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October 14, 2011
Harper Government Invests in Local Commemorations of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812

GANANOQUE – The Lions Club of Gananoque will commemorate the first battle of the War of 1812 that took place in Gananoque, and the battle’s main protagonist, Joel Stone, thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada.

This was announced today by Gord Brown, Member of Parliament for Leeds–Grenville, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Minister Moore unveiled how the Government of Canada will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 at an event at Fort George National Historic Site on October 11, 2011.

This bicentennial is significant for the Town of Gananoque as its founder, Joel Stone, was a colonel in the Loyalist British Army and defended the town and area against the American invasion during the War of 1812.

The Lions Club of Gananoque will present a community commemoration of the first battle that took place in Gananoque on September 21, 1812. Activities will include historical re-enactments, music and theatre performances, and a heritage walk by local artists and historical heritage performers.

In addition to this celebration, the Lions Club has also undertaken the development of Joel Stone Park into an 1812 heritage park that will feature, among other elements, a bronze diorama representing the town as it was in 1812, an amphitheatre for small theatrical events, and the beginning of a one kilometre heritage trail.

“Projects like this that commemorate important historic events in our history are wonderful opportunities for Canadians to come together and take pride in Canada,” said Minister Moore. “By supporting projects like these, our Government is delivering on its commitment to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812—a defining moment in our country’s history that in many ways has shaped Canada into the country it is today.”

“Our Government is proud to invest in commemoration projects relating to the War of 1812,” said Brown. “This investment will enable the Lions Club of Gananoque to share with our community and Canadians a defining moment that shaped our nation.

“This historic war helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity.”

The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is an unprecedented opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our history and the heroes who defended our country in a time of crisis.

Against great odds, it took the combined efforts of British, French, and Aboriginal Canadians to repel the American invasion and defend Canada in a time of crisis.

Canada’s victory in the War of 1812 decided who we are today, what side of the border we live on, and which flag we honour.

The Fight for Canada laid the foundation for Confederation and the cornerstones of our political institutions. Had the war ended differently, had the American invasion not been repelled, Canada as we know it would not exist.

This week, the Harper Government launched the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 from coast to coast to coast.

Over the next four years, the Government will invest to increase Canadians’ awareness of this defining moment in our history.

Our Government will celebrate this anniversary by designating October 2012 as a month of commemoration and through various projects and investments.

The investments will include support for:

  • a pan-Canadian educational campaign focused on the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada’s history;
  • support for up to 100 historical re-enactments, commemorations, and local events;
  • a dedicated War of 1812 Monument in Canada’s National Capital Region;
  • interactive tours, exhibits, and improvements to national historic sites across the country;
  • investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario and
  • Honouring current Canadian regiments and War of 1812 militia units.

“Our government received a strong mandate from Canadians to celebrate these important events.

We look forward to the 200th anniversary and the many other important anniversaries Canadians will celebrate as we look forward to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017,” explains Brown.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $398,420 over two years via the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.

Investments have already been made by Infrastructure Canada and Parks Canada as part of the Economic Action Plan for infrastructure and capital improvements to 11 historic sites across Canada associated with the War of 1812, such as Fort Malden, Fort Chambly, and the St. Andrews Blockhouse.

Details on planned activities and funding opportunities will be made available on the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 website at www.1812.gc.ca.

You can now also download  the official Government of Canada mobile application and browse the mobile site for information about the commemoration, key battles and heroes, and related national historic sites, as well as other interactive features that will be updated in the coming months in the lead-up to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

The new War of 1812 iPhone application is available, free of charge, at www.1812.gc.ca/apps. Users of BlackBerry smartphones and other mobile devices can access the content at m.1812.gc.ca.

 

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