"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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Canadian Government Celebrates the Birth of Canada's First Prime Minister

WEST VANCOUVER, January 11, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, invited all Canadians to reflect on Sir John A. Macdonald's life and accomplishments, in honour of the 197th anniversary of his birth. Minister Moore spoke to students while attending an event at Caulfeild Elementary School in West Vancouver. Today's event was organized in partnership with the Historica-Dominion Institute to showcase how classrooms across Canada can celebrate the birth of Canada's first Prime Minister.

"Our Government received a strong mandate to support and celebrate important milestones like the birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald, who holds a very distinguished position in Canadian history as our country's first Prime Minister and a Father of Confederation," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is committed to educating all Canadians on the importance of Sir John A. Macdonald's defining role in our history, by celebrating his life and accomplishments and how they have shaped the Canada we know today."

"We are thrilled to be in Vancouver to celebrate Sir John A. Macdonald Day with schools in British Columbia and across Canada," said Jeremy Diamond, Director at the Historica-Dominion Institute. "The life and times of Canada's first Prime Minister, and founding father, teach us a great deal about the origins of our country and how that history may live on in the present."

Thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada, the Historica-Dominion Institute launched a major educational campaign during the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years, to encourage schools across Canada to organize their own Sir John A. Macdonald Day celebrations on January 11.

This commemoration is just one of a series of events that will continue to bring Canadians together in the years to come. Upcoming commemorations include the following:

...the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the 200th anniversary of the Selkirk Settlement, and the 100th anniversary of the Grey Cup (2012)

...the 200th birthday of Georges Etienne Cartier and the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown/Qu├ębec Conference (2014)

...the 200th birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald (2015)

...the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the 100th anniversary of the NHL, the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Dieppe, and Canada's 150th anniversary (2017)

...the 25th anniversary of NAFTA (2019)

The Government of Canada is providing funding of $263,250 through the Commemorate Canada component of the Department of Canadian Heritage's Celebration and Commemoration Program. This component provides financial support to initiatives of national significance that commemorate various aspects of Canadian history.

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