Through the eyes of a festival Coordinator

Chris Glassford, Chairperson for Chatham Canada Day.

By Chris Glassford

Imagine your biggest dream. Now imagine that you’ve been able to achieve that dream in under a year! I have been working for a full year on planning this year’s Chatham Canada Day celebration which started as a mere dream and has become an ultimate reality. While a year may seem like a long time to plan an event, it seems to me that just yesterday I was sitting at my desk contemplating whether I should be taking on the huge task or not.

As a sound technician and manager of festivals over the past 7 years, I had always wanted to take on the role of promoting and coordinating a festival of my own. I never anticipated that I would become the Chairperson of an event of such significance and in fact never had thought in a million years that it would be Chatham’s Canada Day Celebration.

It wasn’t long before the stress of the planning process became too much for one person, and I took on a committee who has been a huge resource, support system and lifeline. At times, it was difficult facilitating a group of individuals with their own plans and ideas but it soon became apparent that each of us had strengths we could bring to the table. The group has tightened up and we have become very close in the last few months.

As each day has passed, more challenges have come up and many of the challenges have been conquered successfully. With every challenge one of the things that keeps running through my mind is that this event is not only an event of significance because it is Canada Day but also because it is the 150th birthday of Canada.

When taking on the event, I had intended to keep a family-friendly atmosphere and as a committee we have expanded upon that goal and since exceeded the original plan. I believe that children and youth are the future of our community and to help them build pride in their country and surroundings through events is one of the most important goals of hosting a festival. I want this event to be one of the highlights of these youth’s lives that in 10, 20, even 50 years they will have a story about when Canada turned 150 to share with their kids and families, that is what building memories is all about.

I believe Chatham-Kent is in for a show of their lifetime with the Chatham Canada Day Celebration.

I would like to urge families to take advantage of as many events in the municipality that they can because this is an opportunity that doesn’t come very often. Something I would like people to know about running any business or any committee is that while it is not always easy, it is worth the risk for the smiles we see on the faces of citizens in our great community, the hearts we touch and the lives we impact.

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