The recent history of the Georgian Triangle area has a direct connection to Blue Mountain Resorts. As the Resort grew so did tourism throughout the area. One of the first major improvements to Blue Mountain came in 1949 when Jozo Weider converted the Kinsey farm barn into the new accommodation center of activities for the resort.
To create a unique facility Jozo had all the barn board siding removed, then using the foundation of the original barn and all the support beams and frame, Jozo had one foot lengths of old cedar fencing stacked between the original beam work and held in place with mortar. This allowed him to put in windows, and yet created a solid distinctive facility that would be the center of all activity at the mountain for many decades.
The interior of the new facility was original and charming. A large fireplace was positioned at the north end of the building, with a humorous painting above the mantle of people square dancing by Walter Trier. Lighting was supplied by large wagon wheels hung from the ceiling, painted yellow and equipped with lantern bulbs. The second floor offered dormitory style rooms, in a u-shape around the corridor, with a railing to prevent guests from falling down onto the open dance floor below. The walls of the barn were also covered in cartoon like paintings of prize-winning cows, also by Trier. The après-ski parties organized by Jozo are still to this day, legendary.
Collingwood’s historical artist Nick Hodson captured the spirit and character of the now infamous Ski Barn in his painting; In the Beginning – Jozo’s Ski Barn.
Mr. Hodson was born in 1916 in Russia, to English parents. Later moving to England for his formal education and then to Canada in 1932. Initially sent to Nottawa, Mr. Hodson eventually found work in Collingwood. Although Nick has drawn since he was a child, he didn’t seriously start to work with oils and acrylics until 1964. He took lessons from locally renowned artists Brown and Kemp. Mr. Hodson’s works are in many private and corporate collections in Canada, USA, and internationally. Collingwood Town Hall currently has 10 framed sketches of Mr. Hodson’s on permanent display in the Council Chambers. Mr. Hodson’s style is historically accurate, and very detailed.
In 1993 Mr. Hodson received the Order of Collingwood for his countless hours of volunteer work in the community. The Blue Mountain Foundation for the arts has published a book of Mr. Hodson’s drawing, “A Collingwood Collection – Drawings by Nick Hodson” The first run of this book sold out quickly after its release in 2002, a second release of the book will be available early this October.
Late last autumn, Mr. Hodson came into the gallery with one of his paintings that needed re-framing. It was a wonderful image of the Ski Barn at Blue Mountain, painted in the early 1950’s. Upon seeing the image we immediately asked if he would consider letting us publish this historically significant piece and adding it to our Georgian Collection of local paintings. He graciously agreed and we are delighted make this delightful image available to everyone.
The official launch of the newest edition to the Georgian Collection, In the Beginning- Jozo’s Ski Barn by Nick Hodson will take place on Saturday October 6. Please stop by the gallery that day as Mr. Hodson will be on hand from 1 – 3 pm to personalize the images. He will also be bringing original paintings and sketches, some of which will be available for purchase.
Please contact the Georgian Frame Gallery for further information on the Georgian Collection and Nick Hodson’s art show.
Georgian Frame Galley
172 Hurontario Street