City’s centennial strikes a chord

Armstrong’s 100th birthday in 2013 was a huge hit as the centennial committee announced in its final report to council.

It was a very good year in Armstrong.

The city’s 100th birthday in 2013 was a huge hit as the centennial committee announced in its final report to council.

“We believe that this year provided a catalyst for renewed vigor in the volunteer sector and groups and organizations will see renewed commitment because of it,” said committee spokesperson Patti Ferguson.

“The enthusiasm was palpable and the smiles proved it.”

The Armstrong 100 centennial committee was made up of representatives from many organizations but, as Ferguson pointed out, the lead organization – without a doubt – was the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.

“Right from the start of planning in 2012… (chamber executive director) Patti Noonan has worked tirelessly keeping everyone on track, on budget and positive and upbeat,” said Ferguson. “Her board supported her in that commitment.”

Other members of the committee were Terry Martens, Maureen Karran, Gail Salter, Peter Rotzetter, Sherry McFarlane, Bill Tames, Ken Brandle, Colleen Robinson, Jack Jamieson and Andrew Laird.

The committee also thanked Terri Wong for her work as coordinator during the six months she was in place.

The committee received $64,000 from the federal government and $25,000 from the province in funding, and made sure that many centennial events received some of the monies.

Ferguson said everyone who had felt that something needed to happen in the centennial year went about making it happen.

“There was homecoming, the cheese festival, celebration of love, re-enactment of the first council meeting, the shows It’s All About The People, Tapestry and Music Through the Decades, to events at the museum and art gallery, they all received funding,” she said.

The funding helped the organizations make money so they created their own legacy, or helped support other not-for-profit groups in the community with funding for their next event to “give them a cushion.”

What really made the year special, said Ferguson, were the volunteers.

“The number of volunteers, if counted for each organization’s event, would number well into the thousands,” she said.

All of the budget for the centennial year has been spent and accounted for.

The final $1,500 has been committed to legacy items.

Two benches with matching garbage receptacles  – Heritage style, naturally – will be bought and placed in the new trail/green space extension of the Spirit Trail, and one site to be determined.

The city will purchase two event tents that will be available for community groups and organizations to use in the future, with booking through the chamber of commerce.