Birthday celebrations are underway
by Sandy Lindsay

September 8, 2016

Town Council

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Bruce County and Canada are both about to celebrate their 150th birthdays in 2017 and Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre already has plans underway.

Museum Archivist, Ann Marie Collins, has been speaking to regional municipalities outlining the plans that are underway and was enthusiastic as she presented the various plans to Saugeen Shores Town Council.

Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre's Archivist  Ann Marie Collins

"As Archivist, I have a strong hold on the history of Bruce County," says Collins, "and we are moving forward with events."

The events are quite extensive according to Collins.  They begin with a New Year's Eve kick-off party at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.  There will be busing from across the County, music throughout the venue, hors d'oeuvres, party favours, noise makers ... everything that makes a New Year's Eve party a celebration.

To top off the evening, there will be midnight complementary champagne with a commemorative 150th glass to take home.

To start the new year, there will be 'FUNspiels' in Ripley, Chesley and Wiarton.

No celebration in Bruce County would be complete without a 'Tartan Day' as Bruce County is one of the few in Canada to have its own 'tartan' since 1964, given its Scottish heritage.  Tartan Day will be on April 6th when everyone will be encouraged to wear a tartan.  To make it easier, the Bruce County Museum has brought in Bruce County tartan ties, scarves or material.

On June 3rd, 1916, the Bruce Battalion marched from Walkerton to Chesley and there will be celebrations at Legions held to remember that event.

Also, among the plans, is a county 'time capsule' to be opened in 50 years. "We are going to ask for items from each of the municipalities for the capsule that are meaningful to the history of the area.

Collins also said that a legacy gift of a Sugar Maple tree will be given to each municipality, along with a commemorative plaque, to hopefully be planted on Earth Day in April. 

There will also be trees offered to residents at a reduced price.  "We will be working with SauGreen of Saugeen Shores," said Collins.  "They initiated the 'Tall Tree' program which has been very successful in selling and planting mature tall trees."

An art installation is also being planned for a County facility yet to be announced for artists to submit works. 

"We need the help of lower tier municipalities for the tree plantings, for items for the time capsule, for help with the 'Doors Open' campaign and to really celebrate through cross promotions."

Vice Deputy Mayor Diane Huber added appreciation to Collins on behalf of the Municipal Heritage Committee.  "You (Archives) help us with the heritage plaque program and so many other things, that I just want to extend our thanks and to say that you can count on the Heritage Committee for things like the 'Open Doors' program."



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The Doors Open program is a province wide event lead by the Ontario Heritage Trust and from April to October, when each municipality opens the doors to its most intriguing and interesting heritage sites.  Collins said that they are looking for three to four heritage venues within municipalities along with volunteers who can help out. 

Southampton Councilor, Don Matheson, also said that the Museum Archives has been very helpful with his classes a teacher in the Bluewater School Board.  "As Chair of the local 150th Committee, I hope we can partner together on many activities.  I have also been in many places in Chesley that Mr. Oswald frequents and the pictures of the Battalion marching are everywhere so I look forward to anything around that."

Ron Oswald, former Mayor of Arran-Elderslie and Warden of Bruce County, sits on the committee with Collins

"There is a lot of history in Bruce County," added Ron Oswald, "and we should recognize those who came here as pioneers.  My own great-grandparents came here from Scotland in 1860.  My grandfather and my father were both Arran-Elderslie councilors and I also served on council.  Every municipality has a lot of history over 150 years and it's time to show that history in each of our communities."

Collins also says that the committee is planning outreach to all county municipalities and are designing an outreach trailer and website to showcase explorers both historic and current.  The trailer will attend events such as festivals across the county and will showcase a variety of people.  All information is expected to be updated as plans are confirmed.

For more information, www.brucecounty150.ca

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Thursday, September 08, 2016