Toys, Coca-Cola products among items at collectibles show

Lisa Goudy
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Brian Lillie stands next to some of his toys and parts for sale on at the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum's 37th annual Antiques/Collectibles Show at the Convention Centre at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds on March 29, 2014.

Since 1984, Brian Lillie has come from Victoria, B.C. to Moose Jaw for the Antiques/Collectibles Show.

“I like the hospitality here. It’s a very friendly environment … I meet all these people through the years. They’re like family,” he said. “Toys are my hobby.”

The 37th annual show, put on by the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village and Museum, was held on Friday and Saturday at the Convention Centre at the Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds.

Lillie sold mostly Meccano parts and toys such as vehicles, steam engines, planes and soldiers. Ever since he first set up a booth at the show, he’s been given the same location.

He said this year the show was “busier than ever.”

“It’s really good. This time last year you had a big ice storm and it keeps people away and they come from all over,” said Lillie, “But this way everybody wanted to get out because the weather changed.”

Charlie Meacher, one of the organizers of the event, said the show is a way to bring collectors together and trading or selling their collections.

“From the museum’s point of view … it’s a fundraiser for us. It’ll help maintain our collection at the museum,” said Meacher. “It costs a lot of money to keep that place open.”

Moving in and restoring the 100-year-old grain elevator, for example, has cost more than $100,000.

Meacher added a few years ago, the museum almost considered not doing the show anymore until turnout.

This year the tables were sold out three weeks in advance of the show with 21 tables on the waiting list. There were 183 tables sold with between 60 and 65 vendors as many vendors used multiple tables.

Vendors came from most of the Prairie provinces, including Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia. About 15 of the vendors had never vended at the show before this year.

“Right now, it’s booming … It’s increased in popularity,” said Meacher. “The variety of stuff this year is better than it has been.”

Dan Kirschman from Moose Jaw was selling a bunch of Coca-Cola collectables. He’s been collecting those products for 15 years.

“Now I’m onto something else. So I either sell it now or else I leave it to my kids to deal with,” he said. “So I just figured I’d start turning some of it around for the fun.”

Some of the items for sale included posters, playing cards, magnets, puzzles and a calendar.

“I’ve come to look around, but this is the first time I’ve actually vended here and it’s full of people. It’s a good turnout,” said Kirschman, adding he’d return to the show next year. “It’s newer stuff (I have). Newer stuff going to be hard to sell, not like the old stuff.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Coca-Cola, Convention Centre

Geographic location: Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village, Saskatchewan, Manitoba Alberta British Columbia Moose Jaw

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