Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Main Role of a Town Crier?
Historically, dating back several thousand years, the local Town Crier was the primary news source, whether it be local or national EG Greeks telling their enemy to surrender; OR Announcing new or higher taxes - the term and related law “Don’t shoot the messenger!” derives from that function.
Today, a Town Crier may still deliver the news, but it is more ceremonial, and typically will grab people’s attention visually and auditorially (by dressing in colourful livery, ringing a bell, and shouting “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!“) before drawing the audience’s attention to the event that follows, typically by reading a proclamation from a scroll.
The Town Crier adds pageantry and fun to events, and acts as a goodwill ambassador for the community (s)he serves.
What Else Might a Town Crier Do?
Just about anything that requires getting an audience’s attention, and communicating with an audience. He always researches and crafts his own spoken material.
For example, a Town Crier might attend a reception, and do a CRY to announce the head table, then lead them to their seating as the audience claps. He might also introduce a speaker, or act as a Master of Ceremonies, or be the keynote Speaker.
A Town Crier may CRY at civic, business or charity events. The range of events is endless – from heritage events, proclamations, business openings, or seasonal openings, parades, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, competitions or tournaments, charity events, honourary citzenship ceremonies, etc.
Is This a Paying Position or Volunteer?
Every Town Crier charges differently. In most cases, appearing at events sponsored by the Community he represents, or a charity, are done on a complimentary basis. Services performed for business entities or private occasions (EG family celebration, or for-profit corporate event) may attract a fee, either by event or by the hour, depending on the time required to prepare & to perform. that is the approach of the Okanagan Town Crier.
There are Town Criers in more than 10 countries, and virtually all would say this is essentially a voluntary labour of love, where fees charged mostly offset the cost of maintain his (her) livery (uniform), travel and promotional expenses.
Why Do You have 3 Titles as Town Crier – Okanagan, Ok-WINE-agan and Ogopogo-Land?
Okanagan Town Crier is a broad descriptive title that defines my geographic sphere of activity.
Ogopogo-Land Town Crier allows me to represent people/communities/businesses from Vernon to Penticton, and to focus activities and stories on the native and modern versions of Ogopogo, since we are the home to the most credible sea serpent in the world!
Ok-WINE-agan Town Crier ofallows me to represent and promote wineries/wine trails/wine industry or its regions. I can focus my activities and stories to them. Ok-WINE-agan is a trademark (confirmed) my wife and I coined to serve the wine/cider/distillery/beer industry that thrives in the Okanagan.
What Are The Benefits of a Town Crier to a Community?
• A Town Crier adds pageantry and fun to any event, and provides focus for specific activities;
• A Town Crier, as a colourful character, makes a community more interesting. If his livery reflects local history or characterization, that adds a new dimension to his impact. EG my Ogopogo-headed staff; top hat, ascot, cummerbund, hankie and stove-pipe pants to characterize James M. Robinson, founder of Peachland, Summerland and Naramata;
• A Town Crier is a beacon for attracting and extending the stay of tourists, by being a colourful character and by “CRYing” about activities that are or will be happening;
• A Town Crier provides a photo-friendly way to say that we welcome visitors, to greet them as important guests, and to encourage their participation;
• A Town Crier is a great ambassador for his community, beyond its borders.
How Does One Become a Town Crier?
Typically, a Town Crier is appointed by a municipality (or its Historical Society) as their official Town Crier, whether by appointment or competition. The Appointer then pays for and controls the design of the livery (uniform) and also approves any outside services (i.e. other than for the municipality) that the Town Crier performs.
I went a different route, to my knowledge, the first to operate as an independent, and I created my own two additional "communities", under the umbrella name of Okanagan Town Crier:
Ogopogo-Land - to help promote one of our area’s biggest tourist draws, the Ogopogo; and
Ok-WINE-agan - to help promote Okanagan’s most prominent industry, wine and related products.
I have a trademark on the name “Ok-WINE-agan” and that gives me a more-typical home base.
What Is the Story Behind Your Livery (uniform and other stuff)?
The livery comprises many components, and each has a special significance to any Town Crier.
For an explanation of each of the items in my livery, see “Livery” under the History page.
What Skills and Abilities are Needed By a Town Crier?
A Town Crier needs to have at least the following skills and qualities in order to be effective in both basic CRYs and any other services he offers to the public.
Public Speaking: Commanding presence, Loud voice, excellent vocal variety, humourous anecdotes, stay on topic.
Writing: Do Research, be succinct, add context, use interesting anecdotes, add historical perspective, add humour.
Community: Active volunteer and caring for community.
Enthusiasm: Care about the topic and event, add excitement to presentation, hold audience attention.
Promotion: Visionary perspective, knowledge & ability to attract media attention to event.
Tourism: Appreciation of its value, ideas on how to promote, planning & participation of events.
Business Acumen: Understand & appreciate the financial & other importance of event to the client.
Time: To do effective research for all events, to write the spoken words, and to perform at events.
To compare these qualities with those of Bruce Klippenstein's qualifications, refer to the "Contacts" page.
Can We See You in Action?
Yes, of course.
For past cries, representative “CRY” videos are on this website under "Happenings - Gallery."
How can we contact you? (for more detail, see Contacts page)
Cell/Text: (778) 583-5547
Phone: (778) 479-9013