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Political and Social History of Northern BC

Northern BC Archives collections on political personalities, social and political activists, and political history at various levels of government in Northern BC.

The Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds

2009.6.1.223 - Ministry of Sport Tour - Portrait of Minister Iona CampagnoloThe Honourable Iona Campagnolo fonds (1937-2007) - 2009.6

This body of work has been designated by the Department of Canadian Heritage as archival records of outstanding provincial and national significance. Physical description: textual records 30 metres, +/-1700 images and other materials.

Records illustrate The Honourable Iona Campagnolo’s careers as broadcaster, theatre producer, community leader, politician, feminist, social activist, speaker, lecturer, Chancellor, advocate, consultant and Lieutenant Governor of BC. Types of records reflective of her various careers include: speeches, correspondence, itineraries, news clippings, background material, photographs & ephemera. Records divided into 13 series: 1) Photographs 2) Theatre & Community Development 3) Political Career 4) Non-political Activities 5) McMaster International Health Centre 6) Women in Power Project 7) University of Northern British Columbia 8) Fraser Basin Council 9) Misc. First Nations Material 10) National Speakers Bureau 11) Lieut. Governor of BC 12) Honours & Awards 13) Political Papers

Political Career Series 2009.6.03

This series consists of correspondence, campaign advertisements, news clippings, itineraries, reports, scrapbooks, speeches, newsletters, ephemera, memoranda, invitations, commercial publications, party publications, certificates, agendas, press releases, minutes and background information all pertaining to Iona Campagnolo’s political career as M.P. for Skeena; Minister of State Fitness and Amateur Sport in the Trudeau Government, and President of the Liberal Party of Canada; as well as, pertaining to her continued interest in the political state of Canada. Includes the original signed letter of resignation to Campagnolo, then President of the Liberal Party of Canada by Pierre Trudeau as Prime Minister of Canada in 1984 after his infamous ‘walk in the snow’.

2009.6.1.693 - Iona Campagnolo holding a trowel and weeds in Terrace Gardens, Government House, Victoria, BCPhotographs Series 2009.6.01

Series includes 1700+ images related to Campagnolo’s personal and professional life; majority relates to her career in federal politics: as Liberal Party Candidate for the Federal Riding of Skeena (1974) including images of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Trudeau and M.P. Jean Chretien to Northern BC to campaign for Campagnolo. Images of tours as MP for Skeena 1974-1976; tours as Minister of State, Fitness and Amateur Sport, 1976-1977 and with Canadian politicians (John Diefenbaker, Jean Chretien and John Turner); members of the British Royal Family, international dignitaries (Pope Paul X, Archbishop of Canterbury, US First Lady Rosalyn Carter, anthropologist Margaret Mead, Canadian media personalities. Also images of her Ministry of Sport Tours in Cuba, 1977-1978; European Sports Tour with Team Canada (Hockey Canada) 1977-1978; Ministry of Sport Events in Canada (Commonwealth Games, Edmonton, (1978); Canada Winter Games, Brandon (1979); Canada Summer Games, St. John’s (1977) Images of Campagnolo’s Post Political Office Activities (1979-1982) and involvement in the Canadian bid for the 1988 Olympic Games, her non-profit and volunteer activities in a Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) mission in North-eastern Thailand (1980). Other images relate to her tenure as President of the Liberal Party of Canada, 1982-1986 including Liberal Party Conventions & functions. Other images: Campagnolo’s Professional and Public Service, (1987-1999) with CUSO and WHO missions; as honorary degrees recipient; as Chancellor at UNBC (1992-2004) The remainder relate to activities and events attended by Campagnolo as Lieutenant Governor of BC (2001-2007). 

Images (top to bottom): 

  • 2009.6.1.223 - Ministry of Sport Tour - Portrait of Minister Iona Campagnolo
  • 2009.6.1.693 - Iona Campagnolo holding a trowel and weeds in Terrace Gardens, Government House, Victoria, BC

Research Potential

The Iona Campagnolo fonds documents social, political, economic, cultural events significant to BC and Canada in the latter half of the 20th century and document Campagnolo’s career as Federal MP, Skeena riding; Cabinet Minister in the Pierre Trudeau Government; President, Liberal Party of Canada; and post-political career in non-governmental organizations; as Chancellor of UNBC and as BC’s 27th Lieutenant-Governor. Records are of interest to academics in Political Science, Canadian and BC History, and Women and Gender Studies.

2009.6.1.371 - Canada Winter Games, Brandon, MB - Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Iona Campagnolo sit in navy and pale blue uniforms in crowded auditorium or arena at the opening of the gamesResearch Significance of the Political Papers Series

In 2011 the remainder of The Honourable Iona Campagnolo Archives (+/-25 metres) was transferred by Library and Archives of Canada to the Northern BC Archives and is identified as the Political Papers Series. Those Series document official activities and that of her office in her roles as Member of Parliament for Skeena, BC (1974-79), as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (1974-1976), as Cabinet Minister and as Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport under the Trudeau government (Sept. 15, 1976 - May 22, 1979). 

This series provides context to the federal political history of British Columbia and particularly that of the geographic region of Northern British Columbia in the 1970s. These records document:

  • The inner workings of the Canadian Parliamentary system
  • The linkages between regional–federal issues of concern
  • The impact of that of a Member of Parliament to bring regional issues to the federal level for debate and action
  • The activities of Campagnolo as a federal politician and cabinet minister that reflect political, social, and economic issues of concern to the federal government in the 1970s
  • Campagnolo’s extensive correspondence with other federal Ministries that document a wide range of issues that Campagnolo dealt with as an MP and Cabinet Minister
    • Subjects include: Aboriginal Affairs, Western Economic Development, Anti-Inflation Board; Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment, Women’s Rights, and Immigration.

2009.6.1.58 - Iona Campagnolo talking to Agnes Sutton in a field at Usk, 1974Other Records document the history of the creation of the position of Canada’s first Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport in Canada; and the origins of the Canadian government’s philosophy on sport fitness and athletics, its interactions with Canadian sports and athletics organizations and also documents Canada’s activities on the national and international scene in both the participating and hosting of organized sports and athletics. Records describe the activities of three associated government initiatives: ParticipACTION, Loto Canada, and the National Sport Recreation Administration Centre.

Campagnolo’s speeches document her political and personal philosophy about Canadian ‘national life’ delivered as an MP or Cabinet Minister and later as an advocate and consultant. They consist of 200+ speeches that she personally wrote throughout the course of her public service life. Records document:

  • Opinions on the state of the federal Liberal party in the 1970s
  • The Liberal Party’s loss of the federal election in 1979
    • Including Campagnolo’s correspondence to Pierre Trudeau on her personal election loss.

Such records provide insights into the internal workings of one of the major political parties in Canada in the 1970s. The Iona Campagnolo Political Papers Series is of specific research interest to academics in Political Science, Canadian and BC History, Women and Gender Studies, International Studies, and Recreation and Sports History.

Images (top to bottom): 

  • 2009.6.1.371 - Canada Winter Games, Brandon, MB - Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Iona Campagnolo sit in navy and pale blue uniforms in crowded auditorium or arena at the opening of the games
  • 2009.6.1.58 - Iona Campagnolo talking to Agnes Sutton in a field at Usk, 1974