In 1955, William (Bill) Kay opened as a local distributor in a 2,400 square foot building attached to the north end of the Alberta Hotel, located at 99 Street and Jasper Avenue.
Originally, W. C. Kay Importers and Distributors supplied small appliances to the W. W. Arcade, Eaton’s, Woodward’s, The Bay and Merit Stores. It expanded in the following years to offer luggage, giftware (crystal, figurines, clocks, etc.) and carded goods (lighters, cards, key chains, etc.). In 1963, the business increased its product line to include guitars, amplifiers, electric organs and gold jewellery. Business continued uninterrupted until 1980 when the property was sold, and the business was relocated to 10145 - 104 Street. At this time, the name of the business was changed to W. C. Gold, and Gem Merchants and the sign for W. C. Kay Importers and Distributors was displayed in the main showroom for 22 more years.
The sign was originally acquired in 1960 by negotiations with a gentleman shopping for an engagement ring. Though several attempts were made over the years, the sign was never actually hooked up to electricity. In 2016, arrangements were made to refurbish and mount the 56-year old sign on the wall of the Neon Sign Museum, which was the first time the sign was lit up.
This sign was donated by: Randal Kay
This sign was generously restored by: Skyline Sign Services Ltd.