The Milton Centre for the Arts seemed at first to be an elaborate movie set for some lavish Hollywood event: then gradually Miltonians were brought back to earth with hugs, chats and laughter amongst the familiar crowd. They had gathered together in honour of their beloved Mayor Gord Krantz.
Tickets for the Mayor’s Gala were sold out long before the splendid event.
Guests were seated around tables that overflowed into the Minimax Theatre and upstairs to the Robert Bateman Studio. Reflections from masses of sparkling lights were caught in the glass along the balcony. Flickering blue lights danced on the walls. Gold and black balloons soared up from each table. Mysterious little boxes for each guest revealed the best souvenir ever: a bobble head doll of Mayor Gordon Krantz.
The Holcim Gallery where Justino Magalona’s pictures were available for all to enjoy was also set up for the Buffet. Chefs in starched white hats served delicious food from the Pepperwood Bistro in Burlington to the hordes of elegant Miltonians, many who were dressed in dinner jackets and sequinned gowns. Overlooking the Gallery stood an impressive bronze bust of the Mayor sculpted by J.L.Dorrie, a local architect who has helped to design several buildings in Milton.
After dinner, Lisa Raitt as MC stated that her job was to keep the programme (which continued till past 11:00pm) running smoothly. Later when speaking about the love and respect she has for the Mayor, she said: “You have lots of attributes but singing isn’t one of them!” Then she asked: “Is it OK to tell them that you are tone deaf?” To which the Mayor replied: “Yes, you have to hide the good crystal!”
Indira Naidoo Harris, resplendent in a splendid sparkly outfit with silver shoes, brought a congratulatory message from PM Trudeau. Then she said: “We’re here because we’re part of the family Gord has created. He has put us on the map. This is a man who has dedicated his last 30+ years to this community. He is the Face of Milton. Gord, I have loved working with you! You are an inspiration to us all!”
Then Ms.Raitt spoke of the exciting new plan that will be made available for Grades 1-8 which will offer free Art experiences. “The fastest growing credit union in Canada wants to help the fastest growing town in Canada.” The First Ontario Credit Union is going to contribute 1 billion dollars to Milton and a kids’ arts programme.
Later, it was shown that over the years, OLG has contributed 100 million dollars to the community. The Dance Class strikingly displayed this amount on the tops of their sparkly hats. The Mayor said that “It’s the golden goose that keeps on laying the golden egg! It’s win, win, win for everyone!”
Handing the proverbial torch to Mayor Gord Krantz, Hazel Mcallion said “I’ve known Gord for 14 years. I can’t think of a mayor I’d rather pass it to. Instead of toll roads in Mississauga, we should get a casino too! I am basically conservative with a liberal point of view, a great social conscience and I’m looking for reform in government! I believe all parties should have strong leaders. I can’t think of a better leader for the Conservative party than a woman!” At this everyone cheered as Hazel looked at Lisa Raitt.
When most of the speeches and business were over, the audience was enthralled by the talented Michael Israel. The programme explained: “Wielding multiple paintbrushes– Michael uses — magical mysticism to create (stunning) artwork”. He produced 8 foot high portraits of well-known celebrities (upside down!) as the audience watched. Some of these were auctioned off and a brilliant portrait of the Mayor was donated to the Town Hall.
After the Dance Class Dancers in striking black and gold had entertained to the music “One Singular Sensation” from the Chorus Line and accompanied the Mayor onto the stage and after all the speeches were done, the audience were treated to the beautiful voice of John McDermott, who concluded with “Danny Boy” which is a favourite of many and especially that of Olive Krantz, Mayor Gord Krantz’ devoted wife of 59 years.