Maurice Oliver (photo above) was bitten by the photography bug as a student growing up in Winnipeg. After high school he worked for Harold White Studios for four years doing wedding, portrait and commercial photography. After this he joined the RCAF and trained as a military photographer. He left the Air Force and married Betty Bushfield. (photo below)
Together they set up a small studio called Maurice Oliver Photography in downtown St. Marys in 1959. The studio (photo below) flourished doing weddings, school pictures and various portraits.
There was no dedicated school lab in Canada at the time so Maurice began acquiring processing and printing equipment so he could keep his school portrait work in-house. Maurice began soliciting processing work from other school photographers to keep his lab equipment busy. The lab was born!
Soon the volume of work became too much for the small downtown studio and a decision was made to expand. Maurice formed a partnership with John Wright, a successful school photographer, and in 1969 a parcel of land was bought on Queen Street at the east end of town and building began right away.
A new name was chosen for the lab – ADANAC Images. The name served two purposes: It identified the company as Canadian. “ADANAC” is simply Canada spelled backwards! Alphabetically, the company name would appear near the top of any list.
After three years Maurice bought out John Wright. The lab business grew steadily and an addition was added to the building in 1976. There have been many changes over the years but the business still remains in St. Marys and it is still owned by the Oliver family.
Mark Oliver, Maurice’s son, began working at ADANAC in 1983. Mark and his wife, Janet Oliver (pictured above) took over the reigns in 1991 after both completed university degrees in photographic engineering technology at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. “Change” has been the operative word during Mark and Janet’s years at the helm. In the early years the lab was completely updated with new printers and processors and then digital came! More equipment was bought, film equipment was retired, and by 2008 most of the conversion to digital was complete. Change is still occurring as we branch into new areas like press production, green screen technology, and online ordering.
In 2012, we decided that the growing lab end of the business needed some recognition of its own, so Adanac Pro Imaging was born. Adanac Pro Imaging is where professional photographers can turn for quality photofinishing, press products, and school yearbooks. Adanac Images is now the photography end of the business, specializing in school, sports, and portrait photography.
Through all these changes, we’ve been putting our family name on our work for two generations! Our dedicated employees have accumulated over 120 years of experience and they keep our story unfolding, one portrait at a time! We’re proud to be Canada’s oldest, family owned, dedicated school photography lab.
“Welcome to our family!”