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City of Brantford Council Notes for Tuesday, June 25, 2024

City of BrantfordCity of Brantford Council Notes for Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Wall of Recognition

William Muirhead – First Mayor for the City of Brantford

William Muirhead, who was elected as the first Mayor of the Town of Brantford on September 6, 1847, was inducted into the City’s Wall of Recognition during the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

The induction comes after a direct descendant of the first Mayor, Ian Muirhead, contacted Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford, to say that he wanted to donate an oil portrait of his great-great grandfather as well as his original musket gun to the City.

Kevin Davis, Mayor for the City of Brantford, and Ian Muirhead stand in front of an oil painting of William Muirhead, the first Mayor for the Town of Brantford, on Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Photo courtesy Kevin Davis.

William Muirhead was born in 1802 in Niagara and settled in Brantford in 1825. On October 15, 1830, Muirhead purchased the first piece of Brantford town plot property and later built his house “Oakwood.”

“His leadership was quickly recognized by his peers and on September 6, 1847 the first town councilors were elected and just a few days later at Bradley’s Inn, William Muirhead was elected as the first Mayor of the Town of Brantford by the other councillors at that time. His tenure, though brief, was very impactful,” said Davis. “The first by-law, signed by Mayor Muirhead on September 15, 1847, addressed community concerns by preventing horses and swine from running at large, and regulating the free movement of cattle during certain months. In addition to his political contributions, William Muirhead was instrumental in the economic development of Brantford. In the 1830s he opened the town’s First Bank of Montreal branch, and through his work in banking, he played a pivotal role in the financing of Branford’s earliest businesses, earning the respect and gratitude of the town’s early businesspeople.”

Ian, who travelled from Vancouver for the induction, said he was happy that the items will be in such great care.

“We’re grateful that my great, great grandfather’s portrait is in such great care and I’m sure you and your successors will take good care of him for years and years to come,” he said.

GreenER Awards

The GreenER awards recognize individuals, families, businesses and organizations in the City of Brantford who have demonstrated leadership and who’s projects have resulted in measurable improvements in preservation, conservation, sustainability, education, advocacy, green infrastructure or environmental cleanups and restoration.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Councillor Michael Sullivan presented Wilfried Laurier University’s Brantford campus with the Green Business Award for their commitment to sustainability throughout its operations.

“The award recipient is a prominent figure in our community that advocates for environmental stewardship and leads by example,” said Sullivan. This recipient has made measurable improvements in sustainability by reducing energy water consumption in their buildings, diverting waste from the landfill, utilizing green cleaning products, engaging with students and community in environmental actions and improving the environmental health of Branford by protecting honeybees.”

Beth Gurney, Director of Strategic Communications and Community Engagement, thanked the City for the recognition.

“On behalf of Wilfrid Laurier University, it’s a pleasure and an honour to accept this,” she said. “I just want to call out the significant work of our sustainability team who do incredible work to have a real impact, and also to the members of City Staff and the various City committees who work closely with them in those efforts. It’s appreciated, and collectively, we’re making a bigger change together.”

Up next, Sullivan awarded Bryanna Leeder with the Young Environmental Champion Award.

“This second environmental recognition award is being presented to an individual who inspires youth to volunteer to help change the world,” said Sullivan. “This award recipient demonstrates environmental commitment in helping her community by setting up a free pantry and a library where community members can go for free food, clothes, toys and books by providing a hub of needed items for free. This individual helps reduce waste being sent to the landfill and demonstrates the importance of a circular economy.”

International Village Cultural Week

The City of Brantford has once again proclaimed Wednesday, July 3 to Saturday, July 6, 2024, as “International Village Cultural Week.”

The Brantford International Villages Cultural Festival was originally started in 1974 as a salute to the 100th anniversary of the invention of the telephone and has since been promoting diversity and the sharing of various traditions through cultural displays, food and entertainment ever since.

As this year marks 50 years of instilling excitement, awareness, education and cultural pride, both local residents and out-of-town visitors are encouraged to partake in the multi-cultural experience.

For ten dollars, visitors will receive a four-day festival passport that will give them access to all 15 of this year’s locations including the British, Chinese, East Coast Canada, Hungarian, India, Italian, Muslim, New York, Palestinian, Philippine, Polish Polonaise, Polish Warszawa, Scottish, Ukrainian, and United Africa villages.

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