Town Crier Championship

On Saturday June first, Cobourg hosted the “Ontario Guild of Town Criers Provincial Championship” – held on the Esplanade.  Eleven Town criers from all over Southern Ontario competed in a three part event: the first was a cry where the subject was their “Home Town”, then a second round was about “Victoria Hall” with a third in Grafton about “Inns & Taverns or Heritage Architecture”.  There was a panel of judges who looked at various aspects such as keeping within the 100 – 125 word limit, exactly following their submitted script, keeping to the theme and no doubt overall effect.  Some chose to start their Oyez sounding more like a song, many included humour and others used rhymes.  Many were escorted by a “consort” also dressed in traditional clothing.

Cobourg's Town Crier, Mandy Robinson
Cobourg’s Town Crier, Mandy Robinson

Although the audience included the usual dignitaries, it was disappointing how few members of the public showed up despite the good publicity, the provision of ample seating and the good weather.  Since it’s a unique event and quite entertaining, it’s surprising that so few bothered.  M.C. Bill McKee, the Ontario Guild of Town Criers (OGTC) President, was not in the competition but gave a good cry himself and entertained us with jokes – some good, some not so good.

It was fortunate that the weather was good – at the last minute John Henderson’s arrangement for a backup location at William Academy had to be cancelled because of a flood in their gym.  John then made sure the Market building would be available but it was not needed.

The Criers
Liam Cragg, Alnwick/Haldimand
Bruce Kruger, Bracebridge & Santa’s Village
Mark Molnar, St. Catharines
Jenn Olivero, Hanover
Tom Pekar, Ottawa
Daniel Richer, Ottawa & Greater Capital Region – Overall winner and also Best Ambassador award. His performance starts at around 12:00 minutes in the video below.
Mandy Robinson, Cobourg
Doug Turvey, Ingersoll
Andrew Welch, Caledon & Erin
John Webster, East Gwillimbury / Aurora / Cary I North Carolina
Les Whiting, Petrolia

Not officially in the contest since he lives in the U.S.
Dave Rose, Easton, PA.

Marie Anderson
Randy Barber
Councillor Adam Bureau
Alison Fraser
Jeff Halligan
Marsha Jones
Bill Lyon 
M.P. Kim Rudd

Also in the audience:
Mayor John Henderson
Deputy Mayor Suzanne Séguin
M.P.P. David Piccini (with his dog)

Below is a video of a sample of the event.


Print Article: 


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mandy Robinson
4 years ago

John you always make feel great pride in your work🙏😃🙏 thank you so much for the great coverage and commentary of our Crier Contest in Cobourg 🙏🙏😃😃🙏🙏
I would love to obtain a copy of the whole article video and all of that’s poasible? I’d like to share this on my fb page as well.

John Draper
Reply to  Mandy Robinson
4 years ago

Anyone can get a copy of any article. Go to the bottom right of every article and click on the “Print Article” icon. Then copy and paste from what you see which excludes all the headers etc.
To get videos, first click on the Vimeo text at the bottom right of each video. Then click the share icon at top right (third from top) and then you can share on Facebook or send someone a link.

Miriam Mutton
4 years ago

A very entertaining event with lots of humour throughout. That is probably why I was captivated when I heard a presentation by the crier who eventually was selected the overall winner, Daniel Richer. His first cry at the Grafton location was a well articulated wise and moving message about our culture and heritage, our story. Especially since the night before, I had submitted a public comment on Ontario’s registry for public feedback. I have some concerns with the Ontario government’s proposed changes to heritage legislation. I turned to the lady beside me and said, ‘ I hope somebody is videoing this … it is a message that needs to be shared with (Premier) Doug Ford.’
Congratulations to all involved in making the Town Crier event happen here in Cobourg and in Grafton.