Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#014 "Elsinore Beer" - 5"x5" acrylic on wood panel

This tiny painting has a few very Canadian things going on with it. Beer, Strange Brew, Bob & Doug and Casa Loma. I will probably visit beer, Bob & Doug in some other pieces later on so I will go on with Casa Loma.
The castle on the label and brewery setting in "Strange Brew" is a place called Casa Loma, located in Toronto. It is now a museum and event space as well as host setting for a great Halloween Haunted house.
Casa Loma was commissioned by Sir Henry Pellatt in 1911. Pellatt, a Canadian stockbroker born in Kingston, Ontario had amassed a fortune in the family brokerage by the age of 22 and had vast investments in electricity, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the North West Land Company. Casa Loma took 3 years to build and cost $3.5 million and was the hub of grand social events. Pellatt filled Casa Loma with artwork from Canada and around the globe.
As Pellatt partied on and expanded Casa Loma's grounds, he cashed in stocks and took out loans. After WWI his investments fizzled and he could no longer fend off the debt collectors. He and his wife Lucy moved to the family farm in Kingston while they auctioned off what they could and left their castle to the debt collectors.
During the 20's Casa Loma became a hot spot for big band jazz... with greats from around the world playing for crowds but in the 30's Depression Casa Loma was once again abandoned. The Kiwanis Club of Toronto took over and began operating it as tourist attraction up until 2011 when it was officially taken over by The Casa Loma Corporation... the City of Toronto is still the sole owner.
Take a listen to "The Casa Loma Stomp" by The Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra, the house band of Casa Loma back in the late 20's:

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