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Gary Elwood Nichol fonds

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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 20-002


Gary Elwood Nichol fonds. -- ca. 1980s -- 9 one-inch master video reels (.6 m of media materials)


Born in Combermere, Ontario, Gary Elwood Nichol was a documentary filmmaker. He lived several years in Toronto and Ottawa before settling in Vietnam where he gave up filmmaking and pursued painting. He was married to Tchu Chin and had three children. Nichol died in Saigon 25 March 2009.


Fonds is comprised of nine one-inch master video reels of ten documentaries produced by documentary filmmaker Gary Elwood Nichol in the 1980s. Of primarily an Indigenous focus, the films were produced in co-operation with Indigenous communities and cover such themes as healing circles, substance abuse, suicide, the Pope’s original and failed visit to the Dene in 1984, Indigenous artists, etc. Shown primarily on CBC and PBS and in-flight on Air Canada, titles include: Rice Dancer; Life Circles; The Circle Moving; The Only Gift; The Yerxa’s: An Ojibway Heritage; A Gathering in Denendeh; Nature’s Gallery; Jean Luc Grondin; Smiths Falls Carvers; and the National Film Board of Canada’s Trent Severn.


Custodial History: Fonds was created by and in the custody of Gary Elwood Nichol until he gave it to his friend, James Motluk, President/CEO of Guerrilla Films, Inc., in 1998. James Motluk, a Trent alumnus, donated the fonds to Trent University Archives in 2019.

Condition: Good

Immediate Source: Fonds acquired from James Motluk in 2019.

Restrictions: Fonds is available to members of Trent University only until 12 September 2023, after which time it will become available to the wider public.

General Notes: The films, located in two boxes, are currently inaccessible because of their format; it is the intention of the Archives to copy these into digital format in the future. Information about copyright and other rights is located in the James Motluk donor file in the Archives.