Strathmore Day celebrations have been relegated to being online once again this year, as a result of being removed from the Town’s 2023 operational budget.
The event was last held online in 2021, as Strathmore Day was proclaimed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was required to exhibit appropriate health measures.
Last year, Strathmore celebrated the 114th anniversary of the Town’s incorporation in person with several events taking place across town, with a large collection of activities centred around Kinsmen Park.
According to Johnathan Strathdee, manager of legislative services for the Town, the decision to once again host online was largely intended to remove an expense from the overall budget and keep taxes lower.
“Funding for Strathmore Day was considered by Council during the 2023 budget deliberations. This was a challenging year to budget for, as there are many economic factors impacting municipalities, including inflation,” he said.
“Council approved a wholistic budget that balanced economic factors while still maintaining the high service levels that the community expects. Ultimately, Administration recommended that Strathmore Day be removed from the budget to support Council with limiting the overall tax increase for 2023.”
The Town will still recognize and celebrate the event this year, though explicitly via online and social media formatting.
Strathdee also clarified despite the Lead By Example Powwow taking place only a few days prior to Strathmore Day, the event did not influence the Town’s decision to remove their own occasion from the budget.
He added, however, it would have been a difficult feat for town staff to take on organizing two large scale events immediately back to back.
“We recognize Strathmore Day on March 20 because the Town was incorporated as a Village on March 20, 1908. Strathmore Day is a way for us to celebrate our Town’s history and honour previous generations,” said Strathdee.
“We will continue to mark Strathmore Day on March 20th each year. The way the day is recognized could change year to year.”
The Town’s budget has also cut spending for Canada Day festivities, though the national holiday will proceed as usual in person and without interruption.
To businesses or town residents who wish to help support events such as Canada Day, Strathdee said the Town is inviting them to get involved and learn more about how they can help by contacting their media team at [email protected].
“While the budget for Canada Day has been reduced, we’re still planning on hosting a great community event for everyone to come out and celebrate — including fireworks,” said Strathdee.
More information regarding Canada Day will be made public closer to the holiday, though Strathdee was not specific regarding when that may be. He also did not disclose whether the Town’s budget will impact other events throughout the year.