As the guest walks into the Great Hall, an overwhelming sense of history is laid out before them. The stained glass dome that outlines the building, the storied National Hockey League trophies including the Stanley Cup which dates back to the early 1890's and of course the Honoured Members wall which houses the greatest players ever to lace up skates.
Behind every portrait lies a story and an artist and in the case of the Hockey Hall of Fame honoured members, the stories are endless, but the artist remains the same. Irma Sophia Coucill, since 1961, has drawn each and every portrait that rests proudly on the wall in the great hall.
With well over 300 hockey portraits under her belt, Coucill's talent doesn't stop in hockey, she is also the artist for the Canadian Business Hall of Fame also located in Toronto, Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in London, Ontario and the Canadian Indian Hall of Fame in Brantford, Ontario, not mention the several publications that have documented her career as a top Canadian artist.
Born in London, Ontario, and known as the "Grand Dame of Canadian portrait artists", Irma Coucill, in her early 80's is still going strong.
Irma comes from an artistic family, her father was a cellist, her sister played the piano and Irma besides loving drawing took up the violin. It wasn't until her and her husband Walter attended evening classes in life drawing, that they realized what their true calling was.
Coucill also documented Canada's history as a contributing artist to the "Junior Encyclopedia of Canada" and when she has time she enjoys photography, music, poetry gardening and painting from her Toronto home.