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Peek Inside the Four Rooms Toronto Auditions

Four Rooms hopefuls collect art and furniture and records and jewellery and anything really.

But Four Rooms producers? They're only after one thing.

Collectors.

Canadian ones, especially.

Unlike the average Four Rooms guest, however, the makers of the show are still kinda-sorta new to the pursuit.

The reality series, which comes to CBC in Winter 2014, began its hunt for sellers June 8 in Toronto, and a crowd turned up at the CBC Broadcast Centre for try-outs, travelling from all around Ontario - as far as Sault Ste. Marie - to play show and tell.

The search continues into July as the audition tour travels from Victoria to Halifax and back to Toronto again.

(Get the full itinerary below and at the Four Rooms website.)

CBC Live took in the try-outs and met some of the people who want to appear on the show.

Will you see these hopefuls - and their treasures - on an upcoming episode?

061013_victoria-flapper-four-rooms.jpg
-- CBC Live

Collector: Victoria Dinnick

What's for sale?

Art Deco cigarette case in the Chiparus style.

"I just think it's a bloody great piece. And if you like flappers, especially with the Great Gatsby hype that's going on right now, you couldn't get a more perfect example of the '20s. You just couldn't. She's gorgeous! She's just saying 'Expeletive you!'"

Her price?

$2,800

Why sell it on Four Rooms?

"I have a store, Gadabout. [...] I thought it would be a good good opportunity to show off the kinds of things my store has. I try and always find things that no one else has. I try to find really interesting bits, and that qualifies as a really interesting bit."

061013_four-rooms-murray-plane.jpg
-- CBC Live

Collector: Ken Rose

What's for sale?

1942 Children's Pedal Plane.

"They started making them in 1941 and after the war they stopped, in 1945. They thought it would be a sad reminder for some of the troops. Very few of them were made. How one got to Canada, no one seems to know."

What's its story?

"It was given to me as a Christmas gift, Christmas of 1942, and it's been in my possession or my father's possession ever since.

"I can trace the history of it, let's put it that way."

His price?

"The price has to be right.

"I was raised on a farm, and mother and dad kept it in the garage there. My dad had a picker drop in and he offered him $750."

Why sell it on Four Rooms?

"Some youngster might be able to enjoy it. What do I do with it?"

Four Rooms Passero
-- CBC Live

Collector: Sharon Passero (left), Passero's Antiques, Fine Furniture and Collectibles

What's for sale?

Lea Vivot sculpture.

"There were only seven made and the mold was destroyed in a studio fire many years ago."

What's its story?
"I got this from the artist, Lea Vivot. I bought it many, many years ago as a gift to my husband. [...] There were only two of these in Canada. The other one was gifted to Guelph University in honour of [the artist's] husband. Her husband's a teacher who passed away. He was a veterinarian. My husband was a horse trainer and they worked together in the business for many years."

Her price?

"Between 30 and 40 thousand dollars. I think this will do nothing but appreciate."

Why sell it on Four Rooms?

"I love it, but, you know, I enjoyed it for 40 years. It'd be nice if someone else could."

061013_four-rooms-painting.jpg
-- CBC Live

Collector: Alida Ford

What's for sale?

Landscape painting.

Family legend links the piece back to several Group of Seven painters. "It was a hundred years ago, so over time we're going by hearsay, speculation. It still remains an enigma today."

What's its story?

"The family story is that it was painted in an area of Ontario, Sand Lake - that's where it came from - and the Group of Seven, in the early 1900s, painted up in that area. So the family story that has been passed down is that a family friend, the original family from the area of Sand Lake that owned our cottage, befriended Tom Thomson and Lawren Harris and J.E.H. MacDonald, and possibly as a favour or a token of appreciation, may have - and this is all speculation - given this painting to that particular family.

Why sell it on Four Rooms?

"We want to verify its family folklore. Because we can't authenticate it, we've never evaluated it. So we're really not sure if there is any value other than it is a nice story. And we're prepared for that. We like the little painting, it looks great on our wall."

061013_four-rooms-melanie.jpg
-- CBC Live

Collector: Melanie Moore

What's for sale?

Carved table, framed postcard from her great grandmother, Mary Gregory vase.

"I have a letter from my great grandmother, and she's written that this vase was bought for 25 cents in the 1800s. I thought I'd bring it in."

Why sell it on Four Rooms?

"Twitter. Arlene Dickinson from Dragons' Den, I know she tweeted about it last evening, so I saw that and thought, 'Oh, that sounds pretty cool.'"

061013_four-rooms-liberty-chair.jpg
-- CBC Live

Collector: Teri Ritter


What's for sale?

Liberty London Orkney Chair.

"My grandmother lived in England, and I remember my first visit to her house as a kid. The whole house was full of antiques and I was totally charmed by it. So I've kind of been looking for this kind of stuff ever since."

What's its story?

"I got the chair about 20 years ago when I was travelling around Canada trying to find a place to be, and I ended up in Vernon. [...] I put an ad out for anyone who was interested in selling furniture. And this really, really old woman said 'Yeah, I have furniture to sell.' She was British, and she said she brought it from England and it used to belong the royal family, she gave me this whole big story about it."

Her price?

"Around $2,000. There are a couple of them out there that are fairly rare, they're still in England."

Why sell it on Four Rooms?
"My idea behind collecting stuff is eventually when I want to retire I'll sell it and have some money for retirement. I never knew where to go, but I saw the opportunity for Four Rooms and I thought 'Ohmigod! This is a dream thing for me!'"

Want more information on the Four Rooms audition tour? Visit their website. The itinerary includes:

Toronto, June 8, CBC Toronto Atrium
Montreal, June 16, Hotel Place D'Armes
Winnipeg, June 22, CBC Manitoba
Vancouver, June 24, Century-Plaza Hotel & Spa
Victoria, June 26, Inn at Laurel Point
Calgary, June 29 Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire
Halifax, July 3, Cambridge Suites Hotel
North Hatley, QC, July 6, North Hatley Antique Show
Toronto, July 6, CBC Toronto Atrium


Related:
8 Insider Tips for your Four Rooms Audition