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Winnipeg’s Queen Portrait for Sale


You could own a piece of Winnipeg sports lure, as the Queen portrait from Winnipeg Arena is available via online auction.

During the original Winnipeg Jets‘ run in the city from 1972-1996, the team played at Winnipeg Arena, which was distinguished by a large portrait of the Queen that hung from the rafters. Actually, calling the painting large might be an understatement–according to the auction listing, it is 16 feet tall by 14 feet wide and weighs around 600 lbs.

Winnipeg Arena was demolished a decade ago, but the picture has lived on and continued its own interesting history. More from the Winnipeg Free Press:

The gigantic painting was supposed to return to Winnipeg after a pair of CN Rail executives, Jamie Boychuk and Michael Cory,  acquired it a year and a half ago.

Judging by the ad, those plans subsequently changed.

The five-by-seven-metre oil-on-plywood portrait hung from the rafters of the now demolished site of the old Winnipeg arena for 20 years.

Commissioned by then-Manitoba Lt.-Gov. Francis Laurence Jobin, the gigantic piece was painted by Gilbert Burch and unveiled with great ceremony back in 1979.

With the end of the arena, it looked like it was also the end of the portrait until the CN executives stepped in and saved it from the scrap heap of history.

As of 2015, the portrait had sat inside a storage facility in Whitby, Ont., since 2002. During its hibernation, the topic of the painting and its future has came up regularly in Winnipeg, and it found more traction when the NHL returned to the city in 2011.

The auction has been posted to Kijiji, and can be viewed here.

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