Fonds MsC-101 - Norman Klenman fonds

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Norman Klenman fonds

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  • Textual records
  • Moving images
  • Photographic materials
  • Records in electronic form (born-digital)

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

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  • [ca. 1946]-2011 (Creation)
    Klenman, Norman

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Physical description

3.21 m of textual records
5 film reels
2 CD-R’s
15 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Norman Klenman was born in Brandon, Manitoba on August 2, 1923 to Alexander B. Klenman, and his wife Anna (nee Polsky). After Alexander’s retirement in 1934, the family moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. Klenman attended Kitsilano Junior and Senior High School, where he developed an interest in journalism, writing for the school’s monthly broadsheet KHS Life and reporting on junior sports for The Vancouver Province. After graduating in 1942, he took first year Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) before joining the Royal Canadian Air Force in March 1943. In 1945 he graduated as a Pilot Officer, Observer (Navigator B Coastal Command), and briefly taught at Stevenson Field in Winnipeg.

Klenman returned to UBC in September 1945 and majored in English and History. Over the next few years he wrote sports columns for "The Vancouver Sun", magazine articles and CBC radio dramas, and he was a member of Earle Birney’s informal writing group. After graduating with an M.A. in 1949, Klenman joined Reuters News Agency in London and also wrote a series of children’s plays for BBC Television. In 1951, he married artist and musician Daphne Dagmar Joy Timmins. They later had two children, Anna and Alexander.

Upon the invitation of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Klenman moved to Ottawa in 1952, and spent the next three years writing film documentaries and short dramas. In 1954, he left the NFB and moved to Toronto to write freelance and to work for CBC Television as a series head writer (show-runner) for documentary, variety, public affairs and drama programs. In 1958 he formed Klenman-Davidson Productions Ltd. with William Davidson to produce two Canadian feature films, "Now That April’s Here" (1958) and "Ivy League Killers" (1959).

In 1964, Klenman was recruited by Westinghouse Network to write for the Steve Allen Show in Los Angeles, and later ABC Television invited him to write for the Les Crane Show in New York. The following year the Klenman family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, where they retained a residence until 1989, although Klenman spent the majority of his time in Vancouver after 1975. In California, Klenman was primarily a freelance writer for television networks and film studios, although he worked for a short time as a writer for the 20th Century Fox Studio and became a series staff writer for Universal Studios, working on the serial drama The Survivors. He also wrote for the Canadian television series The Starlost in 1973.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Klenman formed Galanty Productions Limited (Galanty Limited), Bull and Bear Productions, The Canadian Kinetoscope Company Limited, Canadian Cinematographic Productions Limited and The Canadian Talking Picture Company Limited with Daryl Duke and Edgar Cowan. These Toronto-based companies produced several hour-long documentary programs for CTV, and Galanty Productions Limited was a founding partner of CITY-TV in Toronto in the late 1960s.

In 1975, while still freelancing in Los Angeles, Klenman and Duke established Western Approaches Limited, which acquired a license to open the independent Vancouver television station CKVU-TV. The first broadcast was on September 1, 1976. In 1989, as founders and principal owners, they sold their interest in the station to CanWest Broadcasting.

In 1990, Klenman retired to Salt Spring Island and published the internet journal "The Salt Spring Island Tatler" for ten years. In retirement, Klenman continues to edit other screen writers’ work and has completed several original feature film screenplays of his own. He currently resides in Surrey, British Columbia.

Custodial history

The records were in the custody of Norman Klenman until their donation to Simon Fraser University Library, Special Collections and Rare Books.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of correspondence, scripts, screenplays, newsletters, articles, films and other records created or accumulated by Norman Klenman over the course of his career as a journalist, film and television writer and producer, and the joint owner of the CKVU television station. The records include draft and final version scripts and screenplays and related records for radio, television, and film (both produced and unproduced). Also included is correspondence, agreements and financial and project-related records of various production companies of which Klenman was a joint owner, in particular Galanty Productions Limited (Galanty Limited). The fonds also contains some personal records; these include correspondence pertaining to Klenman’s career, as well as articles and other writings by Klenman. The records have been arranged into the following six series: Personal records (2002-2010); Articles and general writings (1986-2006); Business files (1952-2004); General scripts, screenplays and related records ([ca. 1946]-2010); Television scripts, screenplays and related records (1956-2010); Film scripts, screenplays and related records (1953-2008); and CKVU records (1958-2011).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were donated by Norman Klenman in three separate accessions: March 2007 (some additional autobiographical notes obtained in 2010); November 2010; and March 2011. The first accession was processed and described in July 2010; the second and third accessions were processed and described in January 2013.


Arrangement of the files into series provided by the archivist.

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Many of the works in this fonds, eg. scripts, screenplays, newsletters and other written material, are under copyright. Researchers are required to secure permission from the copyright holder(s) for uses of this material other than those covered by ‘fair-dealing’.

Finding aids

File list is available.

Finding aid

Associated materials

Norman Klenman and Daryl Duke met as students at UBC in the 1940s, and maintained a close personal and working relationship until Duke’s death in 2006. Additional records pertaining to Norman Klenman, CKVU and Klenman’s working and private relationship with Daryl Duke may be found in the Daryl Duke fonds (MsC 120) at this institution.

Related materials


Further accruals are expected.

General note

Additional biographical information may be found in the series “Personal records”. A list of Klenman’s television, film and other credits may be found in Appendix A of the online version of this finding aid.

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Created Sept. 26, 2014 MH

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  • English

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