Regina Tent & Awning is one of the oldest existing continuously run businesses in Regina with roots dating back to the 1890's. Four generations of Findlays have now participated in the ownership and stewardship of this great business. Awnings, canopies and all applications of industrial fabric industry are reflected in this division. We cover it all!
Not only do we offer a wide variety of awnings and custom covers, but we also do repairs to just about anything!
The Regina Tent & Awning Company traces its roots in Regina to the early twentieth century when Thomas A. Smeed opened an upholstery shop on South Railway Avenue in 1905. As an enterprising businessman of the day, Thomas Smeed acquired a broom manufacturing company, Queen City Broom, and also established T. A. Smeed Moving and Storage. Twenty years later, another acquisition was to complement his already-thriving upholstery company. Smeed's Tent & Awning and Upholstery opened its doors in 1925, and the company was renamed Regina Tent & Awning and Upholstery the following year.
Meanwhile, a young Scottish immigrant, Fred Findlay, Sr., arrived in Regina in 1927 and within a year opened Colonial Grocery at 2301-11th Avenue. Fred Sr. eventually sold his business in order to assume the position of manager of Queen City Broom, a position he held for nine years until the business was destroyed by fire. His shrewd business acumen clearly established, Fred Sr. was then appointed by Thomas Smeed as the general manager of Regina Tent & Awning and Upholstery, located at that time at 1520-13th Avenue.
Eventually Fred Sr. purchased Regina Tent & Awning and Upholstery from Thomas Smeed in 1940 and relocated the business to 1643 Broad Street in a former Bank of Ottawa building. This iconic building, at the corner of Broad Street and Saskatchewan Drive, served as an well-known landmark in the city until it burned to the ground in the late 1990s. During World War II, Regina Tent & Awning and Upholstery was busy supplying canvas tents and gun bags for the Canadian Army, running shifts around the clock just to keep up with the demand. It was during this time that Fred Findlay, Jr. was invited by his father, Fred Sr., to help manage the business, which he then went on to purchase in 1970.
In the 1970's Regina Tent & Awning, as it was known, flourished under Fred Jr.'s expertise and leadership. Although he retired in 1980 and sold the business to his sons Duncan and Grant Findlay, Fred Jr. remained actively involved in the company in an advisory role for many years. With commercial awning sales flourishing, in addition to a desire to include state-of-the-art graphic capabilities, Duncan and Grant recognized the need for expansion. In 1985 they relocated Regina Tent & Awning to 1855 Cameron Street (its current site), more than tripling the square footage of the original operation.
Five years later the two brothers purchased PLS Sign & Graphic, a company founded in 1980 by Paul Laverne Snell (PLS) at 1865 Park Street. Greatly enhancing the capabilities of Regina Tent & Awning with the addition of an in-house graphics team, this new enterprise was dedicated to fulfilling the architectural signage requirements not only of southern Saskatchewan but also of customers nationwide. Present-day PLS Sign & Graphic can also boast of an international expansion, as it extends its services to clients throughout North America. The longevity and reach of these two companies are a testament to the success and to the hard work and vision of the Findlay family. Nearly ninety years after their inception, Regina Tent & Awning and PLS Sign & Graphic have welcomed the fourth generation of Findlays into the family business. In 2012, Robertson (Robbie) Findlay, son of Duncan Findlay, joined the firm.
From their earliest days offering upholstery materials to the citizens of Regina, to their current role embracing twenty-first century technology, Regina Tent & Awning and PLS Sign & Graphic have grown and evolved, exceeding industry standards. With a tradition of excellence solidly grounded in the past, the Findlays and their staff are committed to providing exceptional service, creative design and high-quality products to meet the present and future needs of their customers.