Memorial Hall opening May 19 - May 18, 2017
BY DENNY SCOTT
Friday will mark the special grand re-opening of Blyth Memorial Hall.
The site has been under significant renovations since the Blyth Festival ended its 2016 season last September and the result of months of hard work will be unveiled on Friday, May 19.
The ceremony is set to start at 4 p.m. with several special guests scheduled to be in attendance including Deputy-Premier Deb Matthews.
The renovations at the centre have literally been top to bottom, including a new floor in the lower hall and work on the roof of the structure and bell tower.
The site now features upgraded electrical works, all new seats in the upper hall, new lighting systems, a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, an expanded walkway between the ticket office and the halls, a redesigned lower hall and significantly improved equipment throughout the building.
One change that North Huron Director of Recreation and Facilities Pat Newson is keen on unveiling is an information kiosk that will be placed near the ticket booth in the new structure.
The kiosk is set to replace historical mini-museum displays that were in front of the structure prior to the renovations. The displays would hold historical artifacts and information, but weren’t part of the redesigned landscape.
The kiosk is a digital replacement, allowing not only historical information to be discovered but also information about local events.
The system will include a touch screen and digital information compiled by Faux Pop Media, a media production company based out of Goderich.
In an interview with The Citizen, Newson explained that, for the grand opening, the kiosk will have historical information about the village and Memorial Hall, as well as information about local attractions. She said one of the benefits of the digital system is that it can be updated with new information whenever it becomes available and isn’t limited by display space.
The Blyth Memorial Community Hall Kiosk Committee and a sub-committee of that group have rolled out the kiosks and are responsible for the history that will be displayed on the units.
As part of the open house, there will be scanner stations at Memorial Hall which Newson said will be on-site to allow people to bring documents to add to the historical kiosk.
“We hope people will want to share what they have at home with us,” she said. “Scanning it means we can display it but not have to keep it from them.”
As for the historical kiosks, Newson said they may still find use somewhere in the community.
“There are similar constructs on the Blyth Greenway Trail,” she said. “Until we know how we’re going to use them, we’re putting them in storage.