There has been three generations of Colins involved with the fair industry dating back to the first Calgary Stampede of 1912. Colins Sr. was known as "Red". He worked as a caterer in the old Victoria arena on Stampede Park.
Floyd Colins Sr. began his career as a concessionaire just after the Second World War. His operation was a large food tent located in and around the old grandstand. Floyd Jr. began his career in 1953 at the age 13. He operated a 12x12ft candy stand (blue frame) that was built by the family in 1954.
Bill Sumner began working for Floyd Colins in 1957. He was asked to, "go on the road" and operate a 4x4ft candyfloss stand. He sold floss on a stick and candy apples for only 15 cents. In the early 60's a yellow frame booth was built, and in 1977 a third frame booth (orange) was added. These three units were transported around in a trailer, which the Colins family also built. A smaller trailer was then built for stock - it was nick named "Little Willy".
Bill continued to operate Floyd's candy stands along with Floyd Jr. (his son). In 1967 Floyd and Bill bought out Floyd Senior, and formed the partnership Colins and Sumner. In 1968, Brooke Wray began his career in the concession business and worked for Colins and Sumner until 1979. Brooke's sister Joan was Bill Sumners wife. Floyd Jr. decided to entrust the final shares of the Colins business to Mr. Wray. Bill and Brooke then incorporated Billbrooke Concessions Ltd in June of 1979.
In 1983 we purchased one roll off trailer (similar to a Waymatic) from Goertzen Trailers in Airdie Alberta. In 1984 two more roll offs were purchased and the frame booths were phased out with the exception of one, which has been restored and is currently in use at Spruce Meadows in Calgary.
Billbrooke Concessions purchased an International Harvestor truck after the old one gave out. This truck was used to pull the trailer that transported the roll-offs. It was sold in the early 90's after the first two Schantz trailers were purchased. The company then invested in two one-ton trucks to pull the new trailers. Billbrooke continue to upgrade and purchased two more Schantz trailers in 2000, and 2010. The roll off booths were eventually phased out and sold.
In the beginning we participated at major fairs in Calgary, Edmonton Regina, and Ottawa. We picked up Spruce Meadows in 1980. By 1991, we were in Winnipeg and Toronto, and eventually picked up Thunder Bay. In the early 2000's we added Saskatoon. Since then the company has added London, Ontario and Brandon, Manitoba to the season.
Shirley Wray and Joan Sumner are supportive of the business, and attended some of the conventions that were held annually. Bill's three children worked the summer fairs during their teenage years. Brooke's son Shawn Deluca worked off and on for the company during his younger days, until 2004. Brookes other two sons Matt and Tyler have been involved with the business since an early age. In 2008, Bill Sumner sold half his shares to the brothers, and in 2013 Bill sold his remaining shares to Matt and Tyler. In 2014 a warehouse was purchased in the northeast of Calgary to store all of their equipment over the winter.