In 1979 the Winnipeg Jets became part of the NHL. This meant that the local arena got a make-over and the Manitoba Governor at that time commissioned a portrait of the Queen. When finished the portrait stood between the Canadian and U.S. flags. It was 15 feet by 22. Built on oak panels, it took over 200 hours to paint! This portrait of Queen Elizabeth was once the biggest anywhere. It became a part of hockey lore and some might add it gave the Jets a home-ice advantage. One habit the players did in their practices was to aim the puck at the portrait and shoot. Most tried to get the Queen’s lips. As a result the portrait was in bad condition when the Jets moved.
In 1996 the Winnipeg Jets moved to Arizona.
In 1999 the portrait of the Queen was put away.
After 1999 the portrait moved all over Canada for 15 years. Who wanted such a big picture and where would it fit? Who would want to buy it? Finally it was kept at the Historical Society in Ontario, Canada. The person in charge of it was Ms. Anya Wilson. As it always goes, she knew a friend who knew a friend, who knew a local artist name Amanda Von Riesen. Amanda is renovating the portrait. The picture is being kept in a secret location near or in Winnipeg. Once again, a friend knew a friend and along came a man name Jamie Boychuk. Mr. Jamie Boychuk bought the portrait of the Queen. The aim is to finish renovating the portrait and place it in the MTS Centre, the new home of the Winnipeg Jets.
It is kind of funny cause the Jets are not showing any interest in the portrait. Jets communication director Scott Brown indicates that there is no thoughts in putting the Queen in the MTS Centre. The picture is to big and will affect some of the level’s vantage points. Other sites that can hold the portrait can be the new rail terminal or the airport?
Now that the portrait is almost ready, where or what will happen to it? Where will it finally rest? Right now who knows. Me personally I would really like to see it sit where it was before, between the two flags. What about you?