For the past 29 years, the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA) has celebrated the city’s unique and storied past with the annual release of Limited Edition Pewter Collectibles. This year’s five-piece series launches Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, with a new ornament available for purchase every Monday through December 12.
“We take suggestions from everywhere,” confirmed Jan MacDonald, Director of Events with Downtown Kingston. “Emails, phone calls, walk-ins, Twitter call-outs. Some of them are more tongue-in-cheek and fun, but a lot of them are worth considering.”
According to MacDonald, the selected landmarks or organizations need to represent the city’s historic nature. “We want the collection to tell the story of Kingston because it’s a good one!”
The 2022 selected ornaments and their release dates are:
- Sepp’s Skis and Snowboards — November 14
- Central Public School — November 21
- The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts — November 28
- Kingston Frontenacs — December 5
- Kingston Trolley — December 12
In a media release, Downtown Kingston stated that the ornaments are $10 each when $25 worth of receipts from downtown businesses are presented at time of purchase. The ornaments have a regular retail value of over $20. Receipts dated after November 1, 2022, are valid and may be from several businesses. Receipts from all downtown businesses are applicable the BIA stated, including, of course, all holiday purchases. Quantities are limited and are available only while supplies last.
Ornaments are available at the following locations beginning November 14th:
Grand Theatre Box Office
218 Princess Street
Monday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Leon’s Centre Box Office
1 Tragically Hip Way
Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The box office will be open on one Monday only — Dec 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visitor Information Centre
209 Ontario Street
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday
A bit more about the selections…
The following is some more in-depth information from the Downtown Kingston BIA on the sites/entites selected for this year’s pewter collectibles.
Sepp’s Skis and Snowboards
“Records dating back to the late 1800s show Dr Isobel McConville as the tenant of this brick building. She was an early graduate of the Women’s Medical College and was the first female physician at Hotel Dieu Hospital. Her office remained there until 1919. Following that, Yorkshire Fish & Chips Shop and Neville’s Paint and Wallpaper occupied the space until Sepp Walzl opened Sepp’s Ski Shop on September 15, 1972. Born in Italy, Sepp immigrated from Austria to Canada in the 1940s. He was the Ski School Director at Mont Ste. Agathe in Quebec before moving to Kingston and opening the business. In 1994, upon his retirement, current owners Mike Howard and Kristin Henrickson took over and with the development of the snowboarding industry, the business name was changed to Sepp’s Skis and Snowboards. This year, they celebrate 50 years in business.”
Central Public School
“The cornerstone for Central Public School was laid in the summer of 1887 and the following year, the school opened its doors to 56 pupils from all over the Kingston area. In June 1988, students and staff celebrated a century of excellence in education with many alumni attending festivities. Before the first limestone building on Sydenham Street suffered a fire and demolition by the wrecker’s ball in 1963, Central Public School proudly opened the first Kindergarten class in Kingston under the tutelage of Augusta Bowman in 1889, and it educated many of Kingston’s celebrated mayors, all of whom went on to higher education. Central School has always been the centre of community activities in downtown Kingston. It is still that way today as school staff, alongside local residents and business people continue to work together to make the education of our children our top priority.”
The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
“On the Northeastern shores of Lake Ontario, the historic 1830’s Morton Brewery site has been reconceived into a world-class Performing Arts Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. The only facility of its kind in the region, the 80,000 square-foot Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts unites a diverse range of performance and creative art disciplines under a single roof, housing a 566-seat Performance Hall, classrooms, rehearsal and performance spaces for the School of Music and the Departments of Drama, Film and Media at Queen’s University. A generous donation from Queen’s graduate Alfred Bader and his wife Isabel resulted in its name.”
“The Kingston Canadian Major Junior “A” Hockey Club joined the Ontario Hockey Association in the spring of 1973, when the franchise was moved from Montreal. The team played as the Kingston Canadians in the Memorial Centre until 1988, the next year as the Kingston Raiders and then in 1989 became the Kingston Frontenacs. The Frontenacs play in the number one junior circuit in the world, the Canadian Hockey League, and are charter members of the Ontario Hockey League, which consists of 20 teams made up of players ranging from 16 to 20 years of age. With the opening of the K-Rock Centre (now Leon’s Centre) in 2008, the team found a new home. Many players over the years have gone on to be drafted and play in the National Hockey League. The 2022-23 season celebrates 50 years of the franchise.”
“Trolley tours are thematic representation of the original street cars such as those from the late 19th century in Kingston. The Confederation Tour Train, a number of open cars towed behind a vehicle, began operating in 1967 by the Kingston Chamber of Commerce as a Centennial Project. In 2012, Kingston & the Islands Boatlines (now Kingston Destination Group) purchased the single trolley and the service was renamed Kingston Trolley Tours. Four additional trolleys we added and the colours changed to red to the align with elements such as the Fort Henry Guard, the RMC tunics and it’s also the perfect accent colour in this limestone city. Hop On Hop Off service is offered along with specialty tours – the trolleys have become an iconic fixture in downtown, circulating nine months a year.”