Harper Government Unveils Plans to Commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario,– At an event held at historic Fort George, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, unveiled how the Harper Government will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.
“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 Minister Moore. “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.”
Over the next four years, the Government will invest $28 million 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 permanent 1812 memorial located in the National Capital Region;
- interactive tours, six exhibits, and improvements to three national historic sites across the country;
- investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario.
October 2012 will also be designated as a month of commemoration of the heroes and key battles of the War of 1812.
“Had the War of 1812 ended differently, the Canada we know today would not exist. The war laid the foundations for Confederation and our political institutions,” said Minister Nicholson. “It is the local activities here in Niagara and across our great country that will showcase this defining historical moment, as well as boosting tourism and strengthening the economy.”The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is just one of many events that are bringing Canadians together as the country moves closer to Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017. Other key anniversaries include the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the 200th anniversary of the Selkirk Settlement and the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup in 2012, the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald in 2015, and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 2017
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.
Fort George was the headquarters of the British Army in Upper Canada (Ontario) during the War of 1812. It was destroyed on May 25, 1813, and captured and occupied by US forces two days later, before being retaken by the British in December 1813.
Details on planned activities will be made available on the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 website at www.1812.gc.ca.