When the gorgeous, full colour, hard bound coffee table book hits the shelves (or the coffee tables) next June, it’ll sure be a welcome addition to published histories of Barrie.

Probably the city’s greatest historians are Su Murdoch and Dr. Brad Rudachyk, both published authors of various aspects of Barrie, its inception and its growth. They’re combining their huge talent with that of designer/photographer Kurt Schick to produce a truly celebratory missive about a community that continues to lure people to its shores.

This book, entitled Beautiful Barrie-The City and Its People-An Illustrated History, will be rich to its core... rich in its production with beautiful paper, and colour, beautifully bound, and a keepsake for current, past residents. When the book committee made a plea for photographs and icons, the general public responded with hundreds of pieces of art. These have all been catalogued and selections chosen for publication.

While human endeavour has kept Barrie growing from its railroad ‘routes’ in 1953, it’s industry that feeds its residents and fuels an economy that today is radically different from 150 years ago. It’s no coincidence that the book is being published in the city’s Sesquicentennial year, which will be celebrated through many events in 2003. And, at 300-400 pages, it’ll be a beautiful addition to our history.

What’s interesting is the history behind the production of the book itself. While Sue and Brad and Kurt are spending hundreds of hours putting together the stories and pictures, doing the graphic design, conducting interviews, the book won’t be printed and won’t see the light of day without money to put it on the press. And that money is being translated into a chapter called Partners in History.

In an innovative approach to sponsorship, the book committee has endorsed Wanda Collison to manage the corporate and family sponsorship of the project. Instead of selling ad space for corporate logos, Wanda is selling lines, paragraphs, and full articles on businesses, industries, individuals, families, organizations. It is here that your individual story can be told. And your sponsorship dollar will be spent to produce the book in its entirety. A double-whammy in the gift department, for sure.

For instance, you may want to record the date your family arrived in Barrie, and its significance here. You can do that for a $100 sponsorship. Or you can list your company name with a one-line remark about its corporate contribution for $200. To list a four-line memorial to an individual or a company, the cost goes to $300. You can see how it builds, line by line, column by column until you can buy a sixth- a quarter-, a third-, a half- or a full-page profile, ranging in cost from $1000 to $6000. Any way you choose, your sponsorship can record your achievement, the year your chorale group won an international award; the years your kids were born... whatever!

The profiles can include full colour photography, historical pictures, whatever suits you and the book committee.

You can also pre-order your book at a discounted price of $50 by calling Wanda at 733-3941.

What a project! And it’s being produced in true Barrie spirit, totally funded by the gifts in the Partners in History section.

It’s your moment in history!

Oh, by the way... did you know that the Toronto Dominion’s very first branch was located in Barrie, in a house, in 1853?

Oh, the things we will learn...

Thanks, Su. Thanks, Brad. Thanks, Kurt. And thanks, Wanda.

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