From Bracebridge …

Crier Bruce Kruger sends two photos … the first from this year’s Groundhog Day Celebrations with Wiaton Willie. Anyone who watched CBC Television News on February 2nd saw Crier Bruce proudly announcing Willie’s decision that there will be an early summer this year.

Bracebridge Crier Bruce Kruger prepares to give full voice to Wiarton Willies annual decision.

Each year Bracebridge hosts the Muskoka Escapades, a Town Crier competition. The home of Santa’s Village comes alive with SantaFest. The home of all-things-Santa comes alive many times during the year with unique festivities and Crier Bruce and his wife Lynn are proud to be part of the events.

Welcome Canada 150!

Perth Town Crier
Crier Brent McLaren opens the annual “Polar Plunge” on New Years Day.
Criers from across Ontario gathered in front of Town Halls, on Band Stands and street corners, even by water’s edge, to ring in the start of the 150th Anniversary of Canada! For some the celebrations began with large municipal gatherings and continued well into New Year’s Day at the many levies and other festivities.

Are you looking for a Town Crier to bring your event to a rousing level?

The Ontario Guild of Town Crier has talented members who have the experience and ability to elevate any gathering to new levels. Contact a Guild Crier today. Our Membership Map will assist you in finding the Crier nearest to your location.

2016 Website Launched …

The website for the Ontario Guild of Town Criers Provincial Championships for 2016 being held in heritage Perth Ontario launched today. The site, designed specifically for the Criers who are planning to attend, will keep each Crier and community up-to-date on all of the scheduled events and venues which are part of the weekend. The site also contains information to help Criers with accommodations and local restaurants.

Crier Brent McLarenAs the organizing committee makes adjustments to the event, the changes will be made reflected immediately on the web site. During the last months leading to the competitions versions of information will be available for Town Criers to download, hopefully saving considerable paper and copying. Even registration and cry submission for the event can be accomplished online.

The website contains over 150 pages from special editions of the Perth Courier to help the Criers prepare for their third cry, which relates to the history of the Military Settlement on the Rideau, as well as given them some interesting looks at the community as they prepare their first two cries.

The 2016 OGTC Provincial Championships will take part in Perth, Ontario on May 21-22, 2016 as part of the community’s 200th birthday celebrations.

The website is located at: http://perthtowncrier.com/2016.

Crier Mark Molnar wins OGTC Championship

This article appeared in the St. Catherines Standard on August 21, 2014, written by Karena Walter (karena.walter@sunmedia.ca).

The article included a video clip and photograph. Please follow the link to see the entire coverage.

Oyez! Town Crier named best in Ontario
By Karena Walter, The Standard
Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:40:06 EDT PM

As the official Town Crier for St. Catharines — celebrating his 10-year anniversary this month — Molnar has always been loud and proud.

Now, he can bellow he’s the best of his proclamating peers in the province. Molnar’s performance earlier this month at the 2014 Ontario Guild of Town Criers annual provincial championship in Port Perry earned him top marks.

Crier Mark Molnar“What’s not to like about it? You get to yell at people without them yelling back,” he joked.I love doing that stuff. Pretty much any time I put on the uniform, I’m having fun.”

Born in St. Catharines and raised in Pelham, Molnar, 51, was first bitten with the crier bug in the early 1980s. He was in the navy and found himself in the audience of a town crier competition in Halifax. He turned to the person next to him and said, “I could do that.”

The crier on stage heard and invited him up to try delivering an “Oyez!” After Molnar belted one out, the crier agreed, “You could do that.” Twenty years later, he attended a charity walk in Port Dalhousie and noticed the town crier kicking off the event was from out of town. He wrote a letter to city council asking if he could be the city’s official town crier and was appointed after a competition. After five years of working out of pocket, he was awarded a $1,500 annual honorarium for travel and other expenses.

In the beginning, Molnar said, his cries were stiff and formal, but after getting tips from other criers he’s moved outside rigid boundaries and added more humour. Now he cries at anywhere from 12 to 50 events a year, such as at Canada Day celebrations and parades. He also does private events like weddings and grand openings. And while he’s willing to do political events, he has to make it clear in his cry that he is being hired to be there. He once cried at events held in Port Dalhousie for both pro and anti­tower groups. “It’s part of the mandate, I can’t choose sides,” he said. “I can’t get involved in partisan politics.”

Molnar, who studied theatre at Brock University, is also the town crier for the Town of Lincoln and is the president of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers until his two year term is up in January. His wife, Margaret Hughes, is in the spirit and attends competitions wearing the period dress for consorts.

Molnar had to deliver three cries over the Aug. 9 and 10 provincial competition, on the subjects of microbreweries, anything British and farmers, markets or farmers’ markets. Seventeen town criers were judged on the content of their cries, their clarity and projection, how they enter and exit the stage and their general appearance.

Molnar was impressed with his competitors. “A lot of the newer criers coming in are bringing in a lot of skills that, when I started I had to build up,” he said. After 10 years of competing, Molnar took home boasting rights and a large engraved trophy.

As he celebrates a decade as St. Catharines town crier, he wouldn’t be surprised to find himself in the role for the next 10 years, too. “Sure, so long as my voice holds out.”

Mark Molnar’s cry on the theme Anything British, performed at the 2014 Ontario Guild of Town Criers Competition:

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

How I love the language of Britain!

In Canada, you put gas in the car, while in Britain you put petrol in your saloon. Here, we can put our boots in the trunk. In Britain,they can put a trunk in the boot. Here, we open the hood to see the engine. In Britain, they open the bonnet — while wearing a hood.

In Britain, if you’re knackered you have a kip, especially if you’ve gotten legless on some plonk. So poetic! Here you get drunk and pass out on cheap wine.

Here, you’re hungry and want some food. In Britain you’re peckish and fancy a nosh.

Canada and England — two countries separated by a common language!

God Save the Queen’s English!