Details emerging for town criers competition in the Valley this fall

Published on February 10, 2017

The town crier for Canning and Berwick, Gary Long, is busy putting the details together for a competition in the Valley this September.

©Wendy Elliott

CANNING NS – Details are coming together for an international town crier competition in the Annapolis Valley this September during Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.

Gary Long, official town crier of Berwick and Canning, is still looking for contributions from various municipal units, but he knows the town criers are keen to come.

“I am confident it will all work out,” he noted, “we’re looking at 23 right now from Australia, New Zealand, California, England, Wales and Ontario.”

Long has the support of other Valley criers in organizing the competition, including Lloyd Smith, the longest serving town crier in North America, and Annapolis Royal town crier Peter Davies.

The notion came after former Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley who wondered if a world-class town crier competition could be staged in the Valley. Now Long is expected some national winners, such as Kingston, Ontario’s Chris Wyman

Long attended an international town crier competition in Bermuda to gauge the interest of other criers. They told him they’d like to come to the Valley from Sept. 12 - 17.

He said the criers he talked to were ready to pack their bags. Competitions, in Long’s experience, are first rate promotion and tourism events.

The plan is to hold three cries in the competition, one promoting Canada’s 150th birthday, one about the Annapolis Valley and an open event where criers can pick their topic.

Long is still getting quotes for costs like transportation and advertising and he’s seeking federal and provincial funding.

The itinerary includes visits to the Kentville and Wolfville farmers markets, a day of competition in Windsor and a winery tour.

Long has planned a second day of competition at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal. He hopes to take the criers to the Habitation and have Alain Melanson welcome them into the Order of Good Cheer.

The final day competition is set for the national historic site at Grand Pre.