Here are some of the federal organizations involved in the commemoration of this major historical event:
- Canadian Heritage
- National Defence and the Canadian Forces
- Parks Canada
- Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
- Canada Post
- Canadian War Museum
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
- Library and Archives Canada
- Royal Canadian Mint
- Public Works and Government Services Canada
The Department of Canadian Heritage is leading and coordinating the efforts of the Government of Canada to increase awareness and appreciation of the importance of the War of 1812 on the evolution of Canada. Canadian Heritage is working closely, not only with other federal departments and agencies, but with regional War of 1812 organizations, municipalities and First Nations and Métis, to create commemorations worthy of this important milestone and to generate excitement about our country and its history among all Canadians. From coast to coast.
The Government of Canada is investing in local events, activities, and legacy projects, while boosting tourism and strengthening the economy.
- A pan-Canadian educational campaign is focusing on the use of a visual identity, a War of 1812 website, a mobile application and educational tools to reach Canadians nationally and in their local communities.
- Support is being provided for up to 100 events, including historical re-enactments and commemorations in communities across Canada, through the 1812 Commemoration Fund.
- October 2012 was designated as a month of commemoration of the heroes and key battles of the War of 1812.
- Celebrations are being held marking key battles and historic dates, such as the commemoration of the battles of Fort George, Chateauguay, and the march of the 104th Regiment of Foot.
- War of 1812-themed initiatives have been carried out including the Canada Day Poster Challenge and 1812 banners on Confederation Boulevard and Lebreton Flats in Ottawa.
- Legacy projects will be undertaken including a dedicated War of 1812 monument in Canada's National Capital Region.
National Defence and the Canadian Forces
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces have developed several War of 1812-themed initiatives to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812. The Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force will participate in several community-led events over the course of the summer of 2012 through to 2015.
- A War of 1812 Commemorative Banner, approved by Queen Elizabeth II, has been presented to CF units, formations and establishments whose heritage embraces service in the War of 1812. The banner has also been presented to First Nations and Métis communities identified by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
- In 2012, the Royal Canadian Navy ships participated in visits to ports in Canada and the U.S. throughout the Great Lakes, as well as in five U.S. Navy signature events in the Great Lakes and along the East coast.
- Canadian Forces members will participate in several Colonial Sailor Program re-enactment events during 2012-2015, including “tall ships” used for sail training and historical demonstrations, fitted with appropriate ensigns and colours, with crews in historical dress.
- A War of 1812 commemorative pin will be worn by all Canadian Forces members.
Canadians can personally experience many of the most important sites of the fight for Canada at Parks Canada national historic sites. Knowledgeable Parks Canada staff will captivate all ages and interests with fascinating stories, an authentic sense of place and interactive and experiential programs that will ignite your imagination and engage your senses. Until 2015, these national historic sites will resonate with authentic, not-to-be-missed events, including experiencing the lifestyle of 1812 at home and on the front lines, fireworks, spectacles, concerts of modern and period music, tall ship visits, grand encampments and military re-enactments on the actual battlefields.
- With more than twenty War of 1812 sites, Parks Canada is the leading presenter of historic experiences from this pivotal era in North American history. The expert and energetic Parks Canada team is waiting to welcome Canadians to unforgettable experiences in dramatic and evocative landscapes, forts and buildings. As you plan your travels and vacations for the coming years, put these places on your agenda: Fort George (Niagara-on-the-Lake) and Queenston Heights on the Niagara Peninsula; Fort Malden (Amherstburg) in southwestern Ontario; Fort St. Jospeh in the Algoma region of Ontario; Fort Wellington in eastern Ontario; Fort Lennox, Fort Chambly, Coteau-du-Lac and the Battle of Chateauguay in Quebec; St. Andrews Blockhouse and Carleton Martello Tower in New Brunswick; the Halifax Defence Complex in Nova Scotia; and Signal Hill in Newfoundland.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada profiles the contribution of First Nations and Métis to the War of 1812, and assists First Nations and Métis as they tell their own story of their involvement in the War of 1812.
- A commemorative War of 1812 medal has been presented to 48 First Nation and Métis communities with a heritage linked to the War of 1812.
- Products, such as a War of 1812 map and postcards, were produced to highlight the contribution of First Nations and Métis to the War of 1812 and are available for download free-of-charge.
Each year, Canada Post’s stamp program provides a glimpse into Canadian history, culture and inspirations, and each stamp issue has stories to tell and memories to cherish. To commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812, two new domestic commemorative stamps have been issued by Canada Post. These stamps feature War Chief Tecumseh and British Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, two important leaders in the War of 1812. Brock was born in Guernsey in the Channel Islands, and as a result of his background, these stamps will mark Canada Post’s first joint issue with the Guernsey Post. This issue is the first in a series marking the 200th anniversary of the War.
- Stamp launch celebrations will be held throughout the three year commemoration period.
Canadian War Museum
As the national museum of Canada’s military history, the Canadian War Museum marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 with a special exhibition. 1812 examines the conflict from the perspective of each of the four key participants: Canadians (including Canadian First Peoples), Americans, the British and Native Americans. To commemorate this historical event and to share this fascinating exhibition with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, the Canadian War Museum is also producing smaller traveling exhibitions, a virtual exhibition and a companion publication.
- 1812 explores the War of 1812 through the eyes of the four key participants: Canadians (including Canadian First Peoples), Americans, the British and Native Americans— offering a richer and deeper understanding of a conflict that helped shape Canada into the nation it is today.
- Travelling versions of the 1812 exhibition explore the same themes as the original exhibition but on a smaller scale. A 2-dimensional travelling version of the exhibition (30-50 m²) containing text and images has toured the country and the United States. A larger 3-dimensional travelling version (140 m²) containing artifacts, text and images started touring Canada January 6, 2013.
- The Canadian War Museum has launched a virtual exhibition on 1812. Designed for Canadians ages 18 to 34, this exhibition will explore the history of the War of 1812, and provide visitors with an opportunity to share their thoughts on this crucial event in North American history.
- Four Wars of 1812 by D. Peter MacLeod, pre-Confederation historian at the Canadian War Museum is a companion publication of the exhibition 1812. Through extensive photographs, maps and images—many from the Canadian War Museum’s vast collection—this beautifully designed volume recasts the conflict as a war of four perspectives—and four stories, Co-published with Douglas & McIntyre.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
When a newcomer takes the Oath of Citizenship, Canada’s history becomes their history and provides a common touchstone that unites all Canadians – no matter how long Canada has been called “home”. To recognize the War of 1812’s impact on Canadian history, Citizenship and Immigration Canada marks the 200th anniversary with activities, and the development of key educational resources to be featured throughout the commemoration period.
- Throughout the commemorative period, citizenship ceremonies highlighting the significance of the War, and select special ceremonies are scheduled at sites of significance for the War of 1812, many of which are now national historic sites.
- At special citizenship ceremonies, and other relevant events, participants receive a Commemorative Bookmark with the second verse from Alexander Muir’s composition, The Maple Leaf Forever, which commemorates Canadian heroism in the War of 1812.
- In February 2012, Black History Month highlighted the contributions of black soldiers during the War of 1812.
- The Canadian Black History Virtual Museum includes artefacts and information about the War of 1812 and the contribution of black soldiers.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 presents Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) with a unique opportunity to highlight the 200-year legacy of peace and prosperity that has existed between Canada and the United States (U.S.) since the war ended. Through Canada’s embassy and network of consulates in the United States, DFAIT is working with diverse U.S. federal, state and community partners to focus U.S. attention on the history and progress of the Canada-U.S. relationship through commemorative events, educational materials and cultural programs.
The close partnership between Canada and the United States on issues related to trade, security, defence, and border management is reflected not only in our friendly and prosperous daily exchanges, but also in our progressive bilateral agreements such as the recently announced Beyond the Border Action Plan on Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness. Nowhere in the world is there a more successful partnership between two friendly neighbours. Ours continues to be a shining example to the world.
In commemorating the conflict which forged the destiny of our continent, DFAIT seeks to forge a renewed appreciation of the special relationship the United States shares with Canada—a relationship characterized by the powerful legacy of 200 years of peace and the prospect of even greater prosperity and progress through this North American partnership.
- David Jacobson, United States Ambassador to Canada, hosted the Canadian premiere of the PBS documentary “The War of 1812” at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa on September 27, 2011. Gary Doer, Ambassador of Canada to the United States, hosted the premiere at the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C., on October 6, 2011.
- Canada’s missions in the United States are displaying a travelling version of the Canadian War Museum's exhibition on the War of 1812 at various historical and civic sites across the United States.
- Canada’s missions in the United States are organizing high profile events to coincide with the Royal Canadian Navy’s participation in the 2012 Operation Sail commemorating the 200th anniversary of War of 1812 at locations along the eastern seaboard, Great Lakes region and New Orleans.
- On October 13 and 14, 2012, a major cross-border re-enactment of the Battle of Queenston Heights included re-enactors from Fort Niagara in the United States and Fort George in Canada. The commemoration also included a re-enactment of the procession of General Isaac Brock’s casket through the streets of Niagara-on-the-Lake, ending with the burial in Fort George.
Library and Archives Canada
To commemorate the War of 1812, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has digitized many of its holdings related to this historic event. LAC is also collaborating with the Canadian War Museum to share these holdings with Canadians everywhere as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of this important milestone.
- LAC’S website features a database of over 40 collections, such as the British Military and Naval Records (1757–1906). These holdings are the main series of records about military and naval affairs, as well as civilian life, in what is now Canada.
- In collaboration with the Canadian War Museum, LAC is displaying portraits of key figures who played a prominent role in the War of 1812. This exciting exhibition is being held at the Canadian War Museum until January 2013.
Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint has been celebrating Canada’s heritage, culture and values through beautifully crafted coins since 1908. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the design on the Mint’s first collector coin of 2012 – the Silver Dollar – features a British Sergeant, a Voltigeur Canadien and an Iroquois warrior, facing an approaching invader at a turning point in Canadian history. This cornerstone of the Mint’s annual collector coin program remembers a conflict which united English, French-Canadian and First Nations forces in defending the borders and values of a future Canada. More War of 1812-themed commemorative coins and initiatives will be announced as 2012 unfolds.
- Coin launch celebrations
- Special events will be held at the Royal Canadian Mint’s three boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
Public Works and Government Services Canada
Public Works and Government Services Canada is contributing to the commemoration celebrations for this anniversary through the naming of Crown-owned buildings in honor of several heroes of the war.
Buildings recently named to commemorate these heroes include:
- the John Norton Building, 15-29 Duke Street East, Kitchener, Ontario;
- the Richard Pierpoint Building, 451 Talbot Street, London, Ontario;
- the Enos Collins Building, 38-40 Havelock Street, Amherst, Nova Scotia;
- the Tecumseh Building, 120 Wellington Street West, Chatham-Kent, Ontario;
- the Laura Secord Building, 32 Church Street, St. Catharines, Ontario;
- the Sir Isaac Brock Building, 55 Bay Street, Hamilton, Ontario; and
- the Dominique Ducharme Building, 105 McGill Street/400 Place d'Youville, Montréal, Quebec.
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