History Open House
History for the Whole Community
When and How Did HOH Begin?
In the fall of 2012, I approached the Brighton Heritage Advisory Committee (BHAC) with the idea of staging a large history event in Brighton. BHAC supported the idea whole-heartedly and Dot Connolly, a member of BHAC, volunteered to co-ordinate with our informal organizing group which also included local historians Susan Brose and Florence Chatten. From the beginning, History Week events have been held under the auspices of the BHAC.
The name for the event was established as the Brighton History Open House because it would focus on the presentation and display of local history. The date for the first event was set for February 23 and 24, in the weekend afternoons. This timing was selected because there were limited events being held in Brighton around that time and the event could fall into Ontario Heritage Week.
The event was brought together on short notice and with much seat-of-the-pants planning. However, the event was well served by the strong organizational and communication skills of Dot Connolly and plenty of interest in the community.
The first event was extremely successful with more than 1,000 people attending over the weekend. It was the buzz of the community for a long time afterward. In fact, everyone loved it so much that we HAD to make it an annual event.
History Week presentations in 2016 and 2017 were much enhanced by the addition of our favourite musical duo, RandR, who provided lively and beautifully performed songs at several points in the show to add energy and emotion to the stories. Fletch was an entertaining MC and his wife Dorothy organized the events to keep us all in order. The show was more complicated to stage but very effective for the audience. The Open House continues as a venue for casual and friendly exchange of information with new displays each year, more or less based on the overall theme for Brighton History Week.
Brighton History Open House 2013: The buzz in the room!