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.
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.
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.
Councillor Adam Bureau
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.
- Council approves two new events 17 May 2019
- Ontario Guild of Town Criers web site
- Report on Pete Fisher’s web site with results – Report by Cecilia Nasmith