Harper Government Invests in Local Commemorations of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812

GANANOQUE, October 14, 2011 - The Harper Government today announced support for local events in commemoration of the War of 1812. This 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 heroic efforts of those who fought for our country in the War of 1812 tell the story of the Canada we know today: an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy and its own distinct parliamentary system," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is an opportunity for all of us to take pride in our history, and we look forward to taking part in the events and activities that will mark this important anniversary for Canada."

Thanks to an investment by the Harper Government, the Lions Club of Gananoque will be able to commemorate the first battle of the War of 1812 that took place in Gananoque, Leeds and Grenville United Counties, and the battle's main protagonist, Joel Stone. This 200th anniversary 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 1-km 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 Gord Brown, Member of Parliament (Leeds-Grenville). "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 Mr. Brown. "The investment will enable the Lions Club of Gananoque to share with our community and Canadians a defining moment that shaped our nation."

Over the next four years, the Government will invest to increase Canadians' awareness of this defining moment in our history. This 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; and
  • investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario; and
  • celebrating and honouring the links that many of our current militia regiments in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada have to the War of 1812.

The Government of Canada has provided funding 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.

Details on planned activities and funding opportunities will be made available on the 200th anniversary 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.

For more information (media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage