Cannon Centre is dedicated to Greer Community

By Laura MacPherson, Staff Reporter
Published on Sunday, July 22, 2012

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Mike Sokel, president of Greer Cultural Arts and Robyn Byouk, Greer Arts Council supervisor, accept the symbolic $10,000 check presented from the city by Mayor Rick Danner at the Cannon Centre dedication in GreerToday.

Laura MacPherson

Mike Sokel, president of Greer Cultural Arts and Robyn Byouk, Greer Arts Council supervisor, accept the symbolic $10,000 check presented from the city by Mayor Rick Danner at the Cannon Centre dedication in GreerToday.



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City Administrator Ed Driggers welcomes guests to the Cannon Centre dedication this afternoon. Driggers has been administrator through the city's relocation of the municipal complex and city park. The Cannon Centre is the crown jewel of the project.

Laura MacPherson

City Administrator Ed Driggers welcomes guests to the Cannon Centre dedication this afternoon. Driggers has been administrator through the city's relocation of the municipal complex and city park. The Cannon Centre is the crown jewel of the project.



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New Jerusalem Choir entertains guests at the dedication of the Cannon Centre.

Laura MacPherson

New Jerusalem Choir entertains guests at the dedication of the Cannon Centre.



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A standing room only crowd was in attendance in GreerToday for the dedication of the multip-purpose Cannon Centre.

Laura MacPherson

A standing room only crowd was in attendance in GreerToday for the dedication of the multip-purpose Cannon Centre.



Ed Driggers, Greer city administrator, summed up the historic significance of the Cannon Centre, a new multi-purpose event center in GreerToday.

“This is a landmark building that has undergone a transformation. There are people here who played basketball in this building, who came to dances in this building. People are here who remember what this building has been," Driggers said. 

Driggers recognized many people instrumental in the transformation, including the McKown family. He presented a plaque to thank them and express the city’s gratitude for all they have done over the years.

The Cannon Centre dedication and open house at 3 o'clock this afternoon also gave community leaders the view of a standing room only crowd. Every seat was full and people stood in the back on the Centre and lined the walls to hear what planners had to say about the historic building that formerly housed an armory and a gymnasium.

Ann Cunningham, supervisor of Parks and Recreation, spoke about the city’s vision to bring life to the building. She said the building would be used for event space, office space for Greer Cultural Arts, instructional classes, and arts performances.

Mike Sokel, president of Greer Cultural Arts, thanked the city for allowing the organization to participate in the planning and design. He told attendees about the first production that will be held at the Cannon Centre in September, "School House Rock Live! Jr.".

After Sokel’s remarks, the New Jerusalem Choir gave a moving performance of Chris Tomlin’s "How Great is Our God". The crowd got involved, standing and clapping. The choir also sang the gospel song, “I Want to Say Thank You.”

Mayor Rick Danner then spoke about the importance of the arts in his own life and told about how his family listened to Beverly Sills’ music when he was a child. “If we don’t choose to actively support the arts, it is a great tragedy,” Danner said. “It is our role to support the arts.” He shared a quote by Sills saying, “Art is the signature of civilization,” and added, “Art is what shows the passion of a state.” He also thanked the Cannon and McKown families for their contributions to the city of Greer.

Driggers followed with a presentation to Greer Cultural Arts. “We understand the need for public art and we considered how the city could be involved,” Driggers said. The building planners and designers created a landscaped grassy area in the front of the building that will provide a place for public art to be displayed. Driggers then presented Greer Cultural Arts with a $10,000 check to be used for the acquisition of a public art piece.

Danner concluded by dedicating the building to the citizens of Greer. The Cannon Centre holds a plaque on one of its walls dedicating the building to those in the community.

Reverend Steve Watson offered a prayer of dedication to end the ceremony, which was followed by tours of the building and hors d'oeuvres provided by Chelsea’s Catering.

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