 1930s include Freddie Richard, Josie Doucette, Terrence Gavin, Milton Keough and Max McInnis.

Discussion focuses on fishing as a way of life in Tignish before the Union and at the time of the interviews, the various stages of the cooperative movement and the changes they brought, the philosophy and structure of the cooperatives and some of their advantages and disadvantages. They explore the feelings of fishermen towards the movement, relations with private companies, government involvement in the industry, and their current concerns regarding the fishing industry as well as their perception of their community in general.

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  • English

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Associated materials

See also: Acc3772 - Tignish Fisheries Ltd. - microfilm and Acc2832 - J. H. Myrick & Co. - ledgers, day books, etc.

Copies of these videocassettes are also located at the Tignish Credit Union. Copies of "A question of survival" and "Room for a Coop" are available at the Robertson Library, UPEI. For background information on the cooperatvie movement see the following articles by Gary Webster: "Tignish and Antigonish: a critique of the Antigonish movement as a cadre for Cooperativism". Abegweit Review, vol. 1, 1975; and "Cooperation, Co-operatives and Credit Unions: their place in Island history". "Exploring Island history", editd by Harry Baglole,1977

Related materials


General note

Interviews with Mike McPhee and Gerry Buote, as well as historic photographs from the Alberton Museum (5 videocassettes in total) which were loaned for the preparation of a documentary were never returned

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  • English

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