Fonds MG 4304 - Muse Entertainment Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Muse Entertainment Fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Moving images
  • Sound recording

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Reference code

CA MUA MG 4304

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • approximately 1996-2009 (Creation)
    Muse Entertainment (Firm)

Physical description area

Physical description

16 m of textual records
20,594 of photographic records
466 of audio records
3,159 of moving image and sound recordings

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Muse Entertainment Enterprises Inc. is an independent Canadian film and television production company based in Montréal, Québec. Founded in 1998 by President and CEO Michael Prupas, Muse has produced, co-produced or provided production services on over 150 television movies and mini-series, television series and feature films both domestically and internationally. Muse Entertainment provides the services of legal and management consultants who specialize in financial structuring, tax credits and incentive funds. The company works in co-productions with counterparts and creative teams in countries such as the U.S.A., Australia, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Romania and South Africa. In 2000, a distribution arm was established: Muse Distribution International brings Muse Entertainment and other productions to a worldwide audience.

In 1998, Pebblehut Productions Inc. became the Muse affiliate in Toronto. Marilyn Stonehouse and Susan Murdoch founded Pebblehut in 1995, and were subsequently joined by Edythe Hall in 1996. Pebblehut’s principals have been represented on the Muse management board since then. Dogwood Pictures Inc. has been the Muse affiliate in Vancouver. Other company names affiliated with Muse have included Finances Film Canada, and Pearson Television International.

Michael Prupas is President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Muse Entertainment Enterprises Inc. He has a longstanding connection to McGill. He holds a BA, B.C.L., and LL.B. from McGill University. He established the first entertainment law course at McGill University’s Faculty of Law, and taught this course from 1997 to 2002. He practiced entertainment law at the law firm Heenan Blaikie for twenty years, where he was head of their entertainment law practice and senior partner. His experience and knowledge in the field of entertainment law led Prupas to form Muse Entertainment Enterprises Inc. in 1998 and the company quickly established itself as a successful organization in both domestic and international arenas.

At the time this fonds was acquired, other key executive positions at Muse were held by Jesse Prupas, VP Development and Distribution; Lorri Faughnan, VP Business Affairs; Sandy Jession, Chief Financial Officer; Irene Litinsky, head of Quebec production. Over the years, individuals holding management board positions at Muse have included Michael Jaffe, Pierre-Marc Johnson, and Howard Braunstein.

Muse productions have received prestigious domestic and international nominations and awards, including Gemini, Genie, Golden Globe and Emmy Awards. Human Trafficking won the Gemini Award for Best Dramatic Mini-Series and the Director’s Guild of Canada Team Award for Outstanding Television Movie/Mini-Series in 2006. The critically acclaimed television show Homicide: Life
on the Streets won several Emmy Awards for casting, directing, writing and acting, as well as three Peabody Awards for excellence in television broadcasting. Their television productions including This is Wonderland (2005) and Savage Messiah (2003) have also won several best-acting awards.

Muse Entertainment continues to bring award winning productions to an international audience. Since 2007 Muse has produced or co-produced acclaimed productions such as Durham County (winner of 5 Gemini Awards, 2008); the Bob Dylan bio-picture I’m Not There (winner of the Venice Film Festival CinemAvvenire Award for Best Film 2008); the 8 hour mini-series The Pillars of the Earth (nominated for 3 Emmy Awards and the Producer’s Guild of America Award, 2010). The controversial 4-part historical drama, The Kennedys airs in April 2011.

Custodial history

The ownership of this material has passed directly from Muse Entertainment and from Michael Prupas to McGill University, through its University Archives. In terms of physical custody, a significant part of the material came directly from the Muse head office at 3451 rue Saint-Jacques, Montréal, Québec: semi-active textual and electronic records were largely held in the office of Michael Prupas; and extensive audio-visual and electronic production records were held in a vault on site. Inactive textual records were held at a records storage service facility. Most film materials and many master video materials were stored at Vision globale, Montréal.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records created and accumulated in the course of film and television production activities. It provides an integrated and holistic view of executive, creative and operational areas at Muse and its affiliates. The material is particularly strong in documents relating to the legal, financing, and management aspects of the industry, revealing the behind the-scenes requirements for sustainable and commercially-successful production. This depth of administrative records provides a significant complement to the creative materials generally found in archival film holdings. The materials serve to illustrate the economic impact of cultural industries on communities, including business, labour, and suppliers, as well as talent. They also document the various government incentive programs from the perspective of theproducer.

While the focus in making the archival selection has been on executive and production records, the fonds also contains a broad sampling of technical, craft and creative activities. It includes examples of script development, casting, locations, wardrobe, continuity, shooting and production logistics, promotion, and distribution. Scripts for all Muse productions are included. From the perspective of content development, Muse productions have included numerous productions based or derived from real life stories, including Roch Thériault, Nancy Eaton, Jane Doe, Jerri Nielsen, Rudy Guiliani, and Victor Davis. There are also examples of productions related to musical performers the Monkees, and Ricky Nelson.

The fonds documents the work of numerous Canadian directors, including Anne Wheeler, Jerry Ciccoritti, Bruce McDonald, Gary Yates, Holly Dale, Christian Duguay, Roger Spottiswoode, Gary Burns, Sturla Gunnarsson, John L’Ecuyer, as well as international directors such as Darren Aronofsky.

The audio-visual materials cover completed, as-released and as-broadcast productions in professional formats (usually masters on Digital Beta) for domestic and international versions. Selected production materials have also been retained, particularly with a view to providing examples of production processes and creative decisions.

The audio-visual programs provide a strong archival record of successful prime-time television content produced by a Canadian company, and viewed both domestically and internationally.

The date range covers the establishment of Muse in 1998, including some legacy productions from Pebblehut, through to 2007.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English
  • French

Script of material

Language and script note

Some German, and occasional other languages when related to international versions of audio-visual records.

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Restrictions on access

The materials are open for consultation by researchers with one exception imposed by the Donor: all financial information relating to contractual agreements will be restricted for a period of ten (10) years from the date of the donation. Some records contain protected personal information that will managed according to privacy legislation requirements.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

The Donor retains copyright on the Muse Entertainment productions and related records, and all requests for licensing will be directed to the Donor.

The Donor has acknowledged that reproduction and access for educational purposes are permitted in accordance with the fair dealing provisions under the Copyright Act. In addition, the following uses are permitted, provided that they are not for commercial gain:
-Classroom screening of the audio-visual records
-Research and classroom use
-Reproduction with citation of the Donor in faculty presentations, lectures and scholarly online and paper publications
-Reproduction with citation of the Donor in student and post-graduate theses as well as in online and paper publications
-Sampling and use of up to sixty (60) seconds in student and faculty productions of the audio-visual records
-Reproduction and use in teaching materials and related tools

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Finding aid available

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Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Rachel Black 25/09/2018

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