You would think that such a significant milestone for Downtown Brantford would be a happy-happy event. BUT… the 10th Anniversary of the opening of Harmony Square began with cries screamed and echoed across the square, from balconies and businesses!
Our Town Crier, David McKee, and his wife Betty Jean brought all these loud people to our fair city and make no apologies for the enthusiasm and incessant bell ringing. McKee started it after all. On the stage, and of course without need of amplification, Dave sang out the praises of a decade of public appreciation for the jewel that is the heart of downtown, Harmony Square.
Then it began: back and forth from the balconies, splash-pad, walkways on all sides; bells ringing; shouts of enthusiasm from municipalities far and wide; and the pomp and ceremony of fellow Ontario ambassadors in full livery and spirit supporting this place that is a destination for entertainment for Brantfordians and many from away.
Mayor Friel, former Mayor Hancock, His Honourary Worship Walter Gretzky, current and former Councillors and a rather large furry creature named ‘Harmony…the Squirrel’ celebrated those who have made this dream a reality over thousands of events.Also recognized was Heart Su, who named the square in 2008, and indeed gave this place a heart and it has been as a beacon for harmony ever since.
Keri Korfmann, owner of Tim Horton’s downtown and the Chair of the BIA was recognized for the business commitment to the core
Over the weekend there were so many that came to appreciate the Taste of Downtown, the skills of local celebrities musicians and artisans.
I might have noticed the Editor for Arts 4BRANT Aliki Mikulich helping out in the Art section and perhaps the Editor for Foodie 4BRANT Spicy Jan could have been seen testing the morsels of local restaurants.
Five restaurants also got a special bell ringing by a cast of Criers. These restaurants hosted the Criers for lunch as a thank you for our visitors helping the organizing committee. Two of the restaurants you will hear more about in later stories as new businesses opened in the last month:
‘Nine North’ specializing in Viet/Thai cuisine,
…and ‘Hip Hop’ for Caribbean delights.
‘Rocklings Tap and Grill’ Indian and North American, ‘Devlin’s Advocate’ Eclectic and Traditional, and the ‘Rose and Thistle’ for British fare graciously rounded out the hosting.
Congratulations go to the Parks and Recreation Department under Manager, Lori-Dawn Cavin (and the original events planner for the Square), her events coordinator Jennifer Middleton, their staff and a raft of enthusiastic volunteers from the community including the Downtown Neighbourhood Association for successfully pulling off an incredibly complicated three-day event, battling weather threats and solving problems on the fly. Also a special note for the artist whom designed the logo originally, Sherri Simpson.
Thank you to the Brantford City Council of 2006-2010 for making this vision a reality and to the current Council for continuing the support of downtown. There is so much planned for Harmony Square…and Harmony the squirrel…for the rest of the year.
Nobody’s crying now.