The News from Bracebridge

YWCA Walk-A-Mile-In-Her-Shoes Charity for Violence Against Women. (May 26th, 2019)
Accompanied by members of the OPP Bracebridge Detachment – Officer holding bell is Skeeter Kruger, son of Bracebridge Town Crier Bruce Kruger

Bruce & Lynn Kruger at New Holland Brewery Promoting their 90th Tulip Time Gin, Holland, Michigan

The Holland Tulip Time Festival International Town Crier Competition – May 11, 2019
Winners of Competition
(L-R) Mary Webster (2nd – Best Dressed Escort) John Webster (First Place), Bruce Kruger (2nd Place), Ken Knowles (3rd Place)
Rich Lalena (Judge & Founder of USA Guild), John & Weida Karsten (Hosts & 40th Anniversary as Town Crier)
Lynn Kruger (1st – Best Dressed Escort), Liz McKee (3rd – Best Dressed Escort).

Provincial Championships in Oshawa

The annual Ontario Provincial Town Crier Championships will take place in Oshawa on Saturday, July 10, 2010. The festivities actually get underway on the Friday evening and to date seventeen Guild Criers and representatives from other Guilds will be in attendance. Crier Bill McKee, the Crier for Oshawa, the Township of Uxbridge & Port Perry-Scugog Township, is hosting this years event which takes place on the site of the Oshawa International Festival. With the criers adding to the colour and pagentry of the day, this should be an excellent three-cry competition.

OGTC ProvincialsThe planned itinerary for the competition is:

FRIDAY JULY 9, 2010: Arrival at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and Durham College anytime after 6 pm. There will be a small reception available upon your arrival or very soon thereafter. We will have the draw order during this time. Your two written cries could be handed in then as well. The accommodations include a continental breakfast, parking and use of the internet.

SATURDAY JULY 10, 2010: Hopefully the bus will pull out at 0945 hours. Anyone driving to the site should note that parking will be limited because there is also  a ball tournament in the stadium next to the Gardens, many pipe bands and a Chinese cultural event at the Festival.

1000 hours: Judge’s briefing.

1030 hours: Cry #1 – Anything to do with International Festivals, Culture, Pipe bands or any distantly related topic. Humour is most certainly welcome. The cry will be done on the south end bridge facing north. Judges will be seated on both sides of the Oshawa Creek.

1200 hours: Opening Ceremonies at North end of Park. Criers welcome but certainly not compelled to attend.

1315 hours: Cry #2 – Anything on General Motors. Again, humour is welcome.

1430 hours: AGM of the Ontario Guild of Town Criers in the Children’s Arena board room. This arena is part of the Botanical Gardens land and is located in the Gardens parking lot on Arena St.

1600 hours: (Or sooner if the AGM is quick) Cry #3 – A cry based on the information given to you after the first cry. There will be no penalties for any historical inaccuracy and no penalties if all the ideas given are not used. The object here is humour and creativity. All other OGTC rules still apply.

1730 hours: Awards. This may be moved to the banquet hour depending on time.

1800 hours: Banquet at Royal Canadian Legion Branch #43, 471 Simcoe St. S. Oshawa. At the banquet, there will a cash bar available, and the dinner menu is beef, Caesar salad, veggies, spuds, dessert, and non-alcoholic beverage.

2030 hours: Head home or bus back to car.

Other information:

Lunch on the day of the competition will be in the form of either a voucher redeemable at one of the many vendors or a cash envelope of $10.00 per person. That is to be determined.

It is a busy day yes, but everything is on site for the contest and we are all housed together and the banquet is close by. A detailed set of travel instructions has been emailed to each participant. Any questions call Crier Bill McKee at 905.982.0433 or email him at It is not too late for Criers who have not stated they are coming to sign on.

The Guild Executive wishes to thank Crier Bill McKee and his wife Liz, as well as any others who are assisting in our annual event. This promises to be another excellent day for all Criers!

Crier bellows to bronze in North American contest

Posted By Karena Walter, St. Catherines Standard Staff

It helps that Mark Molnar not only speaks loudly, but has something to say.

With a booming voice that commands attention and lung capacity on his side, the city’s town crier bellowed to bronze in a North American mouthpiece showdown this weekend.

Molnar regaled judges with three cries about hometown St. Catharines, host city Annapolis, Md., and William, Penn.

“They like a bit of humour in a cry. They like it interesting,” Molnar said Monday, explaining how judges work.

“I try to liven it up a bit. I try to put some life into what I say, and I think that works for me.”

The North American Town Crier Competition saw 24 orators from B.C. to Bermuda pitch their pipes.

Competitors had to submit in writing three cries between 100 and 125 words prior to the competition. One of the five judges read along during their performances, giving penalty points if a word was mispronounced or skipped.

Town criers were also judged on their entrances and exits, content of the cries and clarity and volume, which Molnar said he rarely has a problem achieving.

“Some of the guys, by the second cry they were hoarse. As soon as that happens, you’re in trouble,” said Molnar, who warms up his voice before events.

All competitors had to be officially appointed by a municipality and be members of a guild. The majority were from Ontario, which has the largest population of town criers.

In Niagara alone, there are official town criers in Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara Falls, Port Colborne and Welland, while the Town of Lincoln is also covered by Molnar.

Ontario’s criers are of a high quality, with Port Perry and Kingston representatives taking the top two spots. The province’s competition, in which Molnar will be taking part, is held in June.

Molnar seemed born to use his chops. In the early ’80s, while in the navy, he stumbled upon the first town crier world championships taking place in Halifax.

“I turned to the person beside me and said, ‘I could do that,’ ” he recalled. The Halifax town crier overheard him and invited Molnar onstage, where he managed to call out with the best of them.

Years later, at a charity event in Port Dalhousie, Molnar noticed the crier was from out of town.

After learning the official St. Catharines crier had moved to Korea five years earlier, Molnar asked the city to appoint him to the job.

A crier contest was held in 2004, and Molnar won.

Since then, he’s been a frequent guest of the Niagara Wine Festival, Santa Claus parade and Canada Day events, among dozens of other public and private occasions, much to his delight.

It seems the shiny pewter plaque from the North American competition is icing on the cake.

“What other job do you get to dress up funny and yell at people,” he asks, “and they can’t yell back?”


This article and photo originally appeared in the St. Catherines Standard and was posted By Karena Walter, St. Catherines Standard Staff

Brantford Calls All Criers!

David McKee, Town Crier for Brantford, Ontario has issued is an invitation to be part of a significant historic event in the City of Brantford to take place on Sunday, June 8, 2008.

“Our new downtown civic square, now named Harmony Square, is the culmination of a downtown revitalization that began in the mid ’90s in response to an accusation that Brantford had the worst downtown in the country! The change is astounding and is to be celebrated with a weekend party which will be topped off by a grand closing ceremony choreographed by Emmy Award winning Cirque de Soleil choreographer, Debra Brown. I believe that Debra’s presence will generate significant press coverage.”

brantford_city_2000_logo.png Just prior to the closing, Town Criers will be located in different parts of the square and, on queue, will bring greetings from their home communities and congratulations to Brantford. In December there was a soft opening to launch the skating rink in the centre of the square. David is happy to announce to all Town Criers that the accoustics in Harmony Square are a thespian’s dream! Those who join him will be thrilled by the natural sound projection!

David will supply further details directly to those who commit to helping me on June 8th. For those who would like to make a weekend of it, he could use some help on the 7th, as well, but the 8th will be the big day for us as a group.

Please let David McKee know if you will come and he will put you on his list.

“The Gathering Of The Bells”

The first Gathering Of The Bells at the International Plowing Match in Crosby Ontario went off to the enjoyment of the Criers and everyone in attendance. What struck each of the nine criers who participated was the absolute massive size of the venue, spanning over 65 acres of exhibits and over 900 more acres for parking and plowing!

ipm2007021.jpgGuild members were joined by other area criers for the Saturday morning friendly get together. Throughout the entire five days Guild members Brent McLaren (Perth), David Boyd (Rideau Lakes) and Paddy O’Connor (Central Frontenac) volunteered their services and kept the massive crowds, approaching 20,000 each day, informed and entertained. Special thanks has to be given to Jan Gravelle, pictured between Bruce Bedell (Belleville), and Steve and Linda Travers (Barrie). Jan looked after the many entertainment venues at the IPM. She treated the Criers royally and always with the friendliest smile all week!

An article and additional pictures are available online by visiting and additional photos can be found in the Guild’s Photo Gallery.

The Ontario Guild Of Town Criers hopes that our presence can be part of the International Plowing Matches for many years to come, and we sincerely thank the IPM Directors for this opportunity.