Sidney Town Crier and Community Builder Award recipient Kenny Podmore, right, stands with Andy Anderson of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 37, at a recent event. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Sidney’s town crier reflects on Community Builder Award

Kenny Podmore says he’ll step back a little - but not too much

It’s honestly a little surprising that Kenny Podmore hadn’t won this award before this year.

Over the Canada Day long weekend in Sidney, Podmore — a former town councillor (six years), current town crier (14 years in the job), tireless man-about-town and a guy who can even marry you if you want to (he’s a marriage commissioner) — was presented with the Town of Sidney’s Community Builder Award. It was given to him by Mayor Steve Price, with whom he served on town council, prior to leaving local politics almost three years ago.

But that didn’t mean Podmore was leaving the public eye.

He stayed busy, working an a concierge at the Sidney Pier Hotel, acting as official Town Crier for Sidney and for Oak Bay and helping couples tie the knot. As well, he has worn his heart on his sleeve — organizing various fundraisers for victims of flooding and mudslides in Washington State and for the families affected by the train derailment in Lac Magantic, Quebec.

Even his simple act of organizing row upon row of small, white memorial crosses and poppies on the lawn of the Pier Hotel during Remembrance Day, is yet another one of his contributions to the community he grew to love after coming to Canada from the U.K.

“All of this is my way of paying it back and saying ‘thank you’,” Podmore says.

He said the award was a surprise —especially since it was presented by the mayor during Sidney’s Canada Day ceremony in Beacon Park on June 30, an event that Podmore himself had a big hand in helping organize.

In fact, Podmore was at the forefront of organizing every Canada 150 event in Sidney this year, working with the Town of Sidney’s Paula Kully and many volunteers and community groups to bring nearly a month of activities to life. He took ideas — some of them his own, many others the ideas of different people — and made them happen. He spearheaded big events to small ones — a 360-person sold out Dinner en Rouge, for example, as well as a mass singing of O Canada to help promote Sidney’s Canada Day events.

Still, Podmore won’t take all of the credit.

“If it wasn’t for the volunteers, it just wouldn’t happen.”

Of course, working so hard means he’s deserving of a bit of a rest. And that’s what Podmore says he’s going to do.

“I’m going to ease off a little. Certain things I’ll keep doing, but other people are stepping up, willing to take on other things.”

Podmore said he’s working with local businesses, societies and individuals on keeping events like the Dinner en Rouge, Van Isle Comic Con and more, going in Sidney.

“I’m sure they’ll keep happening,” he continued.

And of course, he will continue to wear the mantle of town crier.

“That’s what brought me to Canada in the first place,” Podmore laughed, referring to the World Town Crier competition hosted by Sidney in 1992.

He came from Stafford in England for the event and said he fell in love with the place, came to Sidney and hasn’t looked back.

“(Town Crying) took me places I’d never thought I’d ever go to. It’s in my blood.”

[gps-image name=”7792595_web1_170726-PNR-podmore3.jpg”]


Sidney Town Crier Kenny Podmore with mini-town-crier Rowen Petrie and Rhonda Todrick, prior to the start of the 20917 Sidney Days parade. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Just Posted

VicPD cuts school liaison program over budget impasse with Esquimalt

Six officers, including three school liaisons, to be reassigned to frontline duties

Two Oak Bay officers recognized at 10th anniversary of anti-impaired driving program

Alexa’s Team has grown from 26 members in 2008 to the current 2,400

Victoria Shamrocks acquire NLL and MSL all-star

Rob Hellyer brings offensive power to the Shamrocks

UPDATE: Recycling truck destroyed by fire in Victoria

Emterra truck sitting on McLure Street in residential neighbourhood, driver safe

Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Greater Victoria faces multiple charges following six-month investigation

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Former Social Credit MLA dies at 88

Lyall Hanson was mayor of Vernon in 1981 and moved to provincial politics from 1986-96

Police searching for escaped prisoner in B.C.

Ralph Whitfield Morris, 83, is serving a life sentence for second-degree murder

B.C. set to introduce pot laws, but years of fine tuning likely: minister

Legislation regulating recreational marijuana is expected to be introduced Thursday

Arrests made after truck crashes into unmarked police cars in Nanaimo

Two men facing numerous charges after allegedly fleeing scene on the mid-island

Canadian driver uses lawn chair as driver’s seat, gets caught

Ontario police detachment caught the male driver during a traffic stop

B.C. moves to restrict pill presses in opioid battle

Minister Mike Farnworth says federal law doesn’t go far enough

VIDEO: Vets, volunteers set up vaccination station for sick bunnies

Volunteers, vets try to stop spread of lethal virus

If you see a dog in a hot car, don’t break in: SPCA

People are being discouraged from smashing windows to free animals. The SPCA has tips on what else you can do.

Most Read