Friday, 17 April 2015

Where to hang the Queen's portrait - my top 5 suggestions

Source: U of M Libraries - Digital Collections 

With the Jets in the playoffs, local media is trying to find any unique angle they can for their coverage. The CBC decided to check in with Gilbert Burch's ca. 1979 portrait of the Queen.

Over the years I've spent my fair share of time wiring and researching this portrait in blog posts (and here), newspaper columns and on my radio show, so I thought I would weigh in on the CBC's Facebook question "where should the portrait go ?" Here are my top five places, in no particular order:

1. Union Station, Main Street at Broadway. Last year marked the end of a multi-year, multi-million dollar renovation that included a revamp of its public spaces to make them more pedestrian friendly. What better way to welcome people back to thespace than to show off Her Majesty? The rotunda area certainly has the required clearance.

2. Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. With its newly  bestowed "Royal" designation, maybe its time for some payback? The museum is currently fundraising for a new museum building at the site of the old Winnipeg International Airport. Certainly there would be enough wall space in an airplane hangar to host her. Better yet, instead of wedging the portrait into an existing space, she could be designed into a new space.

3.  The Bay Downtown, Main Floor. The Bay certainly has a long history with the Crown. On its main floor is where they display and sell their HBC Heritage Collection items. Adding the Queen to the mix would not only emphasize their heritage, but also attract customers to the downtown store.  

4. The Legislature. It seems an obvious choice as it is home to many royal portraits and sculptures. It was a trio of Lieutenant Governors that commissioned her, perhaps the new LG needs to get on the case and get this portrait of her boss installed in her government's legislature.  

5. The CBC Building. Since the CBC brought it up, I propose at the intersection of Portage and Spence, but facing the building. That way, when the news is being broadcast, two giant eyes will be staring in at the viewer !

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