Mayor Lucas Cleveland has already made some changes – the New Year’s Levee moved from noon January first to 5:00 pm January 3 and featured a solo musician instead of the Concert band. Refreshments also changed from sandwiches and Christmas cake to cheese, crackers and slices of meat. Although Mandy Robinson the Town crier was there, the poet laureate Jessica Outram, was not. Unlike previous years, the speech by Lucas was short and consisted of acknowledgements and thank you’s to people who had contributed to the event but also to people who had worked hard during the recent storm. Although there are no official estimates available, the crowd appeared to be over 100 and similar in size to attendance at previous events.
- Although there was a lineup of Councillors to greet residents, not everyone participated; instead, Lucas and the others mingled with the crowd.
- Town Crier Mandy Robinson got a laugh when she initially said “Long live King George”!
- In thanking LUSI staff, Lucas mentioned that they have only four line workers, plus a manager and the audience applauded when Lucas thanked them for their work restoring power in 16 hour shifts. See the recent report by Lakefront Utilitities here – it gives more information about their work during the storm.
- Lucas thanked Victoria Hall volunteers for organizing the event.
- He also thanked other Town staff including 1) the emergency team who met every 2-3 hours during the storm, 2) the CCC staff who provided a warming space and 3) Police, Fire and Emergency services who continued to provide their services during the storm.
- Another thank you went to the general community who provided shelter to people they may not have even met previously.
- Musician David Shewchuk played his violin but his music was mostly not appreciated because his sound system was too loud and badly distorted. The intent was that it would be background music.
- The food was popular and there was an open bar with house red and white wine available.
- I didn’t spot MPP Piccini or MP Lawrence – they may have been there but certainly did not make a speech. But the new County Warden and Mayor of Cramahe, Mandy Martin was there. Also in attendance were the current chair of the Police Board, Dean Pepper, and Police Chief Paul VandeGraaf. Staff were also well represented.
- The speech by Lucas did not include a review of Council activity in 2022 – as Mayor John Henderson usually did – nor did it include a look into the coming year like Mayors Delanty and Broconier did.
- Overall the Levee was quite different but as usual, a good chance to meet the key people in the Town.
One of the reasons that Lucas moved the event to the evening time slot was to make it more accessible to citizens who might be working and hopefully a younger demographic. Lucas responded to commenters on this blog who did not like the changes, especially not having the concert band – go here for his remarks. The event was certainly well-attended and there were young people there but it’s impossible to know if that is more than previous events.
Below are some photos of the event.
- Virtual Levee – 2021 – embedded Video plus review of Council plans for 2021
- New Year’s Levee – 2020
- Mayor’s Levee – 2019
- Mayor’s Levee – 2018