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NEWS RELEASE          For release June 22, 2009

150th anniversary celebrations raise $73,000 for Southampton projects

Southampton, Ont., June 22, 2009 -- We know the 150th Anniversary celebrations of Southampton were a great success in terms of community participation, but on the financial side the committee has turned up a surprising result: the final audit shows a surplus of $73,000. The committee gave its final report to Saugeen Shores town council on June 22, 2009.

"This surplus exceeds our wildest dreams," said committee president Shirley Irwin. "Thanks to the huge turnout at events and great weather we can now set up a fund for community projects. So essentially the whole community, by taking part wholeheartedly in the celebrations, has created a legacy for our town."

The Committee was able to leverage its grant from Canadian Heritage to greatly expand the number and scope of the Aug. 14-17 weekend events far beyond the original plans. As a result, gross revenues including grants, sponsorship, fundraising and event sales were over $212,000.

The Canadian Heritage grant supported artists, musicians and projects of a heritage and historical nature. The expanded program appealed to a wider cross section of people with different interests. The fabulous weather over the weekend brought out the maximum possible number of people and as a result all events were sold out.

The Heritage Tent was very popular as people met, listened to many local musical groups and enjoyed the view from the foot of High St. The two Saturday night dances were well attended and a Friday Teen Dance allowed local high school musicians to gain stage experience. The range, type and quality of Bruce and Grey County musicians are remarkable. The grant allowed the Committee to showcase over 25 groups.

The book Southampton Remembered almost sold out and generated significant revenue. Local merchants and businesses swung behind the event and their sponsorships far exceeded expectations. Fundraising by the committee over the three years prior to the event also added to the great results.

As Treasurer Tim Andersen noted, "Some revenues were offset by expenses, but the final surplus of $73,000 shows what we always knew: Southampton is absolutely tops in community pride and participation."

Southampton's 150th Anniversary Committee will heed the decision taken at its April 10, 2008 meeting: any surplus goes to Southampton community projects, such as Town Hall and Streetscape lighting. It has decided to donate funds to the Southampton Streetscape committee for two period streetlights on High Street; a plaque will note the 150th's contribution. The balance of the surplus funds are earmarked for heritage projects such as the possible Town Hall renovation now being planned.

"We want to contribute to a major project in Southampton which will have lasting impact on the community," said music co-ordinator Steve McMillan. "We want the surplus to be 'returned to the community for community projects', just as we wrote in our March 10, 2009 letter to Canadian Heritage.

Treasurer Tim Andersen explained, "Our federal grant allowed us to involve many artists and community groups, who were paid for their efforts. The Committee encouraged service groups to take part in 150th events by running their own programs to help with their fund-raising goals. The grant had a multiplier effect which greatly increased the community impact."

Hardly any souvenirs of the festivities remain. "All we have left are a box of Southampton Remembered books, which we are donating to the Museum gift shop, and some large and small Southampton flags, to go to Marine Heritage," said committee member Betty Bender.

The Southampton 150th executive committee will stay intact to oversee disbursement of the surplus. The executive is composed of Shirley Irwin, president; Robin Hilborn, first vice-president; Duncan McCallum, second vice-president; Tim Anderson, treasurer; Ken Harlock, assistant treasurer; Beverly Morgan, secretary; Steve McMillan, music co-ordinator; Betty Bender and Marnie Cammidge.

Also working hard on the 150th Anniversary were a 20-member steering committee, 25 event committees and scores of volunteers (see the list at "We couldn't have done it without you", Many of the committee members had worked on the plans for the celebrations for four years and got the momentum building.

In addition to the financial legacy, the 150th anniversary committee is bequeathing to posterity such tangible items as historical plaques, books, costumes, photographs and bottles of wine. None of these would have been created without the impetus of the 150th anniversary celebrations.


A key event committee was the Cottage Life Committee, responsible for placing permanent markers at historical sites around Southampton, funded by the Canadian Heritage grant.

The first historical plaque, "The Knowles Block", was unveiled on Aug. 30, 2008. It's at the west end of Morpeth St., at the boardwalk. (See "Plaque honours father of tourism",

The committee has since installed four more plaques around Southampton:
• "The Old Train Station" is on Grosvenor, just south of Morpeth, in front of Grosvenor's restaurant.
• "The Furniture Making Era" is at the northwest corner of Morpeth and Albert streets.
• "Southampton's Waterfront" is at the west end of High Street, at the boardwalk.
• "Saugeen River Harbour" is at the harbour, in front of the Chantry Island Tour Base.

Another of the committee's productions is a history of cottages, Memories of Cottage Life in Southampton, in which owners tell the stories of various cottages along the beach. Design and layout was by Brenda Sharpe.

Committee members were Sam Klaman, Brenda Sharpe, Jane Kramer, Margaret Large-Cardoso and Arlene Letheren.


Another legacy of the 150th, the book Southampton Remembered, stands as a much-loved memento. Its 120 pages present the memoirs of townspeople, complemented by superb period photographs. (See "Launch of Southampton Remembered," Editors were Duncan McCallum and Jill Roote; interviewers were Anne Judd and Julie Fitzgerald; design was by Phil McDonald.

Beaches & Beacons: Southampton at 150 is a 36-page booklet inserted in the July 16, 2008 edition of the Shoreline Beacon. Historical vignettes were by Robin Hilborn; photos were from the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre

The booklet Memories of Cottage Life in Southampton is on sale at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre gift shop.

The 16-month calendar Southampton, Then and Now featured photos by the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre and Southampton residents. Photo selection was by Katherine Leonard and Don Matheson; historical captions were by Robin Hilborn.


The 150th anniversary web site at will stay online as an accessible archive of 150th activities. Content author is Robin Hilborn.


Period costumes acquired by Connie Barker for the 150th anniversary celebrations will be stored at a facility provided by the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. Any local non-profit group may borrow a costume from the Museum's costume repository at no cost, returning it at the end of their event. Costumes have already been used by Performing Arts of Saugeen Shores, and by the Museum at its "A Day in the Life" historical re-enactments.


The 150th Anniversary Committee, conscious of its contribution to the town heritage, has deposited at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre an assortment of documents and artifacts associated with the celebrations. It makes quite a collection. Included are the books, calendar and costumes mentioned above, plus such items as:

• One bottle of "Sailors' Delight" white wine and one bottle of "Capt. Spence" red wine, with 150th Anniversary commemorative labels.
• Historical photos displayed at the Heritage Tent, together with the "Can you name the people" sheets which visitors used to identify the people shown.
• The script of the play by Deanna Underwood presented July 25, 2008 at Southampton Town Hall, and the printed program. (See "Captain and the Council play",
• Cottage Life Committee booklet "Memories of Cottage Life in Southampton", in which owners tell the stories of their cottages; binder of cottage histories and photographs by the Cottage Life Committee.
• Booklet and photo CD which record 93 heritage plaques found on Southampton's historic homes and businesses. The booklet was compiled in 2008 under the Heritage Property Plaque Program by the volunteers of the Municipal Heritage Committee.
• Three large binders reporting on 150th activities to the federal Department of Canadian Heritage. (See "Federal grant for 150th anniversary celebrations",
• "Kramer 150th Anniversary Scrapbook": newspaper clippings, flyers and programs, assembled by Jane Kramer. Includes Robin Hilborn's weekly historical column, "Southampton Celebrates", published in the Shoreline Beacon from Jan. 23 to Aug. 27, 2008.
• Official programs, event flyers, promotional flyers, posters and brochures.
• Souvenir mugs, buttons, paper fans, ballpoint pens, T-shirt and flags.
• Press Kit from Media Day, June 25, 2008.
• Radio advertising scripts.
• 700 MB of photographs taken by Robin Hilborn from April to August 2008.
• Designs by Bill Boyer of posters, advertising, banners and an 8-foot signboard, "Proud Sponsors".
• Two pull-up banners, Southampton Then and Southampton Now, for use at kiosks, displays and events. They summarize the history of Southampton and the present-day attractions.
• Two 24-foot banners reading "Southampton 150 Aug. 14-17, 2008", displayed outside Town Hall.
• Minutes of meetings of the 150th Anniversary Committee from Nov. 18, 2006 to Aug. 4, 2008.


Each year the Saugeen Shores Community Fund holds a Mayors Gala. At the Dec. 31, 2008 event the 150th Anniversary Committee was honoured with the Mayors Award for 2008. In accepting the award on behalf of the committee, Steve McMillan emphasized the total community involvement needed to make the 2008 festivities a reality.

Steve highlighted the many aspects which brought together the whole town: a tremendous parade, participation of First Nation drummers and dancers, re-enactment of the original council meeting, dances, BBQs and bicycle decorating contests.

There has been nothing but positive feedback from the event, Steve said. He made special mention of the wonderful support received from local businesses. As Steve put it, "It is this type of event that pulls the community together to celebrate our successes and our rich heritage as a town which doesn't forget the past but uses it to shape the future."


The Southampton 150th Anniversary Committee is a sub-committee of the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce. The 150th Committee thanks the Board of Directors for its solid support for the 2008 celebrations. Chamber of Commerce backing helped guarantee a successful event, with financial grants for 150th staff, and Chamber staff support in the office and at the Heritage Tent.

In addition the Town of Saugeen Shores provided invaluable financial and logistic support, for which the 150th Anniversary Committee is grateful.

"This committee was already hard at work when I came on board in the winter of 2007", said Joanne Robbins, General Manager of the Chamber of Commerce. "They all took ownership and made the event a memorable one. Everyone on the committee and all the volunteers involved should take a bow -- the success of the Southampton 150th Celebrations is your doing!"

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  To see all 150th anniversary events, visit

 2008 marks 150 years since Southampton was incorporated as a village on July 24, 1858. For more about Southampton's 150th Anniversary, see


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