McGuinty government launches Ontario Heritage Week

Archived Release

McGuinty government launches Ontario Heritage Week

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

OTTAWA, Feb. 13 - Ontarians can explore the province's vibrant history and celebrate the contributions of its diverse communities in shaping the province's past, present and future during Ontario Heritage Week 2004, Ottawa Centre MPP Richard Patten announced today on behalf of Minister of Culture Madeleine Meilleur. Patten, who is parliamentary assistant to Minister of Education Gerard Kennedy, joined veterans affiliated with the Dominion Institute's Memory Project at Immaculata High School in Ottawa to launch Heritage Week. "This year's theme - Ontario's Military Heritage - is an invitation to all Ontarians to learn about the province's proud military history," said Patten. "Ontarians share a centuries-long tradition of defending our province, our country and the values we believe in, both at home and abroad." The Memory Project is a program of in-school visits by volunteer veterans who speak to students about their military and peacekeeping experiences and our military heritage. Currently, the project involves some 1,000 Ontario veterans and has reached over 100,000 youth across the province. "With Canadian troops now in Bosnia and Afghanistan, it is more important than ever that young people understand our current role on the world stage within the context of Canada's history of overseas military involvement," commented Dominion Institute Executive Director Rudyard Griffiths. "The theme of Heritage Week 2004 could not be any more timely." Heritage organizations across Ontario are holding events showcasing the province's history. For example, Battlefield House in Stoney Creek is presenting a fashion show featuring vintage clothing from the 1790s to the 1970s. In Toronto, St. James' Cathedral Archives and Museum is offering a tour of military sites of the War of 1812 and the 1837 Rebellion. In Kingston, home to six of the best-preserved Martello Towers in the world, the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes is presenting tales of "Pirates of the Inland Seas." Ontario Heritage Week 2004 runs from February 16 to 22. A complete list of Heritage Week 2004 events can be accessed through the Ministry of Culture's Web site at www.culture.gov.on.ca. Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ministry of Culture February 16, 2004 ONTARIO HERITAGE WEEK 2004 - Since 1974, the Heritage Canada Foundation - a national, member-based organization and registered charity established in 1973 - has designated the third Monday in February to be Heritage Day. This year, Heritage Day falls on February 16, 2004. - In 1985, the Ontario government designated the third week in February as Ontario Heritage Week, with National Heritage Day kicking off the week. - Only two other provinces - British Columbia and New Brunswick - offer a full week of heritage-related activities. - The theme of Heritage Day 2004 is Defending Canada: Our Military Heritage Sites and Buildings. The theme is determined by the Heritage Canada Foundation. - The theme of this year's Heritage Week - Ontario's Military Heritage - provides Ontarians with unique opportunities to explore the province's military heritage sites, including our many forts, battlefields, armouries and war memorials. This theme also underscores the diverse roles Ontarian people have played in defending our province, our country and peace around the world, from the times of early First Nations, through the world wars of the 20th century, to the peacekeeping missions of today. - Many heritage-based organizations and municipalities have used Heritage Day and Ontario Heritage Week as vehicles to stimulate awareness of heritage resources and heritage-related issues within their communities. - The Ontario government's support for the heritage sector includes: - $2.7 million for almost 200 community museums; - $700,800 in annual funding for 13 provincial heritage organizations; - $134,200 in annual operating funding for approximately 150 historical societies/heritage organizations. - A full list of events taking place throughout the province during Ontario Heritage Week 2004 is available in the Festivals and Events online listings at www.ontariotravel.net. Disponible en fran├žais www.culture.gov.on.caFor further information: Guy Lepage, Minister's Office, (416) 325-1689; Jim McPeak, Communications Branch, (416) 314-3497