"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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Canadian Government Demonstrates Commitment to Remembrance by Supporting Reconstruction of Rockwood Cenotaph

ROCKWOOD, Ontario, August 29, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills, today attended the Rockwood Cenotaph rededication ceremony in Rockwood, Ontario.

"Cenotaphs and monuments across our country are solemn but powerful reminders of the sacrifices made by our nation's truest heroes," said Minister Blaney. "Our Government is committed to honouring Canada's Veterans and the brave service men and women who continue to serve today."

"This special monument honours the service and sacrifices of the local men and women who served in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War," said MP Chong. "I am very proud to be here today to rededicate this newly reconstructed cenotaph. We must preserve the legacy of our Veterans and ensure that younger generations are aware of the important contribution of Canadian Veterans to our military history."

The Township of Guelph/Eramosa has received Government of Canada funding of up to $33,060 through Veterans Affairs Canada's Community War Memorial Program, to assist with a major addition and reconstruction of the Rockwood Cenotaph in the community of Rockwood, Ontario. The project included the demolition and replacement of the stairs and the addition of fencing, retaining walls, a concrete platform around the cenotaph, and wheelchair ramps.

Applications to the Community War Memorial Program can be submitted at any time during the year and are reviewed on a quarterly basis. Interested non-profit groups and other organizations may be eligible for funding to build new memorials or to make major additions to existing ones. For more information, please visit veteran.gc.ca.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reminiscence Journey at the 2012 International Plowing Match

Reminiscence Journey to showcase pillars of cultural heritage
that have played into the legacy of the plowing match

ROSEVILLE Ontario August 28, 2012 – The International Plowing Match (IPM) is proud to present The Reminiscence Journey (REM Journey); a brand new, and unique way, to showcase the legacy that has made IPM what it is today. The 800-acre family fun festival will display cultural elements of Waterloo Region by featuring entertainment from four significant cultures: First Nations, Pennsylvania German, Scottish, and German. These cultural heritages provide a means for an endless amount of events that the whole family can enjoy.

“We have over 1100 volunteers working in accordance with our dedicated committee members to bring about the cultural elements of our community. Some of the cultural events we have lined up include The KW Oktoberfest Tent & Lounge, Native Drumming performance, Highland dancing, and a traditional community Barn Raising by local volunteers,” said David Pyper, President of IPM 2012.

From September 18th – 22nd 2012, Waterloo Region’s Roseville will host the 99th edition of the plowing match. Its long and storied history returns to the region since its last visit in 1995, when Ayr played host to one of the most successful plowing matches to date. Committee members are confident that attendance will reach well over 100,000 due to the large span of activities and, in particular, the Reminiscence Journey – join the legacy!

About the International Plowing Match

The International Plowing Match (IPM) was established in Ontario in 1913 as a non-profit venture to showcase Ontario’s agricultural industry. Since then, it has grown to become one of Canada’s largest outdoor events and is executed through the dedication of nearly 2000 volunteers. IPM occurs in a different rural community each year and contributes 25 million dollars to the host community. The plowing match is reported to contribute as much as $25 million to the local economy based on a government of Ontario report. Key highlights of IPM include Education Sessions, the RV Holiday Mini Town, Artisan Exhibit, and the Plowing Competition. For ticket and general information, please visit www.ipm2012.ca.

Friday, August 24, 2012

2012 Search Expedition for Franklin's Ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror

Sketch of the situation of the H.M.S. Terror at sunrise, July 14, 1837 Library and Archives Canada/Mary Montagu Album/C-006125

Parks Canada - August 23, 2012 - The Government of Canada is committed to promoting an understanding and awareness of Northern history, and preserving the heritage which unites us as Canadians. To this end, on August 22, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the 2012 Franklin Expedition, a new project to continue the search for the ill-fated 1845-46 Franklin Expedition vessels: the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

The two lost ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, are together designated as a national historic site of Canada – the only such “undiscovered” national historic site. Locating these shipwrecks, or their contents, offers unprecedented information on the search for the Northwest Passage, the exploration of Canada’s North and the fate of Sir John Franklin. HMS Erebus, HMS Terror and their crew are also a testament to Canada and Great Britain’s shared history. HMS Erebus and HMS Terror also have historical and cultural significance for local Inuit who speak of the ships in their oral history. It is believed that Inuit oral history and research could hold the key to the ultimate discovery of the lost vessels.

Locating HMS Erebus and HMS Terror continues to prove very challenging due to the vastness of the Canadian Arctic and the harsh conditions frequently encountered in northern waters. It is also complicated by differing accounts of the fate of Franklin’s ships as preserved in Inuit traditional knowledge, and the many interpretations given to these accounts on the possible resting place of the wrecks. A number of attempts to locate HMS Erebus and HMS Terror have been unsuccessful to date, but an increasing area of the seafloor has been systematically ruled out, thus narrowing the search.

The 2012 Expedition

The 2012 Franklin Expedition is led by Parks Canada under the National Historic Sites Directorate and the Underwater Archaeology Services program. The expedition, which is expected to take between 4-6 weeks, will cost approximately $275,000. The opportunity to partner with so many other organizations enables the Government of Canada to carry out the operations at minimal costs.

The 2012 Expedition is a continuation of Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Service surveys conducted in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Weather and ice conditions permitting, the search areas will include both the O’Reilly Island area, west of the Adelaide Peninsula and where Inuit oral tradition places one of the shipwrecks, and further north to Victoria Strait and Alexandra Strait, where the other vessel is believed to be located.

The 2012 Franklin Expedition includes the participation of a new private partner – the Arctic Research Foundation – and with the continued support from the Government of Nunavut, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada’s Canadian Ice Service and Wildlife and Landscape Science, the Canadian Space Agency and the University of Victoria Ocean Technology Laboratory. Parks Canada is also partnering with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to bring this important story in Canadian history to the public.

The main technologies being used include side-scan sonar and multi-beam bathymetry, which have also been employed to chart a large portion of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago during past Canadian missions, including those to find the Franklin shipwrecks. The search will also benefit from the use of LiDAR, an air-borne technology used to acquire bathymetric data in shallow waters, satellite imagery, and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), equipped with similar remote-sensing equipment, supplied by the University of Victoria.

The Government of Canada is the proud steward of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site of Canada, and is working with the Government of Nunavut and Qikiqtani Inuit Association towards the creation of a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound at the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage.

This document is also available in Inuktitut at http://pm.gc.ca/grfx/docs/20120823_BG.pdf

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Secret Life Of..." Uncovers More Royal Scandals

TORONTO, August 22, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Bad boy Prince Harry is not the only Royal to be caught with his pants down - so to speak. Although the public is shocked to see their wild Prince flaunting the crown jewels, this is not the first time Royals have acted naughty.

The new HISTORY® series "Secret Life Of…" - Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on HISTORY beginning Aug. 31 - exposes the scandals that would have rocked the House of Windsor had modern technology - and tabloids - been around. For example:

...During King Henry VIII's courtship to his second wife Anne Boleyn, he sent her secret erotic letters. The letters were quite racy with Henry writing about wanting to kiss Anne's duckies - Tudor slang for breasts. Those duckies changed the course of history!

...We think of Queen Victoria as an old prude in a black sack, but in fact she loved getting frisky. She and her husband Prince Albert's hideaway looked picture perfect to the public, but their private rooms were more like the Playboy Mansion - complete with a locking system that let them lock their bedroom door from bed.

...Queen Elizabeth - whose entourage would have stunned a rock star - made her favorite boy toy Robert Dudley master of the horse (the equivalent of today's Royal bodyguards) just to keep him close. She even entertained him in her chambers! When he wiped his brow with her handkerchief, it horrified the court and today would have been on the front page of every tabloid.

Find out more as "Secret Life Of…" subjects historical figures to modern tabloid style scrutiny.

Neighbourhood Spirit Walk at Guelph Museums McCrae House

Spirit Walk takes it to the streets in the Two Rivers neighbourhood

GUELPH Ontario August 23, 2012 Guelph Museums Release - Sunday, September 9, 2012 - Guelph Museums brings history to life as the popular Spirit Walk explores the Two Rivers neighbourhood and introduces characters who once lived and worked in the community.

"The Spirit Walk is where live theatre meets historic walking tour", explains Val Harrison, Coordinator of Public Programs at Guelph Museums. "Not only will you meet fascinating characters from Guelph's past, but you will also discover more about our architectural heritage."

Along the way, participants can expect to meet individuals such as Fiorenza Drew(1910-1965) daughter of world famous tenor Edward Johnson and wife of George Drew, Premier of Ontario; Priscilla Johnson (1858-1927) wife of William Johnson, owner of The Boathouse; Samuel Carter (1859-1936) alderman, mayor and MPP and one of the founders of the co-operative movement in Guelph; J.W. Lyon (1848-1933) industrialist and publisher of the World Publishing Company and George Sleeman (1841-1926) brewery owner, mayor and baseball team owner. A tour of St. Mary's Ukrainian Church will be available as well. Participants will also hear stories from knowledgeable tour guides about some of the historic buildings found along the route.

Tours leave McCrae House every 30 minutes from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. Each tour lasts approximately 2 hours, finishing up at The Boathouse on Gordon Street, just steps from the McCrae House starting point. Tickets for the Spirit Walk are $15 per person and are now on sale now through the River Run Box Office at 519-763-3000.

McCrae House is located at 108 Water Street. Parking is available on the streets around the museum. For general information please call 519-836-1221 or visit guelph.ca/museum.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Provincial plaque commemorates Timmins Ontario 100th Anniversary

TIMMINS, Ontario, August 7, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre unveiled a provincial plaque to commemorate Timmins during its 100th anniversary.

The plaque reads as follows:


Ojibway and Cree communities were among the early inhabitants of the region. They were drawn to the area's abundant natural resources, and participated in vast trading networks with other First Nations. Europeans arrived in the late 1600s and in the centuries that followed, local French, English and First Nations communities were largely reliant on the fur trade. In the early 1900s, the Ontario government promoted further settlement in the region, and infrastructure - such as the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway - made the area more accessible. In 1909, a substantial gold discovery in the region initiated a gold rush and led to the creation of mines, including Hollinger, Dome and McIntyre. A fire destroyed the mining settlement Porcupine Camp in 1911 and soon after Timmins developed as a "company town" of Noah Timmins's Hollinger Mines. Settlers from diverse backgrounds - including French-Canadian, Finnish, Ukrainian, Italian and Chinese - were drawn to Timmins, making it a vibrant community and an important cultural and economic centre for the region.

The unveiling took place at Hollinger Park Pavilion in Timmins, Ontario.

"The City of Timmins is a model of foresight, hope and perseverance. Hard work and dedication created a city known worldwide for its gold production. Timmins is a great example of successful industry and settlement in Ontario and I am pleased to commemorate the city's 100th anniversary." - Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

"The Ontario government promoted settlement in the province's northern regions and many people answered the call, including English- and French-speaking Canadians, Finns, Italians and Ukrainians. Despite fire, harsh climes and rugged terrain, the inhabitants of the region persevered and created the splendid city that still stands after 100 years - a magnificent feat against the odds." - Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust

"The story of Timmins is an integral part of the history of this province. From the wild days of the Porcupine Gold Rush, the City of Timmins has grown to become an important regional centre for northeastern Ontario. We celebrate the past 100 years, certain in the knowledge that Timmins will continue to thrive for another 100 years." - Karen Bachmann, Director and Curator of Timmins Museum, City of Timmins

Quick Facts

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

...The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates significant people, places and events in Ontario's history.

Since 1956, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

Find out more about the Ontario Heritage Trust and the City of Timmins's 100th anniversary.

Explore the Provincial Plaque Program.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre launches Chandelier Project

Illuminating the past and lighting the future

TORONTO, August 7, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre (EWG) launches the Chandelier Project. Part of the EWG's upcoming 100th anniversary celebrations, the Chandelier Project will support the recreation of the Elgin Theatre's original chandelier and fund arts programming at the Theatre Centre. To donate to the Chandelier Project visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca/ewg100.

The elegant Tiffany-style - unique to its era - chandelier not only illuminated the theatre, but also highlighted the gold-leaf plaster motifs of musical instruments that decorate the dome. The bowl was fabricated with stunning amber coloured stained glass jewels strung together with brass trim. The OHT, together with local artisans and craftspeople, will recreate the original chandelier. This work will commence in the fall.

"Recreating the EWG's chandelier is a fitting way to honour the many artisans, craftspeople and volunteers who meticulously restored the two theatres 25 years ago. We are delighted that the chandelier will be the focal point of the Theatre Centre's 100th anniversary commemoration in 2013, highlighting this important part of the province's heritage." - Professor Thomas H. B. Symons, Chairman, Ontario Heritage Trust

"When the Elgin chandelier went missing in 1935 during one of the theatre's many renovations, it left us with lighting challenges that we will finally resolve in 2013. We have heard some anecdotal stories about where the original chandelier could be, from it travelling to Europe to it being dismantled and melted down." - Brett Randall, General Manager, Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre

Quick Facts

...In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the theatres, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre will host a number of events and activities throughout 2013, including lunchtime concerts, art and historic exhibitions, lecture series, special tours and an open house.

...Constructed in 1913 by American theatre impresario Marcus Loew, the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre acted as the Canadian flagship for his chain of vaudeville theatres. It was the only double-decker theatre built in Canada, and today is the last operating double decker theatre in the world.

Find out more about the Chandelier Project. www.heritagetrust.on.ca/ewg

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Girls' Names Change 7 Times More Than Boys' Since 1940 United States Census

"Madison" (biggest riser since 1940) is the new "Betty" (biggest faller)

LOS ANGELES, August 2, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The most popular baby names for American girls at the time of the 1940 U.S. Census have changed since then seven times more than the top names for boys the same year, reveals a study by genealogy website, findmypast.com.

This striking difference between the fortunes of popular girls' and boys' names may reflect social changes over the last 72 years, says Brian Speckart, spokesperson for findmypast.com, which conducted the study to mark this year's release of the 1940 U.S. census records.

"Women's role in society has seen a revolution since 1940", says Speckart. "Men's role has changed too, though far less."

Findmypast.com researchers analyzed the records of the U.S. Social Security Administration, which has recorded American baby names since 1879.

The top 10 girls' names in 1940, they found, have fallen by an average of over 700 places in the popularity rankings since - seven times as far as the top 10 boys' names of 1940, which have dropped an average of barely 100 places.

None of the top 10 girls' names in 1940 even make today's top 100, while seven of the top 10 boys' names do so and three (James, David, William) make the top 20.

"Baby names are like period pieces", says Josh Taylor, genealogist for findmypast.com. "Some recall a particular era, which can make them clues when researching family history."

This is far truer, however, of girls' names than of boys'.

Only one of the 10 top girls' names from 1940 (Mary) is even in the top 500 today, while ALL of the top boys' names are.

Madison is today the eighth most popular baby name for American girls. Yet, it used to be a boys' name, until it faded from use in the 1950s.

Now, Madison is the new Betty. While Betty is the biggest faller in the girls' name league since 1940, Madison is the joint biggest riser.

In fact, what suddenly made Madison a popular name for girls was the 1984 movie, Splash, where Daryl Hannah played a mermaid who adopted the name "Madison" in human form after spotting a street sign for Madison Avenue.

Visit Findmypast.com

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Ontario Heritage Trust Executive Director Announced

TORONTO, July 31, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Heritage Trust will continue to identify, protect, renew and promote Ontario's rich and diverse built, cultural and natural heritage under the leadership of a new executive director.

The appointment of Beth Hanna as executive director was officially announced this week by Ontario Heritage Trust Chairman Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons and Steven Davidson, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Ms. Hanna has served as the Trust's Director of Heritage Programs and Operations since 2000. She has also provided significant contributions to a number of government initiatives, including the Ministry of Culture's Implementation Team for the 2005 Amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act, the Ministry of Natural Resources' Natural Spaces Leadership Alliance and the Religious Heritage Properties Working Group. With more than 30 years of experience in the field of conservation, Ms. Hanna held senior leadership positions in culture and heritage at the City of Toronto prior to joining the Trust.

"I am delighted to welcome Beth to this new role and look forward to working with her and with our dedicated partners across the province to celebrate and protect our unique heritage. Her strong leadership and commitment to conservation will ensure that the Trust remains a centre of excellence for the delivery of services to the government and communities of Ontario." - Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust

Quick Facts

...The Ontario Heritage Trust's headquarters is located in downtown Toronto at 10 Adelaide Street East.

...The Provincial Plaque Program is the Trust's oldest and perhaps best-known activity. Over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled since 1956.

...The Ontario Heritage Trust holds 27 built heritage sites and more than 160 natural properties for the people of Ontario.

...The Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, protecting, renewing and promoting Ontario's heritage.

Canadian Government Commemorates the Role of Aboriginal Peoples in the War of 1812

BRANTFORD, Ontario, July 30, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - Investments in the Woodland Cultural Centre will increase access to Indigenous arts and heritage, boost tourism, and raise awareness of the role played by Aboriginal people during the War of 1812. Support for the Centre's Planet IndigenUs Festival and for the 1812 Whirlwind Conference was announced today by Phil McColeman, Member of Parliament (Brant), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

The Woodland Cultural Centre, a First Nations organization located on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Brantford, Ontario, is a non-profit organization that preserves and promotes the culture and heritage of the First Nations of the Eastern Woodland area. The funding will support the Centre's third edition of the Planet IndigenUs Festival from August 10 to 19, 2012. The Festival celebrates Indigenous contemporary arts and culture and features music, theatre, dance, storytelling, and visual arts by Aboriginal artists from Canada and around the world. The investment will also support the Centre's conference commemorating the role of the Six Nations in the War of 1812. The 1812 Whirlwind Conference will be held at Six Nations Polytechnic in Ohsweken, Ontario, from November 15 to 17, 2012.

"This year marks the start of the five-year countdown to Canada's 150th birthday in 2017," said Minister Moore. "Our Government is proud to invest in projects that contribute to our collective identity and define who we are as Canadians. On the road to 2017, let us continue to celebrate all of the things that make Canada the united, prosperous, and free country we are today."

"By investing in the Woodland Cultural Centre, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our economy and facilitate access to our heritage, arts, and culture," said Mr. McColeman. "This support will help increase public awareness and understanding of our rich Aboriginal cultural heritage."

"Established in 1972, the Woodland Cultural Centre has been an integral cultural and educational centre within the Brantford and Six Nations communities," said Janis Monture, Executive Director of the Centre. "Its goal is to protect, promote, interpret, and present the history, language, intellect, and cultural heritage of the Anishinaabe and Onkwehonwe people. Providing several permanent and short-term exhibits, the Woodland Cultural Centre also focuses on language and cultural preservation that includes several special events such as arts and crafts workshops, Snowsnake tournaments, and much more!"

The Government of Canada has provided total funding of $105,200 through two programs of the Department of Canadian Heritage: $30,200 through the Aboriginal Heritage component of the Museums Assistance Program and $75,000 through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund. The Museums Assistance Program provides funding to Aboriginal organizations, Canadian museums, and related institutions for projects that foster excellence in museum activities and that facilitate access to the treasures of our collective heritage. The Canada Arts Presentation Fund gives Canadians increased access to the variety and richness of Canada's culture through professional arts festivals, presentations of live professional performances, and other artistic experiences.