Happy New Year!

2019 is upon us! One of my resolutions is to do a better job of keeping this site updated with my activity. Stay tuned. In the meantime – some bad news and some good.

Sadly, Joyne closed its doors just a few days ago, so my Heritage Collection is currently homeless. I hope to rectify that soon. The team at Joyne were incredibly supportive and I am grateful for their time and effort and wish them all the best! It was a good experience.

On a positive note, a friend nudged me out of my inertia and got me drawing again. I’m very excited to share this piece – I think it’s one of my best so far.

The Birks Building was built in 1929 for the well established jewellery company Henry Birks and Sons Ltd. The building was designed by Nobbs & Hyde, and features elements of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. At the time of its construction, the Birks Building was considered to be one of the most up to date and fully modern structures of its kind, costing more than a quarter of a million dollars to construct. The exterior of the building is beige brick, trimmed with marble and bronze and features a parapet roofline with arched crenellations. A flat canopy edged in metal is suspended over the entry door from decorative metal bosses.

In addition to the Birks store, the ground level has been home to Royal Shoes, Liggett’s and Tamblyn’s Pharmacy, and more recently, Mary Scorer Books & Bach, various clothing boutiques and restaurants. Over the years the upper floors have housed hundreds of occupants with a wide spectrum of interests; doctors, dentists, financiers, travel agents, and more. During the Second Word War, the fourth floor of the Birks Building housed an RCAF recruiting station. Skilled tradesmen were accepted with only a grade eight education or its equivalent, but to be a pilot or “observer” they needed grade 11 or better. Recruits for the RCAF Women’s Division had to be “ladylike” and definitely not “fast”, according to newspaper articles of the day.

The Birks building is a fine example of the beautiful architecture found in our Downtown Core. This portrait was made from reference photos created by Leonard Hillyard in 1962, specifically, photo PH-93-44-2 from the Local History Room at the Saskatoon Public Library.