In 1912, the town of Berlin celebrated its “Achievement of Cityhood”. The city crest was adopted and an official ceremony took place announcing that the community of 15,000 people was now large enough to move from a town to that of a city. At the time, there were approximately 10 cities in Ontario, which made the “Achievement of Cityhood” a significant event and an important moment in the history of Kitchener.
Budget set for centennial of cityhood
October 17, 2011 | City of Kitchener | Link
In 2012, the City of Kitchener is celebrating 100 years of cityhood, and today the community and infrastructure services (CIS) committee approved a $165,000 budget for the year’s celebration of the centennial.
The proposed overall theme of the celebration is: Celebrate the Past - IMAGINE the Future, and activities marking the centennial will foster community engagement, leadership and celebrate the diversity of the city.
“We’ve heard from community groups who are already on board, or who will provide capital funding to support the celebration,” said Coun. Kelly Galloway, chair of the CIS committee and member of the centennial committee. “This isn’t just a downtown event. It’s about getting the community involved, wherever they are in the city.”
The previous council allocated $15,000 for the 100th anniversary in 2011 and $165,000 in 2012 in the 10-year capital forecast, contingent on council receiving an update report so a final decision on funding the actual celebration could be made as part of the 2012 capital budget process.
The centennial celebration also is receiving significant funding from sponsorships and other granting organizations, including Heritage Canada, which has confirmed a $66,000 grant for the project.
Proposed events that are in various stages of planning are as follows:
- Kick-off event: Kitchener’s 100th Celebration of Cityhood will kick off in style with a block party in downtown Kitchener on June 10, commemorating the date Kitchener became a city in 1912. King Street will be closed from Kitchener Market to Civic Square where the streets will be filled with live entertainment, games, vendors and food from various periods covering the past 100 years.
- Community Segment Engagement: Groups from four proposed community segments will be encouraged to submit a 60-second video online detailing their proposed plans for a $10,000 grant. The winner of each grant will be determined by the community through online voting and a panel of judges. The segments of the community include:
d) Arts & Culture
- Community Events: The community will be engaged to develop ideas on a smaller scale of how they can incorporate the celebration of cityhood into their project. Some of the potential projects could include: floral gardens in neighbourhood parks, guided evening tours of the haunted sites of Kitchener and everything in between. Groups will be encouraged to provide grant applications on their proposed project, which will be reviewed and judged by the cityhood centennial committee based on established criteria.
Celebrate Our City grants now available
January 16, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
On June 10, 1912, the Town of Berlin became the City of Berlin, later to become the City of Kitchener. This year marks the 100th anniversary of cityhood - and ideas are now being sought from the community for projects to celebrate this major milestone.
An interactive website, www.Kitchener100.ca, commemorates Kitchener's 100th anniversary of cityhood, and the public is invited to add their memories and perspectives to the collection.
Residents can add photos, movies, memories and thoughts on Kitchener past and present to the Kitchener100 website. A video has been posted of the “ghost of William Schmalz,” Berlin's mayor from 1911-12, and his recent tour about town with Mayor Carl Zehr.
Grant applications are also being accepted, giving the public the opportunity to be awarded up to $10,000 to make their ideas a reality. Grant applications should:
- Tell the unique story of Kitchener;
- Be creative and inclusive;
- Bring people together who may not normally work together;
- Look to the future of Kitchener or celebrate the past;
- Enhance the lives of the residents of Kitchener.
In order to be eligible, grant applications must meet the following criteria:
- Applicants must reside in Kitchener, or organizations must have their head office in Kitchener.
- The event, activity or project must take place in Kitchener between June 10 and Dec. 31.
- A detailed budget and project plan for the event, activity or project must be provided for review by the celebration committee.
- Grant applications must be submitted in full by noted deadline.
- Applications that are not completed in full may be rejected.
- A complete list of guidelines will be available online at www.Kitchener100.ca
Projects chosen for the short list will move to a second phase that includes submitting a maximum 60-second video describing the proposed activity or project.
The videos will be displayed on the official website of the Kitchener 100th celebration at www.Kitchener100.ca and the public will vote on their favourite submissions.
Winners will be announced on March 13.
Help select winners in 100 Years of Cityhood contest
February 28, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
Kitchener residents have answered the call and submitted several great ideas to help the city celebrate 100 years of cityhood - and now it’s time for the community to pick the winners.
For the past month, residents have been encouraged to submit ideas on how they think Kitchener’s century-old story should be told - and apply for up to $10,000 in funding to bring their ideas to life.
Submissions were to be creative and inclusive, bring people together who may not normally work together, and to look to the future or celebrate the past.
Out of the submissions that were entered, the cityhood committee has chosen the top 10 ideas. The rest is up to the community.
Online voting has commenced. Residents are asked to visit www.kitchener100.ca between now and March 11th at 5 pm to vote on their favourite ideas.
In the end, four winners will be chosen and granted funding to turn their ideas into reality.
“This is a wonderful way for the community to come together, celebrate the wide range of ideas we’ve seen and choose what they would like to see the grant dollars be put toward,” said Jeff Young, the city’s manager of special events.
Freedom Of The City
Faces of Kitchener
Death First, Second Sight, Sixth Sense
Nexus Centre Community Garden
Centennial Sculpture Garden
Kitchener 100 Scavenger Challenge
An Afternoon At Goudies
Turn Back The Clock
Celebrate Our City event winners chosen
March 15, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
The community has spoken. Four winners for the Celebrate Our City video contest have been chosen, thanks to more than 15,000 votes from 50 countries around the world.
Using the theme Celebrate the Past, Imagine the Future, the community was invited to submit applications for an event that would celebrate 100 years of cityhood for the City of Kitchener.
Of the original submissions, 10 finalists were shortlisted and asked to create 60-second videos for online public voting.
Voters selected helped narrow the field of events they wanted to see during the year’s celebrations. The following four events have been chosen to take place throughout the summer:
- Centennial sculpture garden: Located at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School (KWCVI), this interactive garden will consist of local artifacts and iron works surrounded by green space. Designed and installed by students, staff and alumni, the space will celebrate Kitchener’s rich agricultural, industrial, educational and technological past, present and future.
- Turn Back the Clock baseball event: A free event that will take place in the summer, celebrating the city’s oldest baseball clubs, the Berlin Maple Leafs and the Kitchener Beavers. Players and fans will become part of a living history lesson, as every detail of the event will be replicated, from flannel jerseys to baggy knicker-style pants.
- An Afternoon at Goudies: Nine years ago, THEMUSEUM moved downtown into the building once occupied by Goudies Department Store, well known by locals for their restaurant’s baked goods - especially the cinnamon buns. THEMUSEUM will replicate the era and feeling of Goudies in the 1950s, with a light lunch/afternoon tea and cinnamon buns.
- Nexus Centre Community Garden: A community garden located in downtown Kitchener that will yield locally grown, fresh organic produce for local food hampers. This garden will support residents in a basic, yet healthy, way and strengthen the growth and development of downtown.
“The community really responded to these ideas, and to the videos,” said Jeff Young, manager of special events for the City of Kitchener. “The centenary is really about the fabric of the city, the residents of the city, past, present and future, so it has been rewarding to see so much participation from the public. I am looking forward to seeing these winning ideas come to fruition.”
The year’s events will be presented in partnership with Waterloo Region Record. To view the video submissions, including the winners, visit www.kitchener100.ca
Very chuffed to see this go in at my alma mater! Definitely looking forward.
Kitchener 100 celebrations kick off this weekend
June 06, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
Circle your calendar. On Sunday, June 10, the City of Kitchener celebrates the 100th anniversary of becoming a city. Throughout the day in downtown Kitchener, the King Street Extravaganza will feature activities for everyone, including:
Civic Square will be the hub of activity during the day-long celebration and will feature live musical and dance performances, interactive exhibits and other activities throughout the day. The event is free!
- Live performances celebrating the most iconic periods in music,
- The King Street experience, which will include historical exhibits and activities from the Kitchener Fire Department, Waterloo Regional Museum and more.
- A celebration of Kitchener’s diversity through a showcase of music, dance and art.
- A variety of food vendors will be present and a licensed area will be on site.
There will be an official ceremony with Mayor Carl Zehr on the main stage, as well as live musical and dance performances throughout the day by:
King Street interactive zone: King Street comes alive with interactive activities for young and old. There will be wood carving and weaving demonstrations, and activities about how the fire and police departments looked and operated in the early 1900s, model boat demonstrations in the fountain, a Mental Floss Sideshow; witness feats of derring-do and exhibits garnered from around the globe.
- Big Band Theory (swing music)
- Sandy’s Stompers (Dixieland jazz)
- Kitchener Musical Society Band (brass)
- Concordia Choir (German choral)
- Jason Raso Quartet (Motown)
- Glider (‘80s/’90s rock)
Multicultural Zone (Rotunda): Kitchener is a diverse city and we plan to celebrate throughout the day in the rotunda located inside city hall. From traditional German youth choirs to belly dancing exhibitions, event goers will be treated to a variety of cultural experiences:
Kids Zone: Children of all ages will enjoy the Kids Zone throughout the day. A roaming mime, face painting, caricature artists, stilt walkers, photo cut-outs and hands-on crafts will keep the children entertained.
- East Indian dancers
- KW Symphony youth musicians
- Grand Philharmonic youth choir
- DownHips Bellydance
- Concordia choir
Join us in celebrating our city! For more information visit www.kitchener100.ca
Help Kitchener win Guinness world’s longest picnic
July 09, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
Bring your lunch or buy a lunch, but either way, be part of an attempt to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s longest picnic on Sunday, July 15 at 11 a.m. It’s part of the city’s ongoing celebration of its 100th anniversary of cityhood.
Presented by Zehrs Markets, downtown Kitchener turns into one long picnic table down King Street from Francis to Frederick, then up and back along Duke Street. Make your way to downtown Kitchener starting at 11 a.m. The official measuring begins at noon, so sit tight while the numbers are recorded.
We need sports teams, friends, service clubs, families, neighbours and every other kind of group as the city attempts to break the world record, which is currently held in Germany.
Bring your lunch, visit a local Zehrs or arrange to purchase your lunch through one of our many participating downtown restaurants.
Contact participating restaurants below to purchase lunch for the big day:
For more information on upcoming events, please see kitchener100.ca
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage. Nous reconnaissons l'appui financier du government du Canada par l'entremise du ministere du Patrimonie canadien.
City thanks community for picnic participation
July 17, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
Wasn’t that a picnic?! Thousands of people turned out with lunches in hand to sit at one of 1,000 tables and 8,000 chairs set up for the city’s attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s longest picnic.
“While we wait for confirmation from Guinness about whether we beat the previous record, this is a good time to thank the countless volunteers, community partners, organizers and citizens who all worked together to create a massive community event that we hope will go into the record books,” said Jeff Young, manager of special events for the City of Kitchener. “This event speaks to this community's spirit and the overall feeling of celebration as we continue to celebrate 100 years of cityhood."
Presented by Zehrs, the picnic stretched down King and Duke streets from Francis to Eby streets, and was bookended by Francis and Eby.
More than 100 volunteers set up the picnic route within two hours, with tables and chairs brought from rental places as far away as Owen Sound. People were conversing, dancing and singing along the route, playing “telephone” and doing the wave.
The unconfirmed length of Kitchener’s picnic was 303 metres more -- 2,282 metres – with about 5,000 people in attendance. The previous record was set in 2009 by Halle, Germany, whose picnic was 1,979 metres long with 4,000 people in attendance.
The required information and evidence will be gathered and sent to Guinness’s offices in London, England. Guinness officials will consult with two independent surveyors, a photographer and videographer. Once all the parties agree, the results will then become official.
It would be great if this could be turned into an annual event.
City of Kitchener captures the Guinness World Record for the longest picnic
April 25, 2013 | City of Kitchener | Link
We did it! After months of back-and-forth review, Kitchener has been recognized on the world stage as having officially set the record for the world’s longest picnic, with a confirmed length of 2,277 meters and nearly 5,000 people in attendance.
“On July 15, 2012, we needed the community to pull together to break a world record and Kitchener stepped up to the plate. What an amazing feat for our city, and a true testament to the remarkable community spirit that we have,” said Councillor Kelly Galloway-Sealock, council liaison for the Kitchener 100th committee.
Thousands of families, service clubs, friends and colleagues came together in downtown Kitchener with lunches in hand to celebrate community and attempt to beat the record. The previous record was held by Halle, Germany; who in 2009 entered the record books with a confirmed distance of 1,979 meters .
“What an incredible way to celebrate Kitchener’s 100th! With the support of all the people who believed we could do it and came out to be involved – you all own a piece of this record. Thank you for making it happen,” said World’s Longest Picnic committee chair, Mark Bingeman.
Jeff Young, manager of special events for The City of Kitchener added, “Thank you Kitchener; our city staff, countless volunteers, community partners, organizers and citizens who all worked together to create a massive community event that made it into the record books.”
Presented by Zehrs, the picnic stretched down King and Duke Streets from Francis to Eby Streets, a span covering nearly 2.5 kilometers.
The community will have the first public opportunity to view the official certificate from Guinness World Records and have their photo taken with it on Monday, June 10 when the City of Kitchener holds the final 100th event, Toast the Time Capsule, presented by Superior Memorials, at 4 p.m. In celebration of 100 years of cityhood, a centennial time capsule will be placed at Kitchener City Hall to leave a legacy for the future. Mayor Carl Zehr and members of council will dedicate the capsule at this public ceremony and declare the official date to open the capsule in the future.
All residents are invited to this free event and will have the opportunity to sign the centennial signature scroll. The event will include highlights of the year-long celebrations, live music and displays in the rotunda. Refreshments will be provided to “toast the time capsule.”