Community spirit was on display in spades August 4th to 6th as the Cramahe 225 / Canada 150 committee hosted a plethora of events in all corners the township.
More than a year of planning and hard work successfully came together on the August long weekend as cultural events, historical tours, art shows, live entertainment, fireworks , a car rally and even a few baseball games had citizens and visitors alike crisscross the township discovering our community. The weekend of events kicked off on Friday morning at the Keeler Centre with a official citizenship ceremony wherein more than 100 people welcomed 32 new Canadians to our amazing country.
Friday evening the opening ceremonies featured the introduction of a number of Cramahe 225 / Canada 150 initiatives and award presentations. One of the goals of the Organizing Committee was to fund a wide range of projects with a focus on creating community legacies. This was accomplished in a few different ways, such as the founding of a Ukulele program and donation of ukulele instruments to the Colborne Public School in Colborne and Northumberland Hills Public School in Castleton. There was a special commemorative stamp competition, poetry & short story contests, the creation of the new community award; the Order of Cramahe and the sponsorship of many community events over the weekend.
Torrential rains forced the relocation of the opening ceremonies and street dance to the Keeler Centre and after the cake cutting the band Cruisin’ rocked Friday night with the sounds of the 50’s and 60’s.
Saturday brought the launch of the Fun Fayre at the Keeler Centre which focused on agricultural roots in the community and featured a huge uber-cool John Deere tractor display courtesy Deerhaven Farm & Garden. The “Fayre” also featured the Cramahe Fire Department, the local dairy farmers own “Maple the Cow“, free cotton candy and kids games, a very cool birdhouse craft-kit demo, a petting zoo, Primrose the Donkey, pony rides and a very popular canola seed “play table” for the kids.
Old St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall hosted a Heritage Tea and in Colborne and Castelton there were heritage walking tours hosted by Heritage Cramahe with a special thanks to Barrie Wood and Rosanne Quinn. The Cramahe Public Library in Colborne featured a genealogy exhibition and education session and if you visited the Heritage United Church in Salemthere there was a very cool heritage quilt exhibition which literally featured the fabric of our community. One of the examples even dated back to the era of John A MacDonald.
Across the township more than a dozen artists opened their studios to the public as Cramahe hosted its first ever artist studio tour. As part of the weekend activities this first-ever event to the township is poised to become a new annual summer celebration of the visual arts.
Saturday night the Keeler Center was the place to be as more than 350 guests were treated to a reading by keynote speaker, Jane Urquhart who shared a very engaging presentation and recounted her memories of Cramahe Township and unique observations of Canada as articulated in her book “A Number of Things“. Guests were wined and dined by a “A Truly Canadian Dinner” presented by Black Dress Catering and once the lights went down the troupe from the Piper Creek Mill Arts and Heritage Centre teamed up with Ontario Street Theatre to entertain the crowd with their “Great Canadian Review” musical featuring very Canadian content from beginning to end.
Sunday the Rotary Club of Colborne’s Car Rally sent drivers off to all corners of the township in search of trivia answers, fellowship and fun and some great prizes upon return to the Keeler Centre. At the Castleton Sports Fields it was all about the North vs South Baseball games featuring teams teams by Trish Carr, Jess Carr and Dutch Dynasty. The teams played a round robin format with the Jess Carr team from Castleton coming out on top 17-15 in seven innings.
Also on Sunday, the Colborne Library Ukulele Club (C.L.U.B.) played, essentially, back-to-back sets in two locations, first at the Keeler Center then, a scant minutes later, a second set up the road at the Castleton Sports Fields. The group was the recipient of funding from the Cramahe 225 / Canada 150 organizing committee who purchased instruments and introduced fledgling programs at the Cramahe Public Library and at the Colborne Public School and Northumberland Hills Public School in Castleton.
Sunday night was the grand finale to the wonderful weekend with a repeat performance of the “Great Canadian Review” followed by an amazing fireworks display sponsored by CRH Canada Group Inc and Doug’s Small Engines of Castleton. The fireworks were a perfect end to a memorable weekend and were equal parts impressive and loud!
It would be hard to say this wasn’t truly a weekend to remember in Cramahe township. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the organizing committee. Through careful planning, co-operation, and most of all hard work, this team was able to battle weather, wind, and more than a few curve balls to create a lasting legacy and loads of memories for our township. Hats off to you all!
The Cramahe 225 / Canada 150 Organizing Committee
Jim Williams – Chair, Trish O’Brien – Recording Secretary, Pat Westrope – Secretary, Chauncy Perry – Marketing, Brenda Palmieri, Janice McKnight, Patti May, Graham Norcutt, Don Clark, Marion McComb, Joy Gifford and Marc Coombs. Members at Large & Delegations: Lenna Broatch, Lisa Meekes, Castleton Sports Club & Heritage Cramahe.