by John Syratt
When he was younger, Calgary lawyer Scott Cozens and his mom would
spend their Saturday mornings garage sailing and visiting antique
stores in Calgary, AB. Often those treasure hunting forays would
include a visit to the antique shop/auction firm owned by Sheldon
The much anticipated series, Canadian
Pickers, inspired by Cineflix’s smash hit American Pickers, is
hosted by Smithens and Cozens and premiered on History Television on
Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
The series follows the journeys of these two treasure tourists, as
they uncover bits of Canadian history, one dusty relic at a time.
“It’s reality TV and we own the merchandise and spend our own
money,” Smithens indicated. “The concept of picking is to find it
barn fresh and turn it over to the dealer.”
“We were already friends but we’ve become much better friends, which
is not the norm when you’re spending this much time on the road
together,” Cozens said of his co-host. “We dovetail personality wise
and collecting wise. Sheldon likes traditional antiques and when I’m
looking at GI Joe’s he’s looking at silver.”
Smithens agreed, calling Cozens his “good friend and the king of
Canadian Pickers' Sheldon Smithens and Scott Cozens –photo courtesy
Cineflix (Canpick) Inc.
“He never quits,” added Smithens. “I’m ready to roll and Scott wants
one more crack at it.”
Cozens says his grandmother was a picker in her own right and his
mom worked at Galvin Auction for almost 20 years.
In the ‘80s, Cozens got serious about antiques and collectibles,
buying boxes of stuff he didn’t want just to get the one thing he
did want. With the extras he started doing antique shows in Alberta.
Smithens’ family has been in the business for close to 100 years, as
clockmakers, jewellers, antiques importers and wholesalers,
auctioneers and antique store owners.
“I grew up surrounded by antiques,” Smithens said, describing his
family’s interests. “They weren’t just dealers but collectors.”
The two pickers have enjoyed crossing the country, meeting people
and seeing treasures in Eastern Canada that aren’t found in the
The series premiere was accompanied by the simultaneous launch of
CanadianPickers.com, a comprehensive antiques & collectibles
website, offering picker aficionados and rookies an online community
to share their picking stories, learn more about the art of picking,
and buy or sell their treasures. For info visit