100 Year Anniversary
St. John’s Music Celebrates Centennial by Looking Forward
Winnipeg, MB – When you have been involved in the music community for 100 years you see a lot of changes throughout the years but one thing has stayed the same – the joy that comes from playing a musical instrument.
St. John’s Music, a leading music education supplier and music instrument retailer in Canada, is celebrating 100 years in Canada. 2023 marks their 100th year of providing music instruments and local support to musicians across Canada, which started in the center of Canada - Winnipeg, Manitoba.
“This is a big moment for everyone who is a part of the St. John’s Music family and our customers who helped us reach this achievement.” said Craig Hynes, General Manager of St. John’s Music. “It’s amazing when you reflect on the past to see where we came from and what we’ve done to keep us going for many more years to come.”
The company attributes this accomplishment to a strong belief in that music enhances the quality of life, personal growth, leadership values, self-discipline, and the pursuit of excellence.
“Our staff, who are music lovers, demonstrate the company’s beliefs when dealing with our customers. It creates a community and brings people together which is what music is all about.” says Craig.
Started by George Douglas Sr. in the North End of Winnipeg in an area called St. John’s, it was a typical small family business heavily involved in music mail order. When George’s grandson, George Douglas Jr. took over the family business in the mid-70s, he saw an opportunity for growth which coincided with changes in the music education programs across the prairies.
George Douglas Jr. was a major contributor to the Optimist Band Festivals in Winnipeg which carried over to Saskatchewan and Alberta. St. John’s Music has been involved since the beginning and gets all the staff involved in the festivities.
“The school band festival season is a very exciting time for our company. You’ll see our staff all over the local band festivals, helping out wherever possible. Everyone from our sales staff to our accountants and repair techs.” says Craig ”It’s important that young musicians are given a chance to perform in a festival atmosphere and that these festivals are successful for years to come.”
St. John’s Music expanded their retail presence across the prairies with stores in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, and Edmonton. Later they would expand into the Toronto and Ottawa markets but recently moved away from retail and changed their operations in Ontario to service just school music programs due to the economic climate in 2021.
“It hard to imagine how difficult it would have been operating a music instrument store during the Great Depression and a World War. St. John’s Music has been through a lot. The recent pandemic was really difficult for everyone but we managed to refocus our efforts and we look forward to building things back up.” says Craig.
Through all the changes, St. John’s Music has never lost sight of providing top brand name musical instruments to musicians and education programs. They have a great relationship with Yamaha Canada Music who supplies them with Pianos, Brass & Woodwinds, Percussion, Guitars and Drums (the St. John’s Music store on Portage Avenue in Winnipeg was once the Yamaha Canada headquarters). St. John’s Music also carries Accent brass and woodwinds, Conn-Selmer products, Fender guitars and amps, and so much more.
St. John’s Music will be celebrating 100 years by giving away 100 prizes and having a 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SALE on Saturday, October 14.
“We’re grateful to reach this milestone” said Craig Hynes “We look forward to the future as we continue to evolve to meet the needs of our customers and give back to our local music communities.”
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