Picture perfect

PICTOU — A fascination with a photo he found on the Pictou Historical Photograph Society website led Andrew Barclay to create an opportunity for five Pictou business women to show that they are the future of Pictou County.

In 1915, William Munro took a photo of five business men from Pictou, staged as a shoot where each of the men, dressed in business suits, lounged together on a fur rug. Upon seeing this photo, Barclay decided he wanted to show just how much Pictou has changed since then.

“I just loved the photo; it showed swagger,” he said. “They were all enjoying themselves.”

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It was when he realized that there were a lot of businesses in Pictou that are run by women that Barclay got the idea to replace all of the business men in the photo with business women.

“Times have changed obviously,” he said. “It’s almost the same photograph, but it’s women.”

Barclay added that he is really happy to see the project go from something he had just envisioned to a photo shoot and photo coming to fruition.

“It means a lot, especially as a young woman coming back, it shows how times have changed,” said Kayla Sutherland, owner of Seaside Treasure Trove Gifts and Clothing on Water Street.

“I think it shows change,” added Eva Sutherland, owner of Ahead of Hair, also on Water Street.

Roxanne Heighton, owner of the restaurant Harbour House Ales & Spirits on Coleraine Street along the waterfront, added that she has lived in Pictou all her life and although she is new to business, she hopes to see businesses in Pictou stick together and promote each other.

“I think back then it was all about men, but I think women have risen,” said Rebecca Whiffen of Uncle Leo’s Brewery in Lyons Brook.

“The women now are stronger,” added Sharon Stewart of Sharon’s Place Family Restaurant on Pictou’s Front Street. “We like to inspire.”

All the women agreed with Heighton as she concluded: “We’re not in competition, we’re in cahoots.”


The photo re-creation of the 1915 photo features business women, from the left: Kayla Sutherland, owner of Seaside Treasure Trove Gifts and Clothing; Eva Sutherland, owner of Ahead of Hair; Roxanne Heighton, owner of Harbour House; Rebecca Whiffen of Uncle Leo’s Brewery and Sharon Stewart of Sharon’s Place restaurant. (Brimicombe photo)

INSET PHOTO: The original photo that Pictou resident Andrew Barclay based the re-creation on featured five businessmen from Pictou in 1915. (Pictou Historical Photography Society)

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Heather Brimicombe
Heather Brimicombe is a Pictou County native and graduate from the University of King's College in Halifax with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree as well as a combined major in Sustainability. She has previously won a Canadian Communities Newspapers award for a multimedia feature and was part of a team nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalism data award in the investigative category. Photography, art, sports and outdoor activities are all hobbies of hers as well as crafting, and baking.