J.P. Bickell was the CEO of McIntyre Mine which produced slightly over 10 million ounces of gold from 1912 – 1988. Gold mines that produce over 10 million ounces of gold are very rare, even today. – Stan Sudol
TIMMINS – In a darkened room, men mill about the bar while a reggae band plays. On Friday evening, the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre’s permanent gallery space hosted Books, Bands, Beer and Beards. The evening started off with Jason Wilson & the Perennials’ version of the classic Hockey Night in Canada theme song – the hockey theme only grew from there.
Graham MacLaughlan and Kevin Shea, who wrote “J.P. Bickell: The Life, the Leafs, and the Legacy” along with Wilson, spoke at length about the man’s contributions to the sport and to this city.
When asked by host Andrew Autio about what surprised them while they researched the book, Shea highlighted the depth of Bickell’s philanthropy. “He was behind so many things that still exist to this day and flourished because of his money in the early days,” said Shea. “It doesn’t really resonate until you really start to research the book.
“It just seemed like he had his fingers in so many things, and was the guy under the radar. He didn’t want the spotlight by any means, but he was so integral to all of these companies and institutions.”
He pointed to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Avro Arrow and Famous Players Cinemas. MacLaughlan said Bickell was one of the founding fathers of the Canadian theatre industry.
“You have to think of the time period in the 20s and what did everybody have to do. They went to movie theatres and they bowled and they went to boxing matches, and he was involved in all of those,” said MacLaughlan.
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