State of the City celebrates the power of coming together to build Kitchener Together
April 14, 2022
Earlier today, Mayor Berry Vrbanovic and Kitchener Council welcomed citizens, community partners and difference-makers both virtually, and in-person to the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts for the State of the City address.
Special guest Clarence Cachagee, founder and visionary of Crow Shield Lodge, opened by sharing a song and reflections on his deep connection to Kitchener. “When I think about Kitchener it’s not only about belonging but about the feeling of being a part of something and being connected,” said Cachagee. “Kitchener is me and I am Kitchener.”
The mayor’s speech reflected on the challenges of the past two years of the pandemic and on how they became a celebration of community differences that bring us together to make Kitchener a world-class, innovative, caring and vibrant community.
“Our differences are what makes this city come alive – every corner of this city is part of our story,” said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “We speak many languages, love different foods, and enjoy unique traditions. We’re homebodies and party-people…innovators and side-hustlers. We’re daily grinders and adventurers…transit takers and cyclists and car-lovers. We’re activists, and futurists, and feminists. Together, we call this city home, and we all want to see Kitchener flourish, and grow – not just for you and me, but for the generations of the future.”
Mayor Vrbanovic reflected on our ability to come together as a community in tough times, and to reinvent and bounce back when we’re knocked down. Our ability to adapt, to rebuild and to lend a helping hand to those who need it, is what it means to be part of Kitchener. He also applauded community members for driving change on big issues including climate change, economic innovation, housing affordability, systemic racism and Indigenous reconciliation.
In a call to action, Mayor Vrbanovic called on community members to “step up, speak up and raise your voice.” He invited community members to get involved and provide input into the new strategic plan for the city, volunteer, serve on a citizen committee, delegate to council, give feedback on Engage Kitchener, or attend a public meeting. He invited residents to help “define the priorities that will have a meaningful impact on Kitchener’s future.”
“Together, we can make a difference in this community, and together, we can all be part of something bigger,” he said.
Net proceeds from the event supported the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation – Kitchener Mayor and Council Fund.
To watch Kitchener’s full 2022 State of the City address including the Kitchener Together 2022 accomplishments video visit www.kitchener.ca/stateofthecity.
For more information, contact:
Manager, Corporate Communication
City of Kitchener