​​Hiram Walker 206th Birthday Celebration

Photos left to right, Distillery, Young Hiram Walker, Hiram Walker Event Logo, Older Hiram Walker, and Willistead Manor 

Presented by the City of Windsor and the Walkerville Business Improvement Association (BIA)

The City of Windsor has a tradition of celebrating its rich history and heritage, and highlighting the stories that make our community so unique. July 1 and 2, we are celebrating Hiram Walker – one of the most influential figures in our Windsor Story – with the unveiling of the Hiram Walker Commemorative Statue in a new parkette created in the developing Walkerville Distillery District. Hiram Walker was one of Windsor's most significant contributors. He was head of a family with a name so deeply entrenched in Windsor that it touches on facets of architecture, history, industry, neighbourhoods, and pop culture. He was a true early industrialist who built his distillery, later named Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., on the Windsor banks of the Detroit River. He created the world famous Canadian Club Whisky, and was a charitable man who donated money across Windsor, Walkerville, and Detroit areas. He commissioned leading architects to construct impressive public and private buildings still visible today.

​To Volunteer for the event, please visit our Volunteer Windsor Portal

​Friday July 1, 2022

Walkerville Art Walk - 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Wyandotte Street will be closed from Gladstone Avenue to Devonshire Road for visitors to engage with vendors, artists and artisans, musicians, patios and more. This year's vendors include Border City Custom Prints, Walkerville Candles, What's Poppin' Popcorn Factory, Terra Green, Sweet Moments Cookie Co., The Art Lab, Gagne Illustrations, and many more. The full list can be found at the Walkerville BIA website. 

“Hiram’s Heritage” Barrel Finished Scotch Ale

Available as of Friday, July 1, at the Walkerville Brewery, 525 Argyle Road
www.WalkervilleBrewery.com

In describing their special limited edition brew, Mike Brkovich of The Walkerville Brewery says, “This traditional style scotch ale is small batch brewed and bottled by hand. It is finished in once used oak whisky barrels. The final beer is unfiltered, smooth drinking with dark roast and biscuit flavours on the palate and nose. A modern homage to our founder Hiram’s heritage. It will be available exclusively at The Walkerville Brewery in 500-milliletre commemorative bottles.” 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Hiram Walker Commemorative Statue Unveiling - 10:00 a.m.

The Hiram Walker Commemorative Statue is a new bronze sculpture that stands approximately 11 feet tall. Commissioned in 2016, in honour of Hiram Walker's 200th birthday, the Hiram portion of the statue was created by sculptor Mark Williams, with whisky barrels created by sculptor Laura Williams. The piece was cast in bronze by John Vickers at Hopper Foundry. The statue project was generously supported by the City of Windsor, Windsor International Airport (YQG), WindsorEssex Community Foundation, Windsor Port Authority, Mr. Michael George Solcz, Mr. Mike Brykovich and Mr. Ian Gourlay with the Walkerville Brewery, Mr. Jim Scorgie, Canadian Club - Beam Suntory, ENWIN Utilities Ltd., Fortis Group, Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, and Pamela and Tony Morse.

Walkerville Art Walk - 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Wyandotte Street will be closed from Gladstone Avenue to Argyle Road, and Devonshire Road will be closed from Riverside Drive to Wyandotte Street for visitors to engage with vendors, artists and artisans, musicians, patios and more. Full details coming soon.

Hiram Walker 206th Birthday Celebration - 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

The City’s ShowMobile main entertainment stage will feature Windsor’s Poet Laureate Vanessa Shields, and live music from Leave Those Kids Alone, Crissi Cochrane, Tara Watts, Abridged Opera, and The Rum Runners 1920s Band.

J.P. Wiser’s Distillery will run public tours of their facility, where guests can experience the story of Canadian whisky – from its vibrant history to the craftsmanship and process behind making it. Tour-takers will have an opportunity to sample some of the distillery’s award-winning whiskies, including J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe, Lot No. 40 Rye Whisky, Pike Creek 10 Year, Rum Barrel Finish, and J.P. Wiser’s 15 Year Old. Advance bookings are highly recommended. All tour details and bookings are at www.jpwiserstour.ca/products/buy-tour-tickets online.

Beam Suntory – Canadian Club Whisky will be part of the festivities in honour of the birthday of founding father Hiram Walker. They’ll be offering Canadian Club 1858 and the Canadian Club Classic 12 Year whiskies as well as the Canadian Club Ready-to-Drink, which mixes the award-winning whisky brand with fresh ginger to create a lighter drink.

The Children’s Activity Village on Devonshire Road will have birthday cupcakes and custom Hiram Walker celebration top hats (both available while supplies last), the WINDSOR Sign set up for photos; a children’s activity from the Windsor Sculpture Park Conservation students; Museum Windsor games, vintage toys, and Walkerville Heritage Walking Tours (11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.); Mickey and Minnie roaming characters; Ted Paints Faces face-painting; inflatables including the wiggle riders race track and basketball net; the Art Lab Slime Bar; roaming character actors from the Rum Runners Tour; the Islamic Circle of North America Sisters booth; classic cars, including Model T’s from the Canadian Transportation Museum and Heritage Village parked for photos; and 25 local Windsor-Essex makers and artists showcasing and selling their work in connection with day two of the Walkerville Art Walk.

Over on Wyandotte Street, 42 local makers and artisans will be lining the street for the Walkerville Art Walk, with Walkerville BIA businesses extending their storefronts, and restaurants operating patios. The Walkerville Brewery on Argyle Road will offer a Beer Garden, including live music, delicious eats, and the limited edition “Hiram’s Heritage” Scotch Ale.

Friends of Willistead Memorial Gathering at St. Mary’s Cemetery

Saturday, July 2, at 11:30 a.m.
St. Mary’s Anglican Cemetery, 1983 Mary’s Gate Street
At the graves of Edward Chandler Walker and Mary Walker

 

The Friends of Willistead will bring flowers and wreaths, and lead a short memorial tribute at the graves of Edward Chandler Walker and his wife Mary. The Walkers built Willistead Manor between 1904 and 1906. In naming the estate, Edward commemorated his older brother Willis, who had died some years before. Edward and Mary lived in Willistead Manor together for a short time until his death in 1915. Five years later, the Walker Family deeded Willistead Manor to the town of Walkerville. Mary Walker left the Manor and never returned. Edward and Mary were both born in Detroit, found each other and married, travelled the world together and are buried next to each other in Walkerville.

Tours of Willistead Manor & The New Coach House Exhibition

Saturday, July 2, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Tours are free.
Willistead Manor & Coach House, 1899 Niagara Street

Experience the story of a family that shaped a community. Learn about the history of Hiram Walker, the formation of Walkerville, Edward and Mary Walker, Willistead Manor, and much more in this new and permanent Coach House exhibition designed by HCA Mindbox, and supported by The Merinoff Foundation, the Walker descendants, Willistead Manor Inc., the Friends of Willistead, and the City of Windsor. Visitors can also tour Willistead Manor, which is re-opening its doors for public tours for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Roaring 20s at the Manor Fundraiser Dinner

Saturday, July 2, from 6:30 p.m. to Midnight.
Willistead Manor, 1899 Niagara Street. Tickets are $100 per person.
Tickets available at www.ThymeToGo.ca online.

 

Mayor Drew Dilkens & Jane Dilkens, and the Willistead Manor Inc. Board of Directors present a one-of-a-kind fundraiser dinner event at Willistead Manor, in the tradition of one of Edward and Mary Walker’s long-ago celebrations of art, music, fine-dining, fellowship, and philanthropy. Thyme To Go, Willistead Manor’s exclusive caterer, presents a delicious mix of hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a complimentary champagne toast, signature drink, whisky tastings from Canadian Club – Beam Suntory, “Hiram’s Heritage” scotch ale from the Walkerville Brewery, and more. Guests are encouraged to come dressed for the Roaring 20s, and will be treated to live music from The Coffee House Combo, The Broadway Bunch, and Crissi Cochrane. The evening includes special performances by the Windsor Symphony Youth Orchestra, Windsor Dance eXperience, and the Rum Runners Tour. There will be antique automobiles parked for photographs courtesy of the Canadian Transportation Museum, tarot and psychic readings with Medium Psychic Linda Dumouchel of Spirit Whispers, caricature artist April Hawkes, and much more! The event is presented by the City of Windsor, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Willistead Manor Inc.,, Beam Suntory, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and Thyme To Go. A portion of all ticket proceeds will go to the Willistead Manor Restoration Fund. Tickets are limited, and available through www.ThymeToGo.ca online. 

“The Hiram Walker Commemorative Statue was commissioned on the 200th anniversary of his birth and in honour of his incredible and lasting contributions to the town of Walkerville and the city of Windsor. It is fantastic to finally be able to gather in person to celebrate the successful entrepreneur and community builder whose legacy endures through the continued operation of the distillery but also through the lasting impact of his many charitable donations. Today’s Windsor would be a shadow of itself without the indelible contributions of Hiram Walker. I’m thrilled to be partnering with the Walkerville BIA and many community organizations, artists, vendors and others for this signature event to proudly honour him with a larger-than-life sculpture.” - City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens​​​​​​​​​

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