By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
The 2023 Mayor’s Levee for the Town of Cobourg will be nothing like previous levees – on so many levels.
An afternoon New Year’s Day gathering with sandwich and relish and dessert trays enjoyed to the music of the Concert Band of Cobourg is now an early-evening Jan. 3 soiree with jazz music and fine foods, Mayor Lucas Cleveland said at this week’s council meeting.
“Traditionally it has been geared to a particular audience, and I have tried to update it a little,” he said.
The delayed date Cleveland attributed to “the shows that were being held on the Christmas holiday – staff would have been here overnight on Dec. 31.”
Instead of the Concert Band of Cobourg, he continued, “we have hired a jazz musician who does layered pieces.”
As for food, “it’s not your traditional egg-salad sandwiches. It’s cheese, charcuterie and wine.”
As befits the music and menu, the shift was made to later in the day – 5 to 6:30 p.m. instead of early afternoon.
Deputy Mayor Nicole Beatty said this kind of change sounds exciting, but she is mindful of tradition – particularly the town’s long-standing partnership with the Concert Band of Cobourg.
“It’s such a hallmark component of the holidays and the legacy of this wonderful facility and our commitment to the Concert Band,” Beatty said, asking why the new mayor had wanted to make a change.
Cleveland cited declining attendance over the last few years, and the difficulty people had holding conversations “due to the multitude of instruments and the largeness of the sound.”
He wanted more of a meet-and-greet get-together, he said, rather than just having people sit at their tables and eat.
“And in terms of the Concert Band, there’s no ill feelings. We look forward to working with them in the future. But looking at public feedback and the lack of attendance over the last few years, we just wanted to give it new life,” Cleveland said.