Calgarians show off their lifelong passion for collecting

Many people can boast that they’ve collected something in their lifetime; whether it’s books, model cars, dolls or garden gnomes. Though the focus of their collections might be different, people like to hear about what others are up to.

We have branched out into the collecting communities in Calgary to find out what wacky and wonderful things our neighbours are interested in. Have you ever wanted to see what a collection of 65 cars looks like? What about a house full of porcelain dolls?

We’ve found the collectors, and now you can have a peek inside their world. What makes a collector interested in collecting in the first place? How did they start collecting? Where do they see their collections going? Visit the Collecting in Calgary website to find out what these collectors are all about. (Collecting in Calgary)

Some of the collectors that we have profiled include:

Tim Davis has been interested in trains since he was a young child. His father had a model railroad in his basement, which is one of the reasons Tim got into model railroading himself.Train enthusiast, Tim Davis, has been interested in trains his entire life, but has been actively collecting HO scale model trains for 15 years. He now operates his own railroad in his basement.
Photo by: Matthew Hayhurst

Fred Phillips has been collecting cars since he was 14 years old. Since then, he has amassed a collection of very rare and hard to find cars ranging from Daytona 500 pace cars to one-off production cars from Europe.

Carolyn Alway not only collects porcelain dolls, she builds them. Everything from modeling the porcelain to making the dresses, Carolyn has done it all. She currently has over 200 dolls in her collection. Her dolls come in all shapes and sizes.

Will Reeb isn’t your average figurine collector. He collects ultra-rare Aurora plastic model kits from the ’70s. Though the company went out of business more than Up, up and away! Collecting in Calgary offers those passionate about collecting a glimpse into the lives and collections of other collectors in Calgary. 40 years ago, Will has still managed to find kits from back in the day. He builds and paints his own models to give them a more personalized look.

Harry Lillo is obsessed with the Ford Model T. But he doesn’t just collect cars, he collects accessories too. Harry says that the Model T was built with customization in mind. He has an array of steering wheels, hood ordainments, brake lights, rear-view mirrors and more. He tries to keep his collection authentic, and does not restore or modify the original parts.

The Collecting in Calgary website is produced in association with the Calgary Journal.

MHayhurst@cjournal.ca, AIp@cjournal.ca, BWeismiller@cjournal.ca