Harper Government Invests in Book of Remembrance to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812

TORONTO, October 14, 2011 - The Harper Government today announced support for a new Book of Remembrance in commemoration of the War of 1812. This War helped establish our path toward becoming an independent and free country, united under the Crown with a respect for linguistic and ethnic diversity.

"The heroic efforts of those who fought for our country in the War of 1812 tell the story of the Canada we know today: an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy and its own distinct parliamentary system," said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. "The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is an opportunity for all of us to take pride in our history, and we look forward to taking part in the events and activities that will mark this important anniversary for Canada."

The City of Toronto will be able to create a Book of Remembrance that lists those who died at the Battle of York. The Book of Remembrance will include the names of the fallen, as well as their places and dates of birth and death, their service record, and a brief biography. As a physical entity, the Book will form the centerpiece of an exhibit to be mounted on a temporary basis at the City of Toronto's Market Gallery in the city's Old Town district in 2012, and on a permanent basis at Fort York. An online exhibit will also be developed for 2012.

"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in projects that honour our history and recognize those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our country," said Paul Calandra, Member of Parliament (Oak Ridges-Markham). "By supporting projects like these, our Government is delivering on its commitment to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812--a defining moment in our country's history that in many ways has shaped Canada into the country it is today."

Over the next four years, the Government will invest to increase Canadians' awareness of this defining moment in our history. This will include support for:

  • a pan-Canadian educational campaign focused on the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada's history;
  • support for up to 100 historical re-enactments, commemorations, and local events;
  • a dedicated War of 1812 Monument in Canada's National Capital Region;
  • interactive tours, exhibits, and improvements to national historic sites across the country; and
  • investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario; and
  • celebrating and honouring the links that many of our current militia regiments in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada have to the War of 1812

The Government of Canada has provided funding 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.

Details on planned activities and funding opportunities will be made available on the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 website at www.1812.gc.ca.

You can now also download the official Government of Canada mobile application and browse the mobile site for information about the commemoration, key battles and heroes, and related national historic sites, as well as other interactive features that will be updated in the coming months in the lead-up to the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

For more information (media only), please contact:

Sébastien Gariépy
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage
and Official Languages
819-997-7788

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage
819-994-9101
1-866-569-6155
media@pch.gc.ca