Frontenac County Ready to Celebrate 150 Years!
KINGSTON - In just three years Frontenac County will turn 150 years old, and what’s a birthday without a celebration?
The county, which encompasses four townships, including North, Central and South Frontenac and the Frontenac Islands, formed an advisory committee to county council in 2011 with the aim of preparing for the celebration.
“We’ve had the committee for about a year and it’s a been a lot of planning. We have to take into consideration that the county is very geographically diverse,” said Janet Gutowski, warden of the County of Frontenac.
Earlier this month, the 150th anniversary planning advisory committee kicked-off their community involvement of the future celebration by launching a logo-creating contest. The contest opened on Aug. 1 and will go until Nov. 2, awarding a grand prize of $1,000 to the winner whose artwork is chosen as the logo for the celebration.
Gutowski said the contest is the first event to kick-start the three-year period before the final celebration.
“We wanted to create the logo early so that we can use it to create awareness. We wanted a consistent identity as we build towards the grand celebration and it’s a great way to start public engagement,” she said.
Another way the committee hopes to engage the public is to appoint its subcommittees within each one of its townships.
Along the way the committee hopes to organize a smaller series of celebrations and collaborating with current township festivals and events to celebrate the anniversary.
“There are many people across the county who have venues who are looking to share,” she said.
The celebration, which is set for Aug. 28-30, 2015, is currently in its planning stages and encourages county residents to provide suggestions and ideas for the celebration.
The committee overseeing the planning has six members, one representative from each municipality and two members of the current council.
“We’ve got a make plan if you’re going to have a celebration, invitation list, people to execute plans, it’s very much like planning a wedding,” she said. “It’s a very special event that’s only going to come around once and you’ve only got a chance.”
For now, Gutowski said the committee hopes to piggy-back on many existing events for the next couple of years to get people excited for the final celebration.
“The celebration is certainly going to involve a lot of history, music and food, which is a great part of our tradition, have a strong connection to farming and agriculture and see to traditional events like the pancake breakfast,” she said.
The goal is to create events, which took place 150 years ago and are still continued today.
“I believe it’s a lot easier to understand what’s happening today if you’ve got some insight into the past. If you’re grounded into what’s happening, it’s certainly good to get a plan together to ensure success of the future,” she said.
The committee currently does not have a set funding structure but is looking into a combination of allocation of funds from the county, fundraising, corporate sponsorship and grants.
“We want to reach out to all people. People, who live in the county, people who used to live in the area but no longer do,” she said. “We’d love to welcome them back.”