David McKee, Brantford’s Official Town Crier, was awarded first place in the Ontario Guild of Town Criers Provincial Championship on September 19, 2022.
McKee won the championship for the seventh time and was also awarded first place in the Muskoka Escapades of Town Crying, an annual event prior to 2020, as well as the prize for most humorous cry.
“OYEZ! I am incredibly grateful to receive this award, especially during my 30th year as Brantford’s Town Crier,” said David McKee, Brantford’s Official Town Crier. “I look forward to many more years of being part of Brantford’s history and representing our city at home and abroad.”
This was the first Ontario Guild of Town Criers Provincial Championship held in two years due to COVID-19. The themes for this year’s competition were: the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which took place at the Bracebridge Farmers’ Market, an open cry of your choice, which was judged for most humorous at the Bracebridge Fall Fair, as well as a cry to promote the new attractions at Santa’s Village. McKee has won the first place in the Ontario Guild of Town of Criers Provincial Championship seven times throughout his career with three wins dating back to the 1990s. He is now tied with Chris Whyman and his younger brother, Bill McKee for the most wins.
A Town Crier makes proclamations and announcements for their town or community. Criers attend functions or celebrations and ring their bell to attract the crowd’s attention before reading a special announcement or proclamation from a scroll. Criers traditionally cry loudly and clearly so that all can hear and use the typically open with the word “OYEZ! (oh yeah!), which is an old French term meaning “To Hearken” or “Hear YE!”.
The City of Brantford extended their sincere congratulations to McKee on this achievement.