"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Friday, March 30, 2012

Call for nominations to Ontario Heritage Trust community recognition programs

TORONTO, March 29, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Heritage Trust is seeking nominations to its Young Heritage Leaders, Heritage Community Recognition and Community Leadership programs. The annual nomination deadline is June 30.

The Trust's recognition programs celebrate volunteer and community contributions to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage. The Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award is the highest level of recognition awarded through the programs.

"By conserving our heritage, volunteers and communities help to ensure that Ontario's history lives on," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "Our past tells the story of how life in Ontario has changed and evolved over time, which enriches our understanding and experience of living in Ontario today."

"The Ontario Heritage Trust's recognition programs provide an important opportunity to celebrate volunteers and communities for their contributions to heritage conservation," said Michael Chan Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "Through their commitment and dedication, nominees help preserve and promote our shared history for generations to come."

Achievements in built, cultural and natural heritage conservation are eligible for recognition through the programs:

...Young Heritage Leaders recognizes exceptional young volunteers. The top individual and group nominees are eligible for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Youth Achievement. The most outstanding individual also receives a $2,000 post-secondary scholarship, awarded by the Ontario Heritage Trust and program sponsors Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life.

...The Heritage Community Recognition Program celebrates volunteers for local conservation activities. Individuals with contributions over a period of 25 years or more can be nominated for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.

...The Community Leadership Program recognizes communities for leadership in heritage conservation and promotion. Through the program, communities can nominate themselves for the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership.

Nominations to the recognition programs must be endorsed by a motion of a municipal council, regional council, First Nation band council or Métis community council and include supporting material. For Young Heritage Leaders, school principals can also endorse nominations.

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life have supported the Young Heritage Leaders program since its inception with funding through the companies' national corporate citizenship program.

"We have sponsored Young Heritage Leaders for more than a decade because we understand the value of encouraging youth to take the lead in preserving local heritage and ecology," said Jan Belanger, Assistant Vice-President, Community Affairs, for Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life. "We are pleased that our long-term support helps the Ontario Heritage Trust recognize and inspire young leaders to greater involvement as we all work to build stronger communities together."

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

Learn more:

Program guidelines and nomination forms are available at www.heritagetrust.on.ca.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A TITANIC SCANDAL at Guelph Civic Museum!

GUELPH, Ontario March 28, 2012 - Author Hugh Brewster presents his new book RMS TITANIC in an illustrated talk at Guelph Civic Museum on Wednesday, April 4, 7 pm.

Hear about the girl from Guelph who became a famous fashion designer and survived the Titanic - only to become notorious in its aftermath.

Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon was the Edwardian world’s most famous couturiere with elegant salons in London, Paris and New York. Yet this aristocratic lady had grown up as plain Lucy Sutherland in a place she called “dirty little Guelph.” When urgent business called Lucile to New York in April of 1912 she took the first available ship - which happened to be the Titanic. How Lucile and her husband Sir Cosmo escaped from the sinking liner became the most sensational news story of the Titanic disaster.

Author and Guelph native Hugh Brewster gives a hometown launch of his new book, RMS Titanic: Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage with a specially created multi-media talk about the most famous woman ever to have come from Guelph. Books will be available for sale and signing.

The new Guelph Civic Museum is located at 52 Norfolk Street. For further information please contact Val Harrison, Coordinator of Public Programs, Guelph Museums, at 519-836-1221 x2773 or visit guelph.ca/museum.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New University of Guelph CIO and Chief Librarian Named

GUELPH, Ontario March 22, 2012 - University of Guelph Campus Bulletin - Rebecca Graham has been named the University of Guelph’s new chief information officer (CIO) and chief librarian. Her five-year term begins May 23.

The announcement was made today by provost and vice-president (academic) Maureen Mancuso, who chaired the search committee.

"Rebecca possesses the knowledge, skills and qualities that we were looking for in our next CIO and chief librarian,” Mancuso said. “She is a strategic thinker and an exceptional leader whose experience, vision and passion will help us further build our reputation as a forerunner in information technology and library systems."

In making the announcement, Mancuso expressed gratitude to Catherine Steeves, the University’s associate chief librarian, who has been acting in the role since Mike Ridley completed his second term in January.

Mancuso also thanked members of the search committee, which included faculty, students and staff members, for their hard work and commitment, and the University community for its participation.

Most recently, Graham was the associate librarian for preservation, digitization and administrative services at Harvard College Library (HCL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She oversaw all administrative services and managed a $90-million budget and 12 library buildings, and was responsible for HCL’s preservation and digitization program. She also led the effort to expand the library’s digitization of special collections, particularly in support of teaching and learning.

She was also the co-director at Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library of Medicine and headed computing services and the digital library program at Johns Hopkins University. Graham also served in various capacities at the Digital Library Federation in Washington, DC, and managed integrated systems at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

"Given the continuing influence and impact of technology in higher education, the opportunity to serve in a strategic role with oversight of both IT and the library is unparalleled," Graham said. "To do so at an innovative institution like the University of Guelph is all the more compelling. I look forward to joining the Guelph community."

At U of G, Graham will be responsible for the overall strategy and policy administration of the University’s information technology, information services and information resources. She will also oversee the administration of the library as chief librarian and of Computing and Communications Services (CCS).

She earned a bachelor's degree in organizational management from Wilberforce University in Ohio and a master of library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Association of Research Libraries Research Library Leadership Fellows in 2004.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Canadian Government Invests in Museum London

LONDON, Ontario, March 23, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Visitors to Museum London will continue to have access to art and artifacts of national and local significance, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Susan Truppe, Member of Parliament (London North Centre), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Funding will allow the London Regional Art and Historical Museums (Museum London) to purchase and install new lighting and skylight shading systems in its exhibition galleries. The shading system will be custom-designed to complement the Museum's large skylights.

The new systems will allow the Museum to decrease its energy consumption and costs. With improved lighting control, the Museum will be able to better protect and display art work and artifacts in its various exhibitions.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in projects that improve the facilities of organizations like Museum London," said Minister Moore. "By supporting these organizations, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"Museum London is not only recognized for its terrific collection and presentation of visual art and artifacts, but also for the unique architecture of its building," said Ms. Truppe. "With this Government of Canada investment, the new light and shading system promises to make the Museum more energy-efficient while enhancing visitor experiences."

"Lighting is an incredibly important consideration for museums. The type and amount of light present in our exhibitions can have a significant impact on the integrity of artworks and artifacts, as well as the quality of the visitor experience," said Brian Meehan, Executive Director, Museum London. "We are extremely grateful to the Government of Canada for its support of this project."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $474,600 through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program seeks to improve physical conditions for artistic creativity and arts presentation or exhibition. It is also designed to increase access for Canadians to performing, visual, and media arts, and to museum collections and heritage displays.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Canada Post commemorates Canadian Titanic ties with stamps

Canadian recovery efforts saluted in marking 100th anniversary of the ship's disaster

OTTAWA, March 20, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canada Post unveiled today the images of the five stamps that will be issued on April 5 to mark the centennial of the sinking of RMS Titanic. The collection, created by Haligonian design team of Dennis Page and Oliver Hill, showcases the best-known ship in the world with depth and realism and adds some poignant Canadian attributes.

Canadians, and the citizens of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in particular, played a central role in the Titanic event through recovery efforts.

"To this day, Canada, and especially Halifax, has an enduring and remarkably human connection to the Titanic story," says the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. "The Canadian legacy of the Titanic still resonates strongly with everyone."

Creating a detailed image of a ship that has been under water for a century presented a wonderful challenge for Halifax-based designer Dennis Page. "This was the biggest man-made moving object on earth that after setting off on her maiden voyage hit an iceberg and ended in disaster. That really stuck with me and how I was going to show that feeling." Page basically put himself in the moment. "I imagined myself standing below her bow looking up which really gives that vantage point and perspective at how vast something like this could be."

Through this stamp collection Canada Post takes pride in respectfully marking an event in which so many lost their lives, and honouring the countless Canadians who helped in the recovery mission.
"This is really our way of paying tribute to the Canadians involved," says Mary Traversy, Canada Post's Senior Vice-President of Mail. "With these stamps, we hope to preserve the legacy of the Canadians whose lives were deeply touched when Titanic sank off our coast."

The collection will be available on April 5 in all Canada Post outlets, online and via mail order. Pre-orders are also possible on canadapost.ca/shop.

The Titanic stamp collection

The Titanic stamp collection is composed of five stamps, a stamp pane, a souvenir sheet, an uncut press sheet, prepaid postcards, framed prints, a collectible album and a stamp and coin collector envelope.

The four PERMANENT™ domestic-rate stamps come as two pairs of se-tenant stamps. Two show the Titanic's impressive bow and the other two feature the stern. The stern stamps are available only on the pane of 16 stamps, which includes eight stern stamps and eight bow stamps. The bow stamps are also available in a booklet of 10 and on the pane of 16 stamps. The international rate stamp shows a full-colour side illustration of the Titanic, sailing on a calm ocean with a layered map showing relevant locations. It is available in a booklet of six stamps, a souvenir sheet and a limited edition uncut press sheet. There will be two Official First Day Covers. The first will feature a photo from Father Brown's collection of the captain of the Titanic walking on the deck with the bow and the stern stamps. The second cover makes use of the international denomination stamp and features a photo of a paper boy in New York City announcing the disaster.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the news section of Canada Post's website, and photos of these new stamps are also available. Stamps and other products will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at canadapost.ca/collecting, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA, call toll-free 1-800-565-4362, and from other countries, call 902 863-6550.

Monday, March 12, 2012

U of G History PhD Student, War of 1812 Event Make Headlines

GUELPH, Ontario March 12, 2012 - University of Guelph In the News

A War of 1812 symposium hosted by the University of Guelph received extensive coverage in the weekend’s Globe and Mail. The newspaper’s “Focus” section included a front-page article about the conference and the history and politics of the war, and two photo galleries of people in period costumes.

The news story featured U of G history PhD student Elaine Young. Young, who studies historical commemoration, was a keynote speaker at the symposium. She said that the War of 1812 is heavily promoted as part of the country’s military heritage because “Canadian’s have long had trouble defining themselves, and so there's a search for the good old days of national unity when we all came together.”

The symposium brought some of Canada’s most respected and popular War of 1812 historians to campus Feb. 25.
It was sponsored by U of G’s Department of History and the Cambridge, Ont.-based 41st Regiment of Foot re-enactment group, as well as “living history” groups in London and Hamilton, the .Wellington County Museum, the Guelph Historical Society and Guelph Museums.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Country-wide Bell Ringing Will Mark the 2012 London Olympics' Opening

photo credit: all the bells/Public Domain

from TreeHugger.com
by Bonnie Alter - Living / Culture

The cultural component to London's 2012 Olympics is both traditional (lots of Shakespeare) and quirky. The All the Bells project falls into the charmingly eccentric category. On July 27, 2012, bells will be ringing across the UK to celebrate the opening of the Games.

Orchestrated by artist and musician Martin Creed, the project gets people everywhere to ring every kind of bell imaginable: alarm clock bells, bicycle bells, boat bells, mobile phone bells, church bells, cowbells, handbells, school bells, town hall bells, and jingle bells to usher in the Olympics.

Dare we call it green? It's simple, no-tech, free, local and community based, no cars, no planes used AND inspirational. Bells have a particular resonance: for over 1,200 years church bells have called the faithful to worship in churches across the land, helping people to celebrate triumph and loss.

"It's by the people and for the people. On the morning of the opening of the games, it's a massive signal that something is happening," says Creed.

The project is formally called "Work No. 1197: All the bells in a country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes throughout the country as the UK welcomes 205 nations from around the world."

It will take place at 8 a.m. because that is when the Olympic Torch will begin its final journey from Hampton Court Palace, through London, and on to the Olympic Stadium.

Lest you think that's an easy task, contemplate the scope of the All the Bells project. There will be church bells. That will include people in churches' bell towers taking part. Then there are the Morris Dancers, who jingle bells in their distinctive dancing.

Then there are the town criers from the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers who still work as volunteers in many small towns, ringing bells and spreading the word. A composer will create a new work for eight church bells with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.

Creed is a conceptual artist. Previous works have included a specially commissioned work for the Tate Britain Art Gallery consisting of a runner sprinting through the galleries at the art museum.

Creed will also be creating his own Martin Creed ringtone for your cell phone...as he says
"hold onto it, it’ll be worth something one day."

What Can Canadian Directories Do for You?

from Library and Archives Canada Blog

Canadian directories have long been a valuable resource at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and can be used for a variety of purposes. Before telephone books came into use, Canadian directories (sometimes simply referred to as city directories), were used as a tool for advertising and marketing within a community and were intended to facilitate communication between buyer and seller.

Our collection includes national, provincial/territorial, county and city directories from across Canada, primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries. Genealogists are frequent users of the directories as they provide opportunities to track a person within a given time period and place. An individual’s address, occupation and the names of other household members are only a few of the gems that lie ready to be discovered within their pages.

Canadian directories are a popular tool for genealogists but they aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this resource! These directories have many other excellent uses.

Canadian Directories can:

...help determine the urban development of an area
...be used to determine the history of a building
...showcase advertisements from a certain time period that can be a valuable source of information about the services, products and entertainments available to Canadian society
...provide information on the companies that were active during that time period
...furnish a list of city officials
...supply researchers with population statistics for that time period
...offer the names and locations of important community institutions such as schools, churches, etc.

Useful Resources

LAC has a growing collection of digitized pre-1901 directories. You can search and view these directories by accessing the database found here:

http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canadiandirectories/001075-100.01-e.php .

If you are interested in using Canadian directories for genealogical purposes, we invite you to take a look at our genealogy Web page on directories here:


You can also find out more about the history of publishing Canadian directories at the following link:


Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Historic Iowa Children's Diaries

What were children in Iowa concerned with in the 1870s?

This nice digital collection from the University of Iowa Libraries starts to answer that question by bringing together eleven different diaries from young Iowans writing from 1862 to 1907.

The diaries were provided by the Iowa Women's Archives, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Old Capitol Museum. Visitors can click on the Highlights of Collection to get started.

One rather fascinating highlight here is the geography homework done by Lucy Van Voorhis White in the 1880s. Users can look at her faithful reproductions of the major rivers in states surrounding Iowa, and may be especially fascinated by her.

Visitors can browse through the diaries at their leisure and also look around by decade.

Visit Historic Iowa Children's Diaries

>From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2011.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spencerville Mill - Canadian Government Invests in Commemoration of the War of 1812

SPENCERVILLE, Ontario, March 7, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Local artists, artisans, and performers will bring history to life at the Spencerville Mill's Bicentennial Heritage Fair, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Gord Brown, Member of Parliament (Leeds-Grenville), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The Spencerville Mill Foundation, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the historic preservation and interpretation of the Spencerville Mill and the history of the local community, will present its Heritage Fair from June 1 to 3, 2012. This year's fair celebrates not only the construction of the Spencerville Mill, but also the War of 1812. Audiences will go back in time through music and dance performances, historical craft demonstrations, War of 1812 historical battle re-enactments, and local history talks and workshops.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in organizations that support local festivals, like the Spencerville Mill Foundation," said Minister Moore. "By supporting these organizations, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support arts, culture, and heritage."

"Events like the Spencerville Mill's Bicentennial Heritage Fair provide a wonderful opportunity for Canadians to come together and enjoy the festivities while learning about the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, a defining moment in our country's history," said Mr. Brown. "This investment will enable local artists, artisans, and performers to share the story of their local heritage with their community."

"The Spencerville Mill is thrilled to have this level of support for the Heritage Fair," said Alicia Wanless, Marketing Director, Spencerville Mill Foundation. "As a community, we are developing a unique heritage experience, through which we plan to support local craftspeople, community service groups, businesses and tourism, by creating a three-day-long historic flash mob that will interact with visitors and bring the past to life."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $78,100 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.

Guelph Museums Display Showcases Ontario Veterinary College’s 150 year History and Community Ties

Ontario Veterinary College: 150 Years and Counting

GUELPH, Ontario March 8, 2012 - University of Guelph Release - The history of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) will be the subject of an exhibit opening March 9th at the Guelph Civic Museum.

The museum is now located in the historical Loretto Convent building on Norfolk Street.

Honouring OVC’s 150th anniversary and the birth of veterinary medicine in Canada, the exhibit will give visitors an intriguing glimpse into the college’s challenges and accomplishments. A grand opening will take place March 23.

OVC was founded in Toronto in 1862 mostly to train people to look after horses, a vital part of the economy of then Upper Canada. As its focus broadened to farm animals and agriculture, the college moved to Guelph in 1922.

"Since then, OVC has played a significant role in shaping the city and the surrounding community — and people are interested in knowing more about what we do," said Peter Conlon, associate dean (students), and a keen student of OVC history.

The exhibit was assembled by Natasha Hayward, assistant history curator for OVC's 150th-anniversary project. Also involved were OVC staff, including Tara O’Brien, OVC 150 co-ordinator, and PhD student Lisa Cox, who has used college artifacts to learn about the history of zoonotic diseases. Hayward chose artifacts from 150 years of teaching, research and service at OVC.

One example is a copy of Canada’s first veterinary manual, one that was used widely around the world. When college founder Andrew Smith began teaching, he had one course and one textbook. An enterprising student from those early classes made this book from his class notes.

The exhibit also features historical photos and information and discusses today’s veterinary practice and the life of a veterinary student.

Ontario Veterinary College: 150 Years and Counting - March 9 – June 17, 2012.

Celebrating Guelph’s stories!

Located at the heart of Guelph in the newly renovated Loretto Convent, the Guelph Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through permanent and changing exhibits, a fun and interactive families gallery and special events and activities. The historic 1850s building, atop the hill on Norfolk Street and beside the landmark Church of Our Lady, is now the home for a collection of over 30,000 artifacts that illustrate the rich history of Guelph.

52 Norfolk Street (Corner of Norfolk and Cork Streets.)
Open daily 1-5 pm
Admission $4 Adults, $3 Seniors, Students, Children, $10 Families
(519) 836-1221

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Canadian Government Invests in the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Pedestrian Bridge in Palmerston

PALMERSTON, Ontario, March 7, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Residents of Palmerston will be able to commemorate the opening of the Pedestrian Bridge 100 years ago, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This was announced today by Gary Schellenberger, Member of Parliament (Perth-Wellington), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

When the railway pedestrian bridge was opened in August 1912, it safely allowed schoolchildren and other people to cross the train tracks, which accommodated up to 40 trains a day. Although train traffic ended in 1992, pedestrians continue to use this bridge today.

The Palmerston Lions Club will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Pedestrian Bridge from August 9 to 12, 2012, in Wellington County, Ontario. Activities will include live musical performances, a railway art exhibit, printing and welding demonstrations, and storytelling. A series of three murals, a video on the heritage of the railway, and a commemorative painting of the bridge will help the community celebrate this important anniversary.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to support important commemorations like the 100th anniversary of Palmerston's Pedestrian Bridge," said Minister Moore. "By supporting this celebration, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support our arts, culture, and heritage."

"The Pedestrian Bridge is considered Palmerston's most unique and treasured landmark," said Mr. Schellenberger. "I am proud that this investment from our Government will help residents of Palmerston commemorate the 100th anniversary of this important piece of their local heritage."

"I am so glad that the Government of Canada has granted us funding for the 100th anniversary celebration of railway pedestrian bridge in Palmerston," said Shawn Hedge, President, Palmerston Lions Club. "With this funding, we will be able to showcase one of our town's most significant historical landmarks for not only our community to enjoy, but for neighbouring ones to enjoy as well."

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $10,700 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.

March Break Family Fun at Black Creek Pioneer Village

Step into the past and discover Toronto's roots

TORONTO, March 6, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - From Saturday, March 10th to Sunday, March 18th Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto's largest outdoor living history experience, opens its doors for March Break and invites the public to discover what life was like in early Ontario. Activities include building log cabins, old-fashioned spelling bees, puppet and musical performances with Glen Caradus, free wagon rides around the Village and watching how to make maple syrup like the pioneers did. Visit the tinsmith, learn a Victorian dance, watch the sparks fly at the blacksmith shop or take a stroll down one of three different trail routes that wind through the Village where you'll find something to see and do at every stop.

March Break Fun Highlights:

...Pioneer Play Area - Kids can explore a room full of hands-on pioneer activities such as building a log cabin, carding wool or trying a yoke and buckets.

...Free horse drawn wagon rides around the Village (12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.).

...Learn all about the history and science of maple syrup.

...All Day Pancakes: Enjoy delicious pancakes with real maple syrup at the Visitor's Centre (additional fee).

...Puppets and Music performances with Glen Caradus.

...History with the horses: Meet the farmer and our horse, Ross for an up-close encounter with this gentle giant!


• Adults (ages 16 - 59) $15 • Children (ages 5-15) $11 • Seniors (ages 60+) $14 • Students (16+ with ID) $14 • Children 4 years and under (when accompanied with a parent) FREE • Members Free • Parking $7 per car/day (Taxes are included) * Taxes are not included in the admission


Black Creek Pioneer Village is one block east of Jane St., south off Steeles Avenue, right next to York University. The Village is south-east of Hwy 7 and Hwy 400. Parking is available on site.

Public Transportation:

Black Creek Pioneer Village can be reached from the Finch subway station using the Steeles 60 West route, or from the Jane Station using the Jane 35 route. Visit www.ttc.ca. York Region Transit has several options available. For more information visit www.yorkregiontransit.com

For more information about Black Creek Pioneer Village, visit www.blackcreek.ca, or call 416-736-1733. Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/BlackCreekPioneerVillage

About Black Creek Pioneer Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village is unique in Toronto: a place where visitors can step into another time and experience life as it was in early Ontario. Spanning more than 30 acres of pristine country landscapes, the Village is a living history experience. Here heritage buildings from communities across south central Ontario have been faithfully outfitted with original furniture and artifacts to re-create a rural 1860s Ontario community. Historical interpreters in period dress bring the experience to life, answering visitors' questions, and demonstrating how people lived, worked and played. The Village is located in north Toronto, close to the intersection of Highway 400 and Highway 7. Black Creek Pioneer Village is owned and operated by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA). Funding for the Village comes from the TRCA's provincial and municipal partners, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the City of Toronto, admissions and sales, and through donations to The Living City Foundation. For more information, visit www.blackcreek.ca.

Canadian Government Invests in Culture in Fort Saskatchewan

FORT SASKATCHEWAN, Alberta, March 6, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society will present the 3rd Peoples of the North Saskatchewan Festival, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. Funding was announced today by the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform) and Member of Parliament (Edmonton-Sherwood Park), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

This funding will support the two-day festival, which will be held at the Fort Saskatchewan Museum and Historic Site on May 10 and 11, 2012. Planned activities will celebrate and commemorate early settlers in the Fort Saskatchewan region. Aboriginal and pioneer life will be showcased through dance and historic storytelling. Visitors will also experience interactive demonstrations of sawing, weaving, spinning, and butter and bannock making, as well as Red River cart rides.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in Alberta's economic future," said Minister Moore. "By supporting events like Peoples of the North Saskatchewan Festival, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and support local arts, culture, and heritage."

"I am thrilled to see that residents and visitors to Fort Saskatchewan will once again be able to take part in this festival," said Minister of State. Uppal. "It encourages and promotes local artists and performers, and also showcases the rich culture and heritage of the region. Congratulations to the Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society and the many volunteers on their continued efforts to make this festival a success."

"As our festival continues to grow in attendance and activities, it never ceases to amaze when I see the many smiles from the children—and so we really appreciate the funding provided by the Government of Canada, which allows us to keep the festival going and keep the smiles coming," said Ray Thurston, President, Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society.

The Peoples of the North Saskatchewan Festival is now in its third year. The Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society was incorporated in 1970, and aims to promote interest in the history of the region and support the Fort Saskatchewan Museum and Historic sites.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $2,300 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.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Royal Canadian Mint remembers RMS Titanic with commemorative coins

Coins produced to honour Canada's role in aftermath

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia March 5, 2012 /Cabada NewsWire/ - Today at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a 99.99% pure silver collector coin with a $10 face value to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. The Mint has also produced two additional collector coins, both with colour, to mark this historic event.

"The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to commemorate Canada's history, culture and values with special collector coins," said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. "Canada is forever linked with the story of the RMS Titanic through the efforts of Canadian ships that took part in recovery operations and by the memory of the lives lost that rest peacefully in Halifax cemeteries."

"The tragic fate of the Titanic has long captivated the world's imagination," said the Honourable Stephen Greene, Senator, on behalf of Minister Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Royal Canadian Mint. "These beautifully crafted coins pay tribute to the many sacrifices that were made and hard lessons that were gained by humanity during the RMS Titanic's voyage one hundred years ago"

The RMS Titanic commemorative $10 pure silver coin, as well as the coloured 50-cent silver plated coin and 25-cent cupro-nickel coin, can be ordered by directly contacting the Royal Canadian Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Internet at www.mint.ca. These coins will also be sold at the Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver as well as through the Mint's global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.


The world has never forgotten the tragic loss of life on April 15, 1912 aboard the world's largest, most luxurious and reputedly safest passenger ship of its day: RMS Titanic. After the world's greatest civilian loss of life at sea has been immortalized in best-selling books and in movies, the Royal Canadian Mint is commemorating the centennial of this disaster, and its place in Canadian maritime history, on a captivating series of new collector coins.

With a $10 face value, the 99.99% pure silver coin features a design by maritime artist Yves Bérubé of the ship under full steam as it nears the iceberg which would seal its fate. The proof finish of the coin shows off the longitude and latitude of its final resting place off Canada's Atlantic Coast in a delicately frosted highlight. This finely crafted coin, equally suited to Titanic buffs, history enthusiasts, and collectors is limited to a mintage of 20,000 coins world-wide and is available for $64.95 CDN.

A silver-plated 50-cent coin offers a second Yves Bérubé perspective of RMS Titanic. The frosted detail of the colossal vessel's bow and the gigantic iceberg lurking ahead are frozen in time on a proof coin which captures the two principal actors in the real-life drama of the RMS Titanic sinking. The selectively coloured waters of the North Atlantic seem to shimmer and flow in the doomed ship's wake. Limited to a world-wide mintage of 15,000 silver-plated copper coins, this dramatic keepsake retails for $34.95 CDN.

A richly coloured 25-cent cupro-nickel coin completes the Mint's account of the unforgettable story of RMS Titanic. Designed by Three Degrees Creative Group, the coin shows contrasting views of the RMS Titanic casting off on its maiden voyage before admiring crowds in Southampton, UK. This image is juxtaposed against a shimmering scene of the floating palace gliding through North Atlantic waters under a starry night sky. These haunting images are framed by two columns of four circles rising out from opposing sides of the coin's edge. These impressions symbolize the more than three million rivets which fastened the ship's hull. The coin is packaged in a colourful folder containing a pop-out bird's eye view of RMS Titanic sailing in all its glory, as well as facts about the ship and a timeline of her maiden voyage. Produced on demand, this captivating coin retails for $25.95 CDN.

About the Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on an international scale. For more information on the Mint's history, its products and services, please visit www.mint.ca.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

John Parmenter Robarts honoured through Premiers' Gravesites Program

TORONTO, March 1, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust unveiled a marker commemorating the gravesite of the Honourable John Parmenter Robarts, premier of Ontario from 1961 to 1971.

"John Robarts had great passion for the province and left a lasting legacy from his time in politics," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "His contributions to the areas of education, the arts, national unity and the economy will be remembered by generations to come. We are delighted to be able to honour his service to Ontario with a gravesite marker."

Born in Banff, Alberta, in 1917, John Robarts was the 17th premier of Ontario and the first premier born outside the province. He was a distinguished naval officer in the Second World War, after which he completed his education at Osgoode Hall. First elected to the legislature in 1951, he served as minister of education from 1959 to 1962. His governments focused on education and economic development. Robarts was a leader on national unity issues and co-chaired the task force on Canadian unity from 1977 to 1979. He served on a number of corporate boards and was chancellor of the University of Western Ontario and York University.

"John Parmenter Robarts was one of Ontario's most popular politicians of his time and highly regarded as premier," said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. "He made great strides in the development of our province, especially in education. Under his stewardship two of Ontario's iconic learning institutions, York University and the Ontario Science Centre, were constructed, leaving a legacy of learning that continues to benefit Ontarians to this day."

Steve Paikin, journalist and host of TVOntario's The Agenda, was master of ceremonies of the event held at The Cathedral Church of St. James. Among those in attendance paying tribute to John Robarts was the Honourable William Davis, 18th premier of Ontario and Robarts' successor. The marker will be installed at Robarts' grave in St. James' Cemetery in the spring of 2012. The cemetery is located at 635 Parliament Street, north of Wellesley Street, in Toronto.

The Premiers' Gravesites Program honours Ontario's former premiers and their service to Ontario by marking their gravesites. Specially designed bronze markers inscribed with the individual premier's name and dates of service are being installed at each gravesite, along with flagpoles flying the Ontario flag, where possible.

This program is administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust with funding support from the Government of Ontario. The Trust is an agency of the government dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Canadian War Museum acquires Victoria Cross of heroic stretcher-bearer

Victoria Cross Medal Awarded to John Francis Young, VC CWM 20110065-001 - Tilston Memorial Collection of Canadian Military Medals - © Canadian War Museum (CNW Group/Canadian War Museum)

OTTAWA, February 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian War Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Victoria Cross awarded to Private John Francis Young, a Canadian stretcher-bearer with the 87th Infantry Battalion during the First World War. His extraordinary heroism in the face of enemy fire saved the lives of many of his wounded comrades.

"The story of John Francis Young illustrates that heroism on the battlefield takes many forms," said James Whitham, Acting Director-General of the Canadian War Museum. "Private Young chose to serve his country unarmed, and was awarded the country's highest honour for his bravery."

On September 2, 1918, Private Young's company suffered heavy casualties from German shell and machine gun fire while advancing over a ridge near Dury in northern France. Despite continuous enemy fire and the complete absence of cover, Young went to the aid of the wounded, returning more than once to his company headquarters for more medical supplies. As noted in his Victoria Cross medal citation,
"This work he continued for over an hour, displaying throughout the most absolute fearlessness."

Later, when the German fire became less intense, Young—then 25 years old—organized and led stretcher parties to retrieve the wounded men he had treated.

John Francis Young was born in England and is believed to have come to Canada as a young man. He died in Ste-Agathe, Quebec, on November 7, 1929.

With this acquisition, the Canadian War Museum now holds 32 of the 94 Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians. The medal is the British Commonwealth's highest award for military bravery.

The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada's military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.

About John Francis Young, VC

Young was born in Great Britain on January 14, 1893. He was a 22-year-old tobacco packer in Montréal when he joined the 87th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on October 20, 1915. Young served as a stretcher-bearer on the Western Front throughout the First World War, frequently braving enemy fire to rescue wounded comrades. He received the Victoria Cross for his exceptional courage in a battle near the war's end.

On September 2, 1918 Young was part of a Canadian Corps attack on the German defensive line that ran between the cities of Drocourt and Quéant in northern France. The attack was part of the Hundred Days campaign, which saw Canadian soldiers play a lead role in driving back and defeating the German armies. On this day, however, his battalion faced stiff German resistance. The Canadians came under heavy machine-gun and artillery fire from both flanks, and their advance stalled.

During the attack, John Francis Young tended to the wounded of his company which had suffered heavy casualties. Working on open ground swept by machine gun and rifle fire, he tended to the injured for over an hour. Several times he left the battlefield to resupply his medical kit, returning into harm's way for the sake of the wounded. He then organized his company's stretcher-bearers and led them to the men he had helped. For at least another hour, he directed the evacuation of over a dozen men. While leading these efforts, he was injured by the inhalation of mustard gas present on the battlefield.

For their attack on the German positions, 22 members of the 87th Battalion received the Military Medal, three were awarded the Military Cross, and one—John Francis Young—was honoured with the Victoria Cross. He received the medal from King George V on April 30, 1919, at Buckingham Palace.

After the war Young was demobilized from active service and he returned to Montréal and the tobacco company where he worked before enlisting. He also continued for some time with the Militia and reached the rank of Sergeant. He died on November 7, 1929, in a sanatorium in Ste. Agathe, Quebec. He was sent there after contracting tuberculosis, an infection linked to his wartime exposure to mustard gas.