“They were popular back in the 1960s,” Sid tells me as we stand in one of his many garages.
Built attached to his house, his old garage holds tools, machines and different parts of Sid’s antique/vintage collection. Looking up towards the ceiling, vintage banners, t-shirts, and hats are attached to the wooden beams above us.
“They’re souvenirs, all from different places” Sid says while pointing towards the banners attached to the ceiling. “You don’t see them anymore.”
From Disneyland to small lodges along the Alaska Highway, banners were the go-to souvenirs for all attractions.
“They were like collecting license plates, lots of people collected them.”
The fact that they were specific to a place, site or attraction made them desirable souvenirs on many people’s travels.
If they were desirable souvenirs then why did their popularity decline, I asked Grandpa.
“Oh, that’s a good question. They were really popular in the mid-1960s and then started to disappear. Traveling salesmen would come up and down the highway every spring, at least one or two of them. They would come by and take orders and then send the product. I think they were from Vancouver. The banners used to be made locally in Canada, but import of cheaper products started, I think maybe that’s why they weren’t popular anymore – after they were replaced by imported products.”
Sid decides to make his way into the house to find additional banners.
“I had a few made up for Mountain View,” he says. “These are the only ones I have from up here.”
He shows me the banners for Mile 1128: Mountain View Lodge, which Sid and his family owned; Mile 1167: Rover’s Inn; and Whitehorse, Yukon. These banners represent a part of Yukon’s souvenir tourism history.
“I think I have 10 banners,” Sid stops to think, “Yeah, close to that.”
Most of the banners he collected throughout the 1960s and ‘70s are displayed in Sid’s garage, with the Yukon banners inside to protect them from wear and tear.
I remember enjoying the banners when I was a child because of their vibrant colours as well as Sid’s numerous Flintstones and Disney themed banners. Sid collected the Disneyland banners in the 1970s when he drove his family from Mile 1128 of the Alaska Highway to Anaheim, California. Find Sid at Beaver Creek’s Visitor Information Centre throughout the summer months and request a tour!