The Past is Told. Let the Future Unfold...
...and just like that, it was all over. Pomp, ceremony, and celebrations dominated North Battleford in 2013 as the City celebrated its Centennial with numerous events throughout the year.
New Year’s Eve
It all began with the Centennial Family Fun Day during the afternoon of December 31st, 2012 when about 350 kids converged on the Don Ross Centre for games and crafts in the gym, complete with a concession and a dance. The gym was decorated, New Year’s party favours were handed out and there was a much anticipated balloon drop. Centennial cupcakes were served and the free event was well received by the public.
That evening, the Centennial Committee really got the party started with a New Year’s Eve dance at the Civic Centre. It had sold out a couple of days in advance with more than 850 people attending – dancing the night away to music from the likes of Rosetta, Blue Denim, and the King Street Station Band.
On February 3rd, 2013, the citizens of North Battleford were treated to another free event – the Winter Carnival at the Civic Centre. This event was a partnership effort with the Aboriginal Storytelling Celebration Group from the North Battleford Library. There was public skating, sleigh rides, traditional First Nations games, snow sculpturing, fiddlers, a concession, a balloon artist, and pictures with a life sized snowman. The day attracted more than 300 people and also included cake and hot chocolate.
On March 8th, 2013, the City’s centenarians (citizens 100 years old and over) were honoured at the Centennial Seniors Tea in the Chapel Gallery. Of 13 individuals identified in the community, six were able to attend and one was represented by her daughter. The eldest centenarian at the tea was 104 years old. Tables and chairs were decorated in "high-tea" fashion. Scenic historical pictures of North Battleford and framed pictures of past and present Mayors, adorned the walls of the gallery. Tea and dainties were served to the 170 people who attended, violin duets were played by two young local young girls and Mr. Moe McGuinty shared a series of poems that brought many laughs to the crowd. Centenarians received a Centennial Centenarian Certificate, Reflections of North Battleford Pictorial Book, and a Centennial coin.
Official Birthday Party
May 1st, 2013 was the City’s official 100th birthday. On May 1st, 1913, Mayor D.S. Walker had delivered a proclamation to the citizens of the community that North Battleford was officially a City. The proclamation event was held at midnight on May 1st, 1913, however, for May 1st, 2013, it was decided the celebration would take place in Central Park during the day.
There were approximately 500 people at the afternoon event including the Lieutenant Governor and her husband, North Battleford and Cut Knife MLAs, CN Railway officials, First Nations representatives, and current and past Mayors and Councils. Church bells rang, choirs sang, a CN Rail train blew its horn, there was a historical re-enactment play, and Mayor Ian Hamilton rang a bell at exactly 3:55pm.
As the afternoon came to a close, the celebration moved over to the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts for the Centennial Gala. The 200 attendees were encouraged to dress in 1913 attire and the formal event featured dinner and a theatre performance.
Canada Day Celebration
More than 1500 people attended Canada Day Celebrations at the Battlefords Ag Society on July 1st, 2013.
There was a pancake breakfast, various food booths, stage entertainment, an Amazing Race competition, beer gardens, wagon rides, children’s activities, a vintage auto show, and craft/artisan tables. Centennial Cake was served and the greatest fireworks that our community has probably ever seen capped off the celebration!
The Closing Ceremonies recognized sponsors and dozens upon dozens of volunteers who donated countless hours in the planning and organization of all of the Centennial events.
The event began with an address from Centennial Celebrations Chair, Tammy Donahue-Buziak. All volunteer committee members were introduced and presented with a small panoramic picture from September 28, 2013 (4-point community picture downtown) and a certificate of thanks for volunteering. Everyone posed for pictures, which will be included in the Centennial Scrapbook and placed in the 2013 Time Capsule.
“Many good memories will be held by our citizens and volunteers as we conclude this historical year of celebration.” – 2013 Centennial Chair, Tammy Donahue-Buziak
2013 Centennial Core Committee
Tammy Donahue-Buziak – Chair
Mike Halstead – Co-chair
Siobhan Gormley – Co-chair
Darren Olson – Promotions Chair
Sharon Mohagen – Special Events Chair
Gil Bellavance – Historical Committee Chair
Leah Milton – Finance Committee Chair