1901 Main Street
'Home Sweet Home'
Location: NE corner Main & Royal; South Face
Occupant: Kay Four Properties
District: West Kildonan
Neighbourhood: Seven Oaks
Artist(s): Mandy van Leeuwen, Franklin Fernando
Sponsors: Herc Rentals, Dulux Paints, Take Pride Winnipeg!
Painters: Assisted by Jennifer Mosienko and Michel St. Hilaire
Overview by Mandy van Leeuwen: Through the art of positive
transformation, a new Mural has been created through a meaningful collaboration
with Kay Four Properties and Mural Artist Mandy van Leeuwen. This thoughtful
creation is a '70s themed giant still life that celebrates an iconic reflection of
Winnipeg, community and culture.
Through the vision of this project many symbolic items are presented as personal
memories and key aspects resembling a past time for the company owner Sam
Katz. A long row of house keys is a welcoming symbol to the many residents at
Kay Four Properties- noting that the open spaces are open for newcomers.
Cars, photos and objects also reflect nostalgic moments among the design elements.
Creative contributions to the project include a calendar featuring a photo by
Winnipeg's own John Paskievich, and a photo of Salisbury House Main and
Matheson Street location photographed by Bryan Scott. Featured display items
include a Folklorama passport, a Guess Who mix tape, The Golden Boy, The
Hudson's Bay Co. and The Countess of Dufferin. A family portrait of Sam's family-run
grocery shop is among others celebrated in the scene.
The 1700 square foot Mural also features the building's former company - a
Chrysler dealership in a retro photo of Joe Rewucki handing over the keys of a new
Dodge truck. If you owned a Plymouth Cuda in Winnipeg in the '70s, it would have
come right from here.
Detailed remarks from the Company:
According to many popular philosophers and economists there are
three things that are most important to people, food, shelter and
clothing. Kay Four Properties Inc. has been providing shelter
in the form of safe and affordable apartment rentals for more than 60
years. The company itself started with a different name in the 1950's as
a builder and developer and by the 1970's we became a rental agency.
We are in the third generation of family running it.
Our Mural celebrates Winnipeg and rents through one of the formative
decades of our company's history- the 1970's. As noted above, we
started to build and hold apartment buildings in the 1970's. It is also
the company's external accountant, when much of our apartment stock
was built, and when the president got married and had his children.
(Mural Elements Walkthrough begins) The Mural gives a nod
to the people and places that make our city, our office, and our company
so special. We partnered with renowned Mural artist Mandy Van
Leeuwen to create this unique and vivid Mural which centers around
the wall of an apartment in the year 1970. What might our renter have
had on their walls in 1970?
In the centre of our wall is a key holding rack with a shelf. The keys are
the most important element in our Mural which is why they are central.
They represent our clients, the renters. Our renters each have their own
unique Winnipeg and Manitoba story and often they are as unique as
the key on the chain. The icons on the wall and the shelf celebrate the
memories cherished by our renter while the keys celebrate where that
renter may have first come from.
There are ten sets of keys on the wall, many of which are on key chains
with an element celebrating the heritage of our renters and indeed of
many of our staff. There is room for more sets of keys and some keys do
not yet celebrate an identity. We may, in future years, add more keys to
this story because we may find more backgrounds to
- Taj Mahal - This renter who may from India proudly
has a keychain featuring the Taj Mahal.
- Dream Catcher - We recognize that we are all treaty
people- our tenant may be aboriginal but even if the renter is
not aboriginal we felt it important to recognize our relationship
with our first nations through this keychain.
- Nesting Dolls - Our renter may hail from East Europe.
Many East European nations appreciate nesting dolls so this
would remind them of the old country.
- Pakistani Slipper - Perhaps the renter hails from
Pakistan and has a colourful slipper to remind them of
- Map of Africa - This map of Africa comprised of beads
in the colours found in the flags of the nations of Africa could
easily be found on our renter's keys.
- Teddy Bear - RCMP Uniform - What is more iconic to
many than the RCMP; and our renter has a playful side so
they got a keychain with a stuffed bear.
- Jeepney - With Winnipeg's Filipino population of more than
77,000 it is quite possible that our renter hails from the
Philippines. The Jeepney is a very famous vehicle in that
country and the only Jeepney in North America resides in
- Portuguese Rooster - If our renter was from west
Europe they could have fond memories of Portugal's famous
So why does the renter have the many different photos and items on the
wall. Starting from the Main Street side of the wall and working back
- Our logo and address. This of course helps our renter
find out our office. Our logo features the sun rising over
- The Canadian Flag. This renter is proud to be living in
what they believe is the best country in the world.
- Our renter is proud to be living in their Home Sweet Home and
found a poster featuring a night time view, likely featuring a
photograph one of Winnipeg's parks.
- A photo of hard working immigrants in their corner store. This is
a real photograph of the store run by his parents, Haim and
Manya Katz, along with Sam's uncle Raber, his father's partner,
when they came to Winnipeg after the second world war. This
photo was taken around 1970 in that store, located in north east
Winnipeg, celebrates his family and the families of so many
hard working immigrants to Canada; people making a better life
for their children and for all of Canada.
- The Golden Boy - that famous icon of Manitoba which
speaks of the future prosperity of our province and all that live
- A 1962 Cadillac convertible. Our company had its start
with other new immigrants, Sam Chwaiewsky and his sons, Al
and Amos. One of Sam's first and fondest memories around
this industry is when his sister's then boyfriend, Al Chwaiewsky,
picked him up in this car and drove him to the construction site
of one of the buildings that they were constructing, 66 Morrow.
That building was sold in the 1960's but it came back to us
almost 20 years ago when we were asked to manage it for the
family that bought it from us more than 50 years ago.
- The Hudson's Bay Downtown - We know that
Manitoba was built on the back of the fur traders, many of
whom worked for the Hudsons Bay Company, the world's
oldest operating company. This building, and icon to Winnipeg
celebrates our province's history and shows that hard work can
lead to long term success.
- A Folklorama Passport - There are so many reasons
to include this iconic image of Winnipeg. The main reason we
include it is that this festival started fifty years ago, in 1970, the
year we set this Mural in. Folklorama celebrates the heritage of
many immigrant communities, and as you saw from the keys,
they are also a key to our success. Also, many of our staff and
our renters have been involved as volunteers for Folklorama for
- The Countess of Dufferin - the first locomotive steam
locomotive in western Canada, this iconic train still resides in
Winnipeg. Much of our mural revolves around transportation.
Having such an icon from our history was important.
- A Bottle of Sun Crest soda - this Manitoba bottled
soda had a bottle that our tenant could not help but keep in
- A Cassette tape - we are not sure but we believe that
this renter has a mixed tape of Guess Who and BTO songs on
the shelf. After all what else would a Winnipegger in 1970
- A Plymouth Cuda - our building, as you will see from
the final image, was originally the Eastern Chrysler dealership.
This Plymouth muscle car was indicative of what every young
man wanted to own in the 1970's and would have been sold
from our building. As it happens this image appears right on
the garage door that the car may very well have come into for
oil changes back in 1970.
- Salisbury House - The little red roof restaurant, unique
to Winnipeg , is where our company President and many of his
key staff spent a lot of their youth. In fact he brought his
girlfriend, now wife, to this Sals location on Main and McAdam,
and his children and other company Vice President used to
walk to it from their school for lunch or coffee. It is truly a
Winnipeg icon. A photo recreation of Winnipeg's Bryan
- Boys on the Street - on the 1970 calendar which is
hanging on our renter's wall is an iconic photo that is part of a
wonderful book of North End Winnipeg photos by John
Paskievich. Mr. Paskievich generously allowed us to reproduce
this photo of the type of playfulness that was typical of north
end boys and many of our employees grew up in this part of
- Last but certainly not least is a photo of Joe Rewucki handing
over the keys to a brand new Dodge truck right in front of this
very wall. This again celebrates North Winnipeg but more
importantly the heritage of our office building. We would not be
in this building had Mr. Rewucki not built it all those years ago.