North Battleford officially kicked off its 2013 centennial celebration this week.
They unveiled their logo for the celebration - a blue logo with the North Battleford water tower prominently displayed. Also on display was a float that was part of that evening’s North West Territorial Days parade, decked out in the blue and green official colors of the city.
They also revealed some of the plans in the works for the year-long celebrations that will beginn December 31, 2012 and run throughout 2013. Events will include a winter carnival at Don Ross Centre as well as a 100th anniversary party on May 1, among others.
The launch event at the CN railway station and grounds was well-attended by several municipal officials including Mayor Ian Hamilton, along with several members of North Battleford’s centennial committee. Hamilton and city council gave funding approval in June to the centennial committee for the various activities which will take place throughout the year.
“It’s been a lot of work so far and we are so excited to get this going,” said Tammy Donahue-Buziak, co-chair of the Centennial committee and archivist with the city of North Battleford.
The CNR station, where the launch took place on Monday, was noted for its considerable historical importance to North Battleford’s development.
The decision by the Canadian Northern railway to locate the westward railway on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River in 1904, instead of on the south side in Battleford, was credited with spurring explosive business growth and immigration to that location.
The community rapidly developed after the arrival of the railway. By 1913 the town of North Battleford had reached 5,000 population and with it, city status. 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of North Battleford’s incorporation as a city.
Residents can expect to see a familiar blue centennial logo prominently displayed over the coming several months, with the city’s water tower front and centre as part of the logo.
A lot of ideas were floated but the promotions committee decided the water tower deserved a prominent place in the logo.
Darren Olson, chair of the promotions committee, noted the water tower was “kind of our Eiffel Tower in North Battleford.”
He called the structure recognizable for people coming though the community because it “pops up on the skyline.” Moreover, the water tower also paid tribute to the infrastructure of the city. “The utilities are very much a part of our community,” Olson said.
The logo notes the establishment of the city in 1913. A starbust is depicted behind the water tower inside the logo, which represented “movement” and “excitement,” said Olson. It also gave the logo a retro feel to it, he said.
The logo unveiling did not go as smoothly as expected, as a gust of wind unexpectedly blew over the stand that held up the logo design.
That prompted emcee Harry Michael Dekker to quip that the centennial logo “blew us all away.”
Donahue-Buziak ran through a wide range of activities that the city has planned for 2013.
“It’s going to be a big party,” Donahue-Buziak promises. “We’re going to invite all the former residents to come back and make their plans to return home for next year, and we would be certainly welcoming everyone visiting.”
On Dec.31, they plan a kick-off event entitled “Let’s Get This Party Started!” featuring family day at the Don Ross Centre and a New Year’s Eve Party at the BTC Field House.
On February 3, they plan a Winter Carnival event at the Don Ross Centre, aimed mainly at children.
On March 8 a Centennial Tea is planned at the Chapel Gallery, aimed at seniors. Plans are for that event to also remember the late Julian Sadlowski, former Mayor of North Battleford who died earlier this year.
The big celebration is planned May 1 when the city celebrates its 100th anniversary with a Birthday Party at Central Park, which Donahue-Buziak promises will be the “biggest party you’ve ever seen.” Plans are to open a 25-year old time capsule at that event, and there are tentative plans to seal a 100-year capsule commemorating the year’s events at the end of the year.
July 1 will feature a major Canada Day celebration at Centennial Park. The year will wrap up with closing ceremonies December 31, 2013,
Those events are still in the planning stages, and all dates are tentative and subject to change. As well, a contest is to be held to invite city residents to write a Centennial slogan that will accompany the logo through 2013.
There also are plans to launch a YouTube channel to promote the city’s centennial and local talent, and the committee is requesting more volunteers to help out.
Up to date information on the centennial activities can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CityofNB100, on Twitter @CityofNB100, and at www.cityofnb.ca. Those looking to get involved or volunteer can email the committee at CityofNB100@gmail.com or can phone City Archives directly at 306 445-1786.