Harper Government Honours Canada's Role in Naval Battles in the Commemoration of the War of 1812

BATH, Ontario, October 14, 2011 – The Harper Government is honouring Canada's role in naval battles 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."

The Fairfield-Gutzeit Society will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Flight of the Royal George, a naval battle that took place between Bath and Kingston, Ontario, thanks to an investment by the Harper Government. The Flight of the Royal George 1812 Bicentennial Signature Event will commemorate the naval battle of November 9, 1812, between the British HMS Royal George and the American USS Oneida. The event will feature historical re-enactments, as well as music and theatre performances. The Fairfield-Gutzeit Society will also construct a stone 1812 Founders Monument to identify the site of the Flight of the Royal George at Centennial Park in Bath.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in legacy projects that recognize our history and define who we are as Canadians," 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."

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 through 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
819-997-7788

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media@pch.gc.ca