Mono to mark 200 years this fall with community event

April 20, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Mono Centre marks its 200th birthday this year.

As such, a group of organizers have taken to planning a day-long event to mark the municipality’s bicentennial.

Mono council got a snapshot of what festivities are in the works during a regular meeting on Apr. 11.

Emily Collins is a descendant of John and Martha Turnbull and a seventh-generation family member. With a background in large-scale event planning, she got the ball rolling in 2022 to mark the town’s 200 years.

Events are planned for much of the day on Sept. 16.

In the evening, there will be a ticketed sit-down dinner with guest speaker playwright Dan Needles followed by a square dance.

Courtney Clarkson was recruited by Collins to help plan the events.

“I’m very honoured because I’m obsessed with Mono and the town and the people here and preserving the heritage here,” she said.

“We have a very unique heritage here,” Collins said.

They’d like to encourage the Museum of Dufferin and other groups to set up historical exhibits about the area.

Collins said Mono Centre has a well-documented history of community events. She’s discovered written and photographic references back to 1903 and again in 1914 of an annual community picnic by residents. People banded together to put on a memorable day when everybody could unwind and enjoy a day of fun.

“Our objective is to create a memorable day for everyone in the community as well as use that as a backboard to start creating some other annual or regular events,” Collins said.

Many community events were put on hiatus when the world came to a screeching halt with the coronavirus virus and subsequent lockdown in March 2020.

“We’re hoping to restrengthen those bonds,” Clarkson said.

To that end, the group has garnered the interest of as many as 35 volunteers to help out.

“Everyone has really, really gotten on board and gotten to know each other a little bit better, so we’re already seeing a community impact from this planning,” Clarkson said.

The total event cost has been pegged at $6,000.

Collins said they’d like Mono to subsidize the $1,900 venue rental costs and kick in another $2,000 for event costs. They also have a petition supporting the noise bylaw exemption for the square dance.

Fred Simpson, the town’s clerk, said monetary donations to community groups will be discussed by council at the next meeting on Apr. 25.

“Do we have to wait until then to put this $2,000 request in with the other requests or can we deal with it today?” said Deputy Mayor Fred Nix.

Simpson recommended the request be dealt with when the other community donations are decided.

Regarding the noise bylaw exemption, Nix said there’s a fee involved and a process in place to approve or deny those requests.

Councillor Elaine Capes asked if the bicentennial celebrations would be a one-off this fall or if it would turn into an annual community event.

“Are you going to keep coming back annually?” she said.

Clarkson said the specific nature of the bicentennial celebration makes it a one-off event. She said she hopes some other events could be borne from the celebration.

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