Sunday, 30 September 2012

Planning a society landmark anniversary?

The committee report on Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations includes an annex with the title "Peter Aykroyd’s Anniversary Axiomatique"  extracted from "The Anniversary Compulsion: Canada’s Centennial Celebrations, a Model Mega Anniversary, Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1992, p. 11." Although larger in scope than anything a family history society might undertake for an anniversary there are ideas worth pondering:

1)  Reinforce the identity of  the organism: in doing this, spend lots of time
understanding all the dimensions of that identity.
2)  Provide continuity and restatement,  reminding people of the past that
shapes the present: reassure the people of the value and worth of shared
history by recognizing achievement and growth.
3)  Seek out and accentuate unifying elements: symbols, songs and all things
that are held in common, that have bonding potential.
4)  Analyze destructive forces that may be present: thoughtfully plan how to
aggressively oppose them.
5)  Focus some part of the program on the future: give people confidence and
determination to continue the voyage.

6)  Encourage personal and community involvement: like when a special
visitor is expected in the home, everyone wants to do their best and look
their best.
7)  Build monuments and memorials: these are tangible statements of
achievement and strong elements of a sense of continuity.
8)  Give gifts: not commodities that have only commercial value but gifts that
keep on giving, gifts that have expanding worth.
9)  Set up performances and public events to encourage participation: it is in
sharing with others at the same  time and place the experience of
large-scale spectacles that one feels warmth, pride and cohesion.
10) Make sure it is fun, but also allow for dignity and emotion: it is healthy to
release the spirit through noise,  through laughter, through tears and
through awe.

1 comment:

Paul Jones said...

Others may have cited Aykroyd's document too, but Harry van Bommel's submission to the Parliamentary Committee on behalf of the "Canada's Untold Stories" Canada 150 project, explicitly drew their attention to the Anniversary Axiomatique and its importance.

FYI, Peter Aykroyd was (is?) Dan's father.