"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, June 28, 2013

Official Opening of the Poor House Cemetery at the Wellington County Museum

ABOYNE, Ontario – June 28, 2013 - The Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) has officially opened the Poor House Cemetery Exhibit. This outdoor exhibit explores the stories of the men, women and children that lived and died at the County of Wellington’s House of Industry and Refuge.

One hundred and thirty-six years after the Poorhouse burial ground received its first burial (1877), the Cemetery officially opened as an interpretive site and outdoor exhibit of the Wellington County Museum and Archives. It is here that 271 men, woman and children who lived and died at the Poorhouse between 1877 and 1946 are being honoured.

“Wellington County is very proud of this exhibit. WCMA staff have restored this important burial place to its original state and have created a wonderful spot for patrons to visit and quietly reflect,” said Warden Chris White. “I encourage residents to visit this exhibit. It’s a very important part of our local history.”

A staircase leads down into the site from the Cataract Trailway, and a stone gravel path winds through the cemetery to the Cairn where the names of those buried have been listed on new panels. QR codes have been used to link people to more information on those buried at the Cemetery and benches invite people to sit and reflect.

“I’d like to thank everyone who helped get this exhibit ready to open today,” commented Janice Hindley, WCMA Administrator. “This project has been a labour of love for the WCMA staff. It’s important to honour the people buried here and share their stories.”

Goals of the Cemetery Exhibit:

...Restore the overgrown, neglected site to a proper Cemetery
...Honour those buried here and tell their stories
...Create a natural, peaceful place where people can reflect on this important story in Wellington County’s social history

The Wellington County Museum and Archives, located on Wellington Road #18 between Fergus and Elora.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Two heroes in the fight for Canada commemorated on new War of 1812 stamps

(CNW Group/Canada Post)

OTTAWA, June 20, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, Canada Post unveiled two stamps honouring the daring exploits of two legendary Canadian heroes Laura Secord and Charles de Salaberry. These stamps are the second in a series commemorating the War of 1812.

Laura Secord and Charles de Salaberry's pivotal actions helped to secure this country's distinct identity when its future was threatened in a conflict with the Americans. Secord braved a 30 kilometer walk through the Canadian wilderness trek to warn a British outpost of an impending American attack. As commander of a group of fighters in Lower Canada, de Salaberry's strategy and resourcefulness enabled his outnumbered Canadian force to repel an American invasion aimed at capturing Montréal.

"The events of the War of 1812 helped define the territory that would become Canada," said the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport). "Charles de Salaberry and Laura Secord both played a vital role in halting invading forces through courage and conviction. They are truly Canadian heroes and I am thrilled they are being honoured for the important role they played in the Canadian victory of the War of 1812."

"Canada Post creates stamps that tell Canada's story. They serve as reminders of the fabric of our past," said Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post. "Today's commemorative stamps celebrate the bold initiative and determination of two people whose efforts should not be forgotten."

In June 1813, a group of American officers billeted themselves at the home of Laura Secord in Queenston, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. Secord overheard the officers discussing plans to attack a British outpost. Loyal and determined, Secord slipped away in secret to warn the British of the American plans. Secord took a cross-country route of more than 30 kilometres to avoid enemy sentries. She found the local British commander, Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon and her breathless tale allowed the commander to position his men and First Nations warriors to ambush the enemy and capture more than 400 American soldiers.

Just a few months later, in the fall of 1813, approximately 4,000 American soldiers advanced toward Montréal. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles de Salaberry, commander of the outnumbered Canadian and First Nation fighters, anticipated the invaders would cross the Châteauguay River 50 km southwest of Montréal. De Salaberry used the swampland and trees of the area to his advantage. He ordered his men to build barricades of felled trees and then spread his forces across the area. When the attack came, de Salaberry ordered his men to give the impression of a large, hidden Canadian force. After four hours of fighting, the Americans retreated and the victory of the Battle of the Châteauguay saved Montréal from attack.

Though the backgrounds of the two stamps merge at the perforations, differences in each stamp's background point to details in each story. The forest in the Secord stamp is the green of summer, while the landscape behind de Salaberry is the gold of autumn. The fallen trees seen beside de Salaberry hints at the useful barricades he had constructed. Over Secord's shoulder, a beaver dam references the destination of her pivotal journey.

About the stamps

The two Permanent™ War of 1812 stamps measure 40 mm x 32 mm with 13+ perforations and are printed by the Canadian Bank Note company on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in five colours. They are general tagged on three sides. The Official First Day Cover will be cancelled in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The stamps are available in panes of 16 stamps. More information about Canadian stamps and photos of these new stamps are available on Canada Post's website under About Us/News. You can purchase stamps and other products at participating post offices or order them online by following the links at canadapost.ca/collecting. Order from Canada and the U.S. by calling toll-free 1-800-565-4362; from other countries, call 902-863-6550.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Canada's History Society Unveils Shortlist for Top History Educators for 2013

25 Classrooms That Are Inspiring Our Kids' Interest in History

WINNIPEG, June 20, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - In fully wireless schools and classrooms, students are 'living history' by using tablets to create their own virtual museums that document Canada's past and present. Some elementary and secondary school students are creating blogs and videos about their discussions with First Nation leaders and the historic background to contemporary challenges they're facing. Still others are re-creating CSI-styled crime scenes complete with authentic artifacts to help them better understand the past.

Deborah Morrison, CEO of Canada's History Society remarked,

"Canada's most passionate educators are now turning to social media, cyberspace and digitized projects to create interactive and novel lesson plans that transform their classrooms into time machines and transport students hundreds of years into the past. Through these awards our goal is to inspire more teachers to 'do' history and to create more inventive ways to engage their students in learning about Canada's past and present."

For their innovative and interactive teaching approaches, Canada's History Society has selected the following educators as finalists for the 2013 Governor General's History Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Connie Wyatt Anderson - Oscar Lathlin Collegiate - Opaskwayak Cree Nation, MB
Nicole Aucoin - Horizon Alternative Senior School - Toronto, ON
Rachel Collishaw - Glebe Collegiate Institute - Ottawa, ON
Romy Cooper and Graeme Cotton - General Gordon Elementary - Vancouver, BC
Wayne Demerse - Carihi Secondary School - Campbell River, BC
Robert Flosman - Waterdown District High School - Waterdown, ON
Christopher Garner - Swift Current Comprehensive High School - Swift Current, SK
Elia Gindin and Shirley Coughlan - Foundations for the Future Charter Academy - Calgary, AB
Jan Haskings-Winner - Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute - Toronto, ON
Matt Henderson - St. John's-Ravenscourt School - Winnipeg, MB
Lindsay Hutchison - Tamanawis Secondary - Surrey, BC
Jennifer Janzen - University of Winnipeg Collegiate - Winnipeg, MB
Lucie Jean-Mercier - Académie Lafontaine - St-Jérôme, QC
Sylvain Larose - Collège de Montréal - Montréal, QC
Catherine MacDonald - Fr. L. J. Austin Catholic Secondary School - Whitby, ON
Melissa MacIntyre - Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School - London, ON
Garth Nichols, Charles Jennings, and Alex Hurley - Greenwood College School - Toronto, ON
Sue Novak - George Harvey Collegiate Institute - Toronto, ON
Neil Orford - Centre Dufferin District High School - Shelburne, ON
Mark Perry - Kennebecasis Valley High School - Rothesay, NB
Éric Rochon - École secondaire publique L'Héritage - Cornwall, ON
Manon St. Hilaire - Ste-Thérèse-de-l'Enfant-Jésus - St-Jérôme, QC
John Stone - Armbrae Academy - Halifax, NS
Ervin Theunissen - École secondaire Grande-Rivière - Gatineau, QC
Chesley West - Macdonald Drive Junior High - St. John's, NL

Now in its seventeenth year, the Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of Canada's history and social studies teachers, ranging from elementary grades through to secondary schools. For a list of the finalists project descriptions, photos and podcasts, please visit www.CanadasHistory.ca/Awards/Teaching

"We can be proud of these outstanding individuals who are committed to sharing our history in new and innovative ways, inspiring youth to learn about the people and events that have shaped Canada," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "Learning about Canada's history is important. It helps us understand the country we live in today and encourages us to work together to continue to build the country we are happy to call home."

A national panel of judges will next select six recipients out of the twenty-five finalists, based on a submission outlining the nominee's achievements in the field of teaching Canadian History or Social Studies. Those recipients will receive a trip to Ottawa this fall to receive a gold medal presented by the Governor General at Rideau Hall. They will also individually receive $2,500, while their respective schools will also be awarded a cash gift of $1,000. The Awards prizes and program support are made possible through the generous investment of TD Bank Group.

"History can be such an important guide of the future. These teachers work hard every day to help the next generation of leaders understand where we have come from to know where we are going," said Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group. "TD is proud to support the Governor General's History Awards for Excellence in Teaching -recognizing these educators that encourage students to learn about our history in creative and innovative ways."

Each recipient will have the opportunity to join hundreds of Canadian students and teachers on an EF Educational Tours program commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day on Juno Beach in France (valued at $2,000), in June of 2014. The trip will take teachers to historical sites in Europe, providing them with first-hand experience they can bring back to the classroom.

More information about the finalists can be found at CanadasHistory.ca/Awards/Teaching.

About Canada's History Society

Canada's History Society is a national charitable organization devoted to popularizing Canadian history. In addition to presenting the Governor General's History Awards and publishing Canada's History (formerly The Beaver) magazine, as well as Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, the Society also produces a number of educational and online programs to encourage more discovery, celebration, and understanding about our rich history and culture. More details can be found at CanadasHistory.ca.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 22 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Canadian Government Announces Partnership Between The Manitoba Museum and the Canadian Museum of History

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - June 14, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced a partnership agreement between The Manitoba Museum and the future Canadian Museum of History. This is the second in a series of partnership agreements that will allow the new Canadian Museum of History to fulfill its mandate.

"Through this partnership, Canadians will have greater access to their history and heritage," said Minister Moore. "Canada has many great museums that showcase particular aspects of our country's history—those collections are of interest for people across the country. As we are heading towards Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, Canadians want to learn more about the achievements and accomplishments that have shaped our great country."

These partnership agreements will increase collaboration in producing and presenting exhibitions and programs across Canada. As a partner, The Manitoba Museum will have access to important pieces from the future Canadian Museum of History's collection, which includes some three and a half million items.

"It is our great pleasure to embark on a collaboration with the outstanding Manitoba Museum. This new partnership will allow us to work on many exciting projects, starting with the presentation at the future Canadian Museum of History of very symbolic artifacts from the Hudson Bay Company Collection of the Manitoba Museum later this fall", said Mark O'Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. "We look forward to working together in telling Canada's stories".

"Our Museum has been built around collaboration and community engagement. Manitobans are proud of their history and this agreement will allow us to share that history beyond our Province," said Claudette Leclerc, CEO of The Manitoba Museum. "This partnership agreement will also give us the opportunity to access treasures from other parts of Canada that we look forward to sharing with all Manitobans."

The Government of Canada is a long-time funding partner of The Manitoba Museum through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

About the Network of Canadian Museums of History

On October 16, 2012, Minister Moore announced the Government of Canada's intention to create the Canadian Museum of History.

The new Museum will highlight the national achievements, accomplishments and artifacts that have shaped our country, including the "Last Spike" from the construction of the Canada Pacific Railway, Maurice "Rocket" Richard's hockey jersey and items from Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope. As part of this transition, the Canadian Museum of Civilization - soon to become the Canadian Museum of History, will renovate over 50,000 square feet of public space to create this new permanent exhibition. This renovation, to be completed before Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, will provide the public with the opportunity to appreciate how Canada's identity has been shaped over the course of our history.

The future Canadian Museum of History sought input from Canadians across the country on the major themes, events, and accomplishments that have shaped our country. Approximately 20,000 people shared their ideas by participating in an online forum and in public engagement sessions in nine Canadian cities over a three-month period.

The Museum is also leading the creation of a nation-wide museum network that will greatly enhance the production and reach of exhibitions focusing on Canadian history.

The creation of a pan-Canadian network of history museums will provide greater access to our heritage and our shared history, allowing Canadians from coast to coast to coast to benefit from the exquisite collections safeguarded by museums across the country. Partnership agreements will allow artifacts and collections, which might otherwise be stored in the museums vaults, to circulate between partnering institutions.

The network will promote collaboration and co-productions, the sharing of artifacts, the development of new online projects and tools, and the exchange of professional expertise. The ultimate goal is to enhance public understanding of Canadian history from both a national and regional perspective, and to foster a common sense of identity throughout the country.

Through the network, museums across the country will have a national showcase in the new Canadian Museum of History, which will devote a permanent space to exhibitions produced by network members.

In addition, the Government of Canada is supporting museums through several programs such as the Museums Assistance Program, the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnification Program, the Movable Cultural Property Program, and the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund. These programs will also continue to work with museums and galleries across the country to offer maximum opportunities to Canadians to enjoy access to international and Canadian treasures.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Book Traces History of Ontario Veterinary College

GUELPH, Ontario - June 12, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - With 150 years of history come a number of stories, images and successes, and the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) will celebrate all of these with the release of a new book this Alumni Weekend.

Milestones: 150 Years of the Ontario Veterinary College includes photos and details from the opening of the first veterinary college in Canada and the United States to today’s OVC. The book will be available for purchase during Alumni Weekend, and later on Amazon.com.

Co-authors Lisa Cox, a PhD history candidate, and OVC associate dean Peter Conlon dug through the University archives and interviewed former faculty and donors to find the 150 most interesting stories.

“I think the biggest challenge when creating a book like this is to determine the balance between historical and modern,” said Cox. “We’re talking about a school that was so critical to the professionalization of veterinary medicine, so there are many historical achievements. But we also have some great modern successes, so a significant issue is finding ways to integrate both into the book.”

The new book contains many more photos than a historical volume published for the college's centennial. Some of Cox’s favourite pictures depict the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps serving Canadian and British troops during the First World War. A total of 309 OVC students, faculty and graduates served in the war, with some dying in battle.

“What surprised me the most was the number of firsts OVC has accomplished,” she said. “I know that OVC conducts a lot of research now through various labs, and that we’re at the front of treatment solutions in many instances. But we have historical proof of the many ways that OVC was a leader in research and treatment going back to the late nineteenth century.”

Conlon has worked at OVC for 30 years and was a student here earlier. The project gave him a chance to learn something new.

“One surprise for me was that the first international graduates at OVC were in the class of 1869 -- two men, one from Illinois and one from Michigan -- and that in our first 50 years we had welcomed students from many parts of the world,” he said. “Readers can expect to see events and people that may be familiar to them but also many that they will discover for the first time.”

For Conlon, it was educational to see what the college was, knowing what it has become.

“The stories were chosen to try to demonstrate unique aspects of OVC’s history and how that history is interwoven with the history of Ontario and Canada over 150 years,” he said. “I’m proud that we were able to recognize so many people’s contribution to the success of the college and all of veterinary medicine. Some of these people are well-known, but many are not; however, each one has contributed in various ways to create our history. Without every one of them, who knows what OVC would look like today?”

Saturday, June 1, 2013

More awards for the Canadian War Museum's 1812 exhibition

1812-1813: Invasion Repelled

OTTAWA, May 31, 2013 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian War Museum has earned another prestigious award for its exhibition marking the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The latest accolade is from the Canadian Museums Association, which has conferred on 1812 an Outstanding Achievement in Exhibitions award. The War Museum was one of two recipients of this coveted prize which was presented on May 30 during the Association's annual conference in Whitehorse, Yukon.

The exhibition and a companion book, The Four Wars of 1812, have also been recognized by the Ontario Museum Association. The exhibition won the Association's 2012 Award of Excellence in Exhibitions and the book received an honourable mention in the Publications category.

"By examining the conflict from multiple perspectives, 1812 offers visitors a new and different way of learning about this pivotal event in Canadian history," said James Whitham, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. "We are delighted at the recognition from our museum peers."

1812 was one of the largest and most innovative exhibitions ever produced by the War Museum. The exhibition broke new ground by examining the conflict from the different perspectives of the four major participants: the Americans, the British, Canadians (including Canadian First Peoples) and Native Americans.

The award-winning exhibition was presented at the War Museum from June 13, 2012, to January 6, 2013. Two other versions of the exhibition are now on tour, with stops in multiple venues in Canada and the United States. The larger of the travelling exhibitions is currently featured at the St. Catharines Museum in St. Catharines, Ontario. The War Museum has also produced an online version of 1812, available at www.warmuseum.ca/war-of-1812.

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.

For more information visit www.warmuseum.ca. Follow us on twitter.com/CanWarMuseum