Hip, Hip, Hooray!
Our first issue featured a story about two new cultural institutions, Dufferin County Museum and Archives and Theatre Orangeville.
It’s been our longstanding policy here to let In The Hills stand on its own legs – to put it out there and let readers judge its worthiness for themselves. However, as we celebrate the launch of our 20th volume, we have pretty much thrown that policy out the window and allowed ourselves to indulge in some shameless self-congratulation.
We introduce you to some of the very talented people “behind the pages,” with more to come as the year goes by. Courtesy of longtime contributor Jeff Rollings, we also take a rosy look back at some of the highlights of the past two decades.
Those years have flown by and, in discussing them with Jeff, even I was amazed to take stock of how much has changed. However, by far the most satisfying development in the life of the magazine has been the tremendous support from our readers and advertisers. It’s their ongoing enthusiasm that makes us confident the magazine has indeed woven its way into the cultural fabric of the community.
As Jeff notes, there really must have been something in the water in the mid-90s. Our first issue featured a story about two new cultural institutions, Dufferin County Museum and Archives and Theatre Orangeville. And later this year, we’ll all be celebrating our 20th season together over a special weekend of exhibits and activities at the museum.
But it wasn’t just the three of us who were getting started back then. Dufferin Arts Council celebrated its 20th last year. Headwaters Country Tourism Association, as it was then called, had just been founded, as had Caledon Countryside Alliance. The Headwaters Arts Festival followed in 1996, and at about the same time, the Grant brothers were beginning to formulate plans to turn the Alton Mill into an arts centre. Fundraising was already under way for a new hospital, and in 1997 Headwaters Health Care Centre opened its doors. Every one of those organizations and others have had a tremendous impact on life in the hills, and we are proud to have grown up in concert with them.
On a more personal note: In his retrospective, Jeff makes much of my role in the magazine. However, as we prepared this anniversary issue, life threw my family a serious curve, and I was largely hors de combat through the production cycle. In my absence, the In The Hills team stepped forward and pulled the issue together. Their extraordinary effort, willingness and unwavering professionalism are by far the greatest strength of the magazine, and I am deeply grateful and indebted to every one of them.