GANANOQUE, ON, June 18, 2012 /CNW/ - As of today, residents of Gananoque and its visitors have access to the newly transformed Joel Stone Heritage Park, named after the founder of Gananoque, who was also a local hero of the War of 1812. Gord Brown, Member of Parliament (Leeds-Grenville), today attended the official unveiling of the Park on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
"Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in significant events that help us commemorate our history and heritage," said Minister Moore. "We invite all Canadians to learn more about the War of 1812—a defining moment in our country's history—and to take part in activities and events that pay tribute to our heroes."
On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the War, the Gananoque Lions Club chose to enhance and develop Joel Stone Park, located on the town's waterfront, into an 1812 heritage park. Its features include a bronze diorama representing the town as it was in 1812, an amphitheatre for small theatrical events, and the beginning of a one-kilometre 1812 heritage trail.
"Developing the Joel Stone Park into an 1812 heritage park is a very fitting way to commemorate the War of 1812 and local hero Joel Stone. He contributed to events that shaped our country as we know it today, and he deserves to be acknowledged," said Mr. Brown. "It is wonderful to be here again and to see how the Park has been transformed."
"Colonel Joel Stone, commanding the Gananoque militia, successfully defended Gananoque during the first raid into Canada by American troops from Sackets Harbour during the War of 1812," said John MacLeod, Lions Club Director. "The Joel Stone 1812 Heritage Park has finally become a reality with the help of the grant from the Government of Canada, along with funds raised from within the community. This project, initiated by the Gananoque Lions Club, has seen unprecedented community support from the Lions, Rotary, Kinsmen, Accommodation Partners, and the Town of Gananoque."
In 2010, the Government of Canada announced that it was providing funding of $301,800 over three years for the project through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.
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For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
(This news release is available on the Internet at www.canadianheritage.gc.ca under Newsroom.)