'My biggest downfall was COVID-19': Calgary trophy shop closes after 55 years

WATCH: It’s a bittersweet end of an era for a veteran shop owner in Calgary. As Gil Tucker shows us, this comes after more than half-a-century of helping thousands celebrate some big wins.

It’s a bittersweet end of an era for a veteran shop owner in Calgary — a transition that comes after more than half a century of helping thousands of people celebrate big wins.

Inge Demsky has been selling trophies and plaques at her Western Trophy Shop for the past 55 years.

“I did rodeo (trophies) for the Calgary Stampede,” Demsky said. “(Trophies for) hockey, baseball, any sport you can think of.”

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Through all her years in business, Demsky has always stuck by some basic principles.

“I like people to be happy with what I’m doing, and people, I believe, do appreciate that,” Demsky said. “I’m very old-fashioned, let’s put it that way.”

At 87, Demsky could have retired years ago, but she says she’d miss the daily routine of running her shop.

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“I just like the interaction with customers,” Demsky said.

But now it’s coming to an end, and Demsky is closing her doors.

“My biggest downfall was COVID-19,” Demsky said.

With sports shut down, orders dried up.

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Then came word from her landlord: redevelopment is on the way and the building that houses Demsky’s shop is coming down.

“For me to move, I can’t do it anymore. I’m too old for that,” Demsky said. “I’m sorry to go, but it’s just time.”

Before she closes her business in January 2022, Demsky will be taking steps to help others.

“I would like to give (trophies and plaques) to the thrift shops or foundations, the liver foundation and diabetes foundation. They’re most welcome to all that stuff, and they can sell it and they’ll make some money on it,” Demsky said.

“That’s just my thank you to Calgary.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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