Here’s what’s happening for Hazel McCallion’s 100th birthday
Hazel McCallion, Mississauga's iconic former mayor, will be celebrating 100 spins around the sun on Feb. 14, 2021 (a day that's also recognized as Hazel McCallion day throughout Ontario).
The city and other local organizations have been gearing up for the former mayor's milestone birthday for some time, preparing to rename the Central Library (which is slated to undergo a significant renovation) in her honour.
There are also a few other pandemic-safe ceremonies and celebrations in the cards for Hurricane Hazel.
McCallion, who was recently appointed to the Order of Ontario, famously served as mayor of Mississauga from 1978 until her retirement in 2014—but she served the city even before becoming mayor.
McCallion was an influential figure in city politics for over 50 years, as she held office as reeve and mayor of Streetsville prior to amalgamation and also served as a councillor before being elected mayor. McCallion currently serves as the Chancellor of Sheridan College—the college's Mississauga campus is named after her—and acts as an advisor to the government of Ontario on municipal matters. The University of Toronto—Mississauga (UTM) campus also pays homage to the former mayor, as it's home to the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre.
In late 2020, McCallion--who has always championed health care in the city--announced that she partnered with Trillium Health Partners Foundation (THPF) to release a commemorative photo book chronicling her life and achievements as Mississauga's longest-serving mayor.
McCallion, who led the drive to build THP's Credit Valley Hospital site in 1976, said she will dedicate the proceeds from the sale of her book, Hazel McCallion: A Century of Accomplishment, to the redevelopment of THP's Mississauga Hospital site.
On Feb. 8, THPF announced that more than $2.5 million dollars have already been raised in support of McCallion's commemorative photo book. THPF says that only 2,500 copies of the book have been printed, with a limited amount remaining for purchase.
Here's a look at what's happening on McCallion's 100th birthday:
General Committee Ceremony:
Mayor Bonnie Crombie and members of council will virtually celebrate McCallion on February 10 during a general committee meeting at 9:30 am.
This event, which will also celebrate the renaming of the Central Library, will feature a virtual ceremony, a tribute video produced by Mississauga Library, remarks from Crombie, council members and McCallion and a performance by Roberta Battaglia from America’s Got Talent.
Signage for the new library will also be unveiled.
The event will be live-streamed here.
A feature-length musical documentary
Hazel A Celebration: 100 Years in the Making, produced by the Mississauga Arts Council (MAC), will stream on Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm.
MAC says the documentary "takes an unprecedented journey" through the creation of Mississauga, with musical performers connecting city building to McCallion.
Narrated by Crombie, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also appears in the documentary, offering best wishes for a happy birthday,
“There is so much love for Hazel and her accomplishments. I think this program will bring tears to the eyes of many people.” said Ron Duquette, “Hazel” writer/producer, and a long-time friend, in a statement.
The documentary will also feature appearances by Premier Doug Ford, Toronto Mayor John Tory, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra with Patti Jannetta-Baker, acclaimed poet Wali Shah and more.
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