Published: September 26, 2020 11:35 am ET
In the current edition of Rewind Robert Smith recalls a rather novel promotion from 50 years ago that was spearheaded by Bill Galvin, longtime Publicity official of the Ontario Jockey Club. It was a pretty ingenious endeavor that attracted the attention of a huge number of participants.
Fifty years ago The Ontario Jockey Club was a very well organized and successful entity. Their tracks were state of the art (two of the three fairly recently completed) and the on-track product rivalled any jurisdiction then in existence. The O.J.C. Publicity department was a very active segment of the operation and did a first-class job of promoting current and future events and happenings. They also were always eager to seek out new fans, even the youngsters, many of whom attended the races with their parents.
In 1971 under the guidance of Bill Galvin, future Hall of Fame writer and communicator, the Publicity folks repeated an exciting promotion called Art Derby For Kids. Previous competitions had been based on poetry, this one on art. The subject of the latest Art Derby was a Standardbred mare named Superior Princess and her young daughter Hieland Barbara. Both of these fine-looking animals were owned by Mrs. Edith Hie of Cobourg, Ont. It was through the generosity of Mrs. Hie and her husband Cliff that these two were “loaned” to Bill Galvin for this interesting event.
In order to be eligible for the 1971 Art Derby the child had to be 12 years or younger by October 15, which was the closing date for the competition. The task at hand was for the child to submit a creative drawing of Superior Princess and her daughter. It was to be drawn on any size piece of paper up to 20 x 24 inches using any type of pen or pencil. Included in the permissible tools were watercolours, magic markers, poster colors and acrylics. Oils were not acceptable. An entrant who met the age qualifications could submit as many drawings as they wished.
Children who wished to get a close-up view of Superior Princess and her cute little foal were advised to tune in to the Uncle Bobby Show, a long-running children’s program of that time. This popular educational show was then in its eighth year and aired daily except Sunday on Toronto’s CFTO which was Channel 9. For those not in the Toronto viewing area there were six other locations with varying dates throughout August and early September to choose from. So wide was the viewing area that it included the cities of Windsor, Edmonton, Calgary, Halifax, Regina and even St. John’s, Nfld.
Owner Cliff Hie holds broodmare Superior Princess while her foal is attended to by a visitor on the Uncle Bobby Show. A TV cameraman catches all of the action. That’s “Uncle Bobby” with the striped trousers. (Courtesy of Bill Galvin)
Two judges were selected to oversee the Canada-wide competition. Mrs. Kay Boa, Head of the Art Dept. at Ridley College in St. Catherines, and Barry MacKay, a bird artist and naturalist were chosen. Mr. MacKay was a regular guest on the Uncle Bobby Show.
The grand prize for winning the 1971 Art Derby was a fully paid trip to the fabulous new Disney World in Orlando, Florida via Eastern Air Lines. The first prize also included the teacher of the winner who would accompany the child. This was a major prize as Disney World had just opened at this time and very few people had visited there.
AND THE WINNER IS…
In October of 1971 the winner of the contest was announced. That lucky person was 11-year-old Kim Thoms, daughter of Wm. and Ann Thoms, and a student at Beverly Acres School in Richmond Hill, Ont. A horse lover, Kim created her prize-winning art during her spare time at school. The judges commented that Kim’s art was an excellent piece which went beyond the horse and it was obvious that she put a great deal of effort into her work.
Taking second prize of $50 was Teri Lynn Maxwell of Scarborough, Ont. with third going to Melanie LeMarchant of Cobourg, Ont. who received $25. Jackie Cameron of Amherst, N.S. and Heather Fisher of Morinville, Alta. both received honourable mention.
Three Derbies were held in the years 1969, 1970 and 1971 all with similar formats. They reached huge audiences through newspapers, magazines including extensive front-page coverage in the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. The total media coverage for the three Derbies was 9,236,400. It was estimated that this year’s event attracted 300,000 viewers on the TV programs when the mare and foal were guests.
Bill put on a lot of “neat” promotions and special events back in the day. He staged donkey races, arranged for Santa Claus to land in the centrefield, put on sleigh rides for kids, held Christmas dinners for the horsemen and that’s just a small sampling of his many endeavors.
Quote For The Week: “A smile can start a conversation without saying a word.”
Who Is It?
Around the same time as the contest described in today’s Rewind (within a year or two) another version of the Art Derby was held. Can you name the three people in the above photo as they appear in the TV studio with that year’s “celebrities”. Second from left is the TV show host Uncle Bobby. (Courtesy of Bill Galvin)
Where Was It?
Can you identify where this famous photo was taken? Now how about naming the winning horse and driver and what event was taking place. That’s a lot but I’ll bet our experts will come up with it. (Hoof Beats Photo)
GRT public art display misused to display hate symbol in Cambridge – KitchenerToday.com
A quick response from the region’s transit provider after a hate symbol was briefly seen on Sunday on the Cambridge Centre Mall transit terminal’s public art display.
Peter Zinck is the Director of Transit Services for the Region of Waterloo – speaking with 570 NEWS, he said that the station’s pinboard had been manipulated to show a swastika and that the behaviour was promptly addressed by GRT staff in under an hour.
“We’ve turned the matter over to police, who will investigate. We will be fully supporting their investigation in any way that GRT can.”
Zinck said that the report came through from a media service on Sunday morning around 9:00 a.m. Staff members were sent to the Cambridge Centre station to re-arrange the board before forwarding the issue to regional police. He said that Grand River Transit places a high priority on these kinds of issues – whether it’s a public art display or a reported piece of graffiti.
When asked about problematic behaviour with the pin-board display and whether a decision would be considered to remove it, Zinck said that this is the first reported circumstance of the public art piece being misused in this way.
“Hopefully this is just a one-off, and that people recognize this is there for public art and not for use of hate symbols.”
Zinck said that Grand River Transit remains committed to providing a safe environment for all riders and that they condemn symbols of hate or racial intolerance without reservation.
He added that if members of the public see anything like this on transit, they can report the behaviour on GRT’s website or through their call centre.
“… it’s just not acceptable on our services. We’ll deal with the matter quickly, and follow-up through the Waterloo Regional Police Services to ensure it’s investigated.”
Squamish Art Walk on tap – Squamish Chief
In a year where events of all types have been wiped out because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s comforting that a couple of cornerstones will be returning, albeit in a different form.
The Squamish Arts Council’s annual Art Walk is set to run from Nov. 1 to 28, with some pandemic adaptations, of course.
Executive director Amy Liebenberg said that while the number of participating artists, at roughly 25, is consistent with past years, there are understandably fewer hosting venues in 2020.
“They’re either not open or not interested in encouraging excess clientele, especially if they’re just coming to look and not necessarily coming to patronize the business,” she said.
The venues taking part this year as Zephyr Café, Saha Eatery, Squamish Academy of Music, Northyards Cider, the Squamish Public Library, The Ledge Community Coffee House, Andy Anissimoff Gallery and Britannia Mine Museum.
While the event’s art-viewing element is similar to years past, the more radical change has to do with studio tours and other artist interaction, as many of the studios are small and not suited to welcoming the public for a peek behind the curtain at this time.
Instead, artists will share “the tools they use, the processes they use and how their wonderful, creative imaginations transform ordinary materials into the magic you see all around,” Liebenberg said. The tours will be available on Instagram by searching the hashtag #squamishartist.
“Enjoy the behind-the-scenes tours and enjoy what these incredible artists are making,” she said.
As well, the Anonymous Art Show will be back for a second go-around.
“We have some of the most amazing artists I’ve ever known who live and work in Squamish and so it’s going to be really fun to have them back again for some Anonymous Art Show pieces,” she said.
Artists will submit their pieces by early November, while the show is set for Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.
“You hope to be the first in line to grab a piece that most delights you,” she said.
Introducing our Zephyr Cafe location of collaborative art work that will be displayed for our Art Walk program launching…
In terms of participants, Liebenberg said there are always a few surprises, as last year, there were several who hadn’t painted in many years if ever before, while there were some who work in a different medium, such as textiles, trying their hands at something new.
Liebenberg said that with many artists having had tough times this year, they would appreciate a purchase or, at the very least, a message of support for a job well done.
“Our creative community deserves all of our support and a big round of applause for continuing to do some pretty heavy emotional lifting on behalf of the community,” she said.
For more, visit squamishartscouncil.com.
Foyer Gallery set for fundraiser
One of the Art Walk participants, Foyer Gallery at the Squamish Public Library, will hold a fundraising event of its own in November.
The gallery was unable to host its traditional events, a May gala with an exhibit in the lead-up, where for a $50 sponsorship, patrons can take part in a “raffle for art” event.
This year, supporters are encouraged to take part in a pay-what-you-can campaign of sponsorship. Each supporter will be entered into a random draw for one of six pieces of artwork by a local artist or a one-on-one virtual art lesson from curator and painting instructor Toby Jaxon. To donate, head to squamishlibrary.ca.
“We formatted it and decided that we’d take a stab at getting some donations before 2020 ends,” she said with a chuckle.
Among the artists donating pieces are three volunteers, also known as the “hanging crew” for their work installing new exhibits monthly or, now during COVID, every six weeks: 20-plus-year veteran Fran Solar, 13-year helper Linda Wagner and, in her third year, relative newbie Karen Yaremkewich.
The three have not only diverse mediums, with Wagner being an oil painter, Yaremkewich being a fabric artist and Solar working with metal, but they also have distinct skills when installing the shows.
“Fran is a master at creating interesting vignettes. We’ve got these three beautiful display cases, so that’s her specialty. Linda, she’s super gifted at figuring out where all the wall art should go and coordinating the pieces based on size and style and colours. Karen, she’s really proactive at moving the inventory around, getting up on the ladder—and it doesn’t hurt that she’s super tall,” Jaxon said.
Jaxon added that she’s also been creating virtual versions of the galleries so visitors can decide if there’s a piece they’d like to see more closely or purchase before arriving, especially given the library’s limited hours.
Yellowknife drugstore stocking local art for holiday season – Cabin Radio
Craft sales face a tricky time this holiday season, so a downtown Yellowknife drugstore is stepping in to provide shelf space for local artisans.
Sutherland’s Drugs will spend several weeks setting aside room for the city’s craftspeople to sell their goods. Pharmacy owner Aaron LaBorde said the store wants to give back to customers and the arts community.
“We’re just trying to help some [customers] that otherwise, in a regular year, would have had the opportunity to attend some shows and stuff like that,” LaBorde told Cabin Radio.
“And of course, support the local artisans and give people a little bit of a chance to buy stuff that was produced locally.
“With the way the things are this year, it’s something that we thought would be a nice thing to do for the town.”
While some of the city’s usual festive craft fairs are going ahead, others have been cancelled outright and even those proceeding will have restrictions on numbers.
LaBorde said a couple of artists have already reached out to the store, looking to participate. Sutherland’s can’t guarantee everyone’s items will be displayed, but is trying to assess the level of interest from the arts community.
“We’re a local business here too, and we appreciate all the support that we get,” LaBorde said.
“We’ve been really trying our best to support other local businesses … just to try to improve the situation here in Yellowknife, because that’s where everybody’s at right now.”
Those interested in selling their products at Sutherland’s this Christmas are encouraged to call the store at (867) 873-4555.
This coverage of the NWT’s business sector during the Covid-19 pandemic is sponsored by the NWT’s Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment. Visit Buy North for more information on businesses near you.
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