Government of Canada commemorates the annual production of maple products as
an event of national historic significance

Sweet and rich history of maple products celebrated

MCDONALDS CORNERS, ON, Oct. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - On behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Mr. Scott Reid, Member of Parliament for Lanark, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, today unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the production of maple products as an event of national historic significance.

"With the tradition of sugaring-off in the spring, maple syrup symbolizes the end of winter and is associated with Canada's national identity and way of life at home and abroad," said Mr. Reid. "The Government of Canada is pleased to commemorate the national importance of maple products and recognise the contributions of all the Canadians whose work in the maple industry has helped build the Canada we know today."

The spring ritual of sugaring-off has been a part of the Eastern North American tradition for as long as recorded history and the Aboriginal people, who inhabited this vast region before the arrival of the Europeans, were very knowledgeable about maple sugar production. Early European colonists learned this tradition and it quickly became an integral annual event in colonial life. This yearly ritual marked the transition from winter to spring and was a time of celebration for friends and families.

Used for domestic consumption as well as trade, over the years, maple products have provided a significant off farm income for family businesses, and by the late 19th century, had become a valuable export resource. Since the early 1930's Canada has been the largest producer and exporter of maple products in the world. With continual technological advanced, production methods have become more refined, but maple trees must still be tapped, and it still takes 40 gallons of sap to produce 1 gallon of syrup.

"By recognizing the national historic significance of maple products, our government pays tribute to the men and women who helped the development of a successful industry, an industry that makes Canadians proud," said Minister Prentice. "The origins of this industry helped define our national identity and remain very much a part of how we recognise ourselves as a people."

Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that commemorate persons, places and events that have shaped Canada's history and which offer visitors the opportunity for real and inspiring discovery. Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future.

SOURCE Parks Canada

For further information: For further information: Marjolène Alie, Communications Officer, Eastern Ontario, Parks Canada, (613) 283-7199 ext. 272 (Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room.)


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