Fonds RC0272 - Pirate Group Inc. fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Pirate Group Inc. fonds

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Edition area

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1981-2005 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

84.3 m of textual records.
ca. 27,360 sound recordings
ca. 250 moving images.

Publisher's series area

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Pirate is the largest and most awarded advertising production company in Canada. Founded in Toronto in 1990, Pirate began in radio but has since expanded to television and the internet, has added a New York office, and as of 2012 operates 10 recording studios. The company specializes in voice, music, and sound design, and also employs music composers, script and concept writers, and a large team of producers and casting directors. Pirate is highly regarded in the industry for its innovation—it was one of the first studios to offer both writing and production services, one of the first to build its own studios, and has developed a rights-cleared music search engine for advertisers. Pirate’s early success attracted an ever-increasing client base from many different sectors of society including airlines, the automotive industry, charitable organizations, cultural and educational institutions, financial institutions, the food and beverage industry, governments and government agencies, media and telecommunication companies, retail stores, unions and more.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The first accrual consists of six series:
Series 1 – Case Files
Series 2 – Additional Case Files
Series 3 – Production Log Books
Series 4 – Additional Audio-Visual Material
Series 5 – Terry O’Reilly’s Files
Series 6 – Press, Promotional Material, and Awards

Series 1 is particularly significant, containing 12,000 case files documenting the creation of approximately 50,000 thirty-second radio and television commercials produced by Pirate Group Inc. (Toronto office) and its predecessor companies: O’Reilly Radio Inc., Robert Armes Inc., Shurman Armes Crawford, and The Air Company, from 1981 to 2005. These files document the entire production process from the initial phase through to the finished product, though some files are more complete than others. The material found in the file may include: concept presentations; casting sessions and auditions; ACTRA contracts and other actor contracts; script progression and revision; briefing documents; final recording-day scripts with directors notes; recording session schedules; music demos, final tracks, sheet music and lyrics; production edits; final audio mixes, element breakdown of the recording (voices, sound effects, music); final radio and TV commercials; budget estimates, quotations and final billing; etc.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The first accrual (2011-029) was acquired in 2010 and the second accrual (2012-023) was acquired in 2012, both from Pirate Group Inc.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access restrictions:

Sound and video recordings: Master recordings may not be accessed. Where they exist, copy recordings may be accessed. Some copies are located with the archive itself as CDs, DVDs, etc. (indicated in the database by a box number), while others may be accessed as digital copies via computer terminals in our reading room (indicated in the database by the term ‘digital copy’).

Paper files: Because files may contain personal information, such as employee information, access is restricted. Researchers may apply for access in writing by sending an email to, providing their name and contact information, as well as the purpose of their research. They may also apply in person. Researchers will be required to sign a research agreement prior to accessing the paper files.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

First and second accrual: Case File Database
First accrual: Online Finding Aid
Second accrual: Online Finding Aid

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Further accruals are expected.

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