A century of Seagrams VO
October 7, 2013
City of Waterloo Museum exhibit features Seagram’s V.O. Centenary
It’s strange and sometimes wonderful, the things people will do when they are in love. He did not move mountains, cross seas, or fetch water from the moon, but a century ago, when Thomas Seagram was to be married, he commissioned a new whisky, the whisky we know today as Seagram’s V.O.
The City of Waterloo Museum’s latest exhibit, Initial Success: 100 Years of V.O. Whisky, showcases the 100-year history of one of Canada’s best known and most successful whiskies. The City of Waterloo Museum is located in Waterloo Ontario at Conestoga Mall (near the food court).
Waterloo, of course, is the original home of Seagram’s whiskies. It was at the historic Waterloo Distillery that Seagram asked distiller William Hortop to craft his nuptial elixer. The exhibition continues from Oct. 2, 2013 to Jan. 31, 2014 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Although it is one of the most well-known whiskies produced at the former Waterloo Distillery, mystery surrounds its precise origins and the naming of Seagram’s V.O. Family tradition states that “V.O.” stands for “Very Own,” as it was created for the wedding of founder, Joseph E. Seagram’s son Thomas to Dorothy Pearson in 1913. Others claim that the initials stand for “Very Old” in keeping with the distiller’s assertion that it was a blend of very old Canadian whiskies.
Initial Success: 100 Years of V.O. Whisky traces the whisky’s 100-year-old history, with highlights from the lives of Thomas and Dorothy, its production, packaging and marketing, while trying to demystify the origins of the initials.
The integral relationship of Seagram’s V.O. with Waterloo is highlighted throughout the exhibition. Photographs and artifacts from the production and bottling stages at the former Seagram Waterloo Distillery are of particular interest. No matter what the facts, this famous Canadian whisky is still “honoured the world over” as “only V.O. is V.O.”
The City of Waterloo Museum is open Wednesday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with free admission for all.
Information on this exhibit is available by visiting www.waterloo.ca/museum.