Ontario Heritage Trust celebrates Heritage Week 2009 in Ottawa

    OTTAWA, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust launched
Heritage Week 2009 at the St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts and Humanities in
    Heritage Week offers a unique opportunity for Ontarians to celebrate our
rich history and to recognize the vital work of heritage organizations and
volunteers across Ontario. This year's Heritage Week theme - Uniquely Ontario
- encourages communities across the province to celebrate the landscapes,
architecture and traditions that make them unique.
    "The Ontario Heritage Trust is delighted to be in Ottawa today to
celebrate Heritage Week," said The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman
of the Trust. "Heritage Week is an important time for us to gather and
celebrate our unique heritage."
    The event at the St. Brigid's Centre for the Arts and Humanities in
Ottawa - a site protected by a Trust conservation easement - officially
launches Ontario Heritage Week, which runs from February 16 to February 22,
2009. The event will include special presentations, performances, a Heritage
Expo and the unveiling of a provincial plaque to commemorate francophone folk
hero Joseph Montferrand.
    Montferrand, the son of a voyageur, acquired a reputation for having
exceptional fighting abilities. After a brief period working in the fur trade,
Montferrand joined the burgeoning lumber industry along the St. Lawrence and
Ottawa River valleys.
    A strong rivalry developed between the Irish and French-Canadian groups
of labourers as they competed for work; fights were common. One of
Montferrand's most legendary exploits took place on the Union (now Chaudière)
Bridge where he reputedly fought off an ambush of 150 Irish labourers
single-handedly. Tales of his feats were widely circulated in the oral
tradition and have passed into literature and song. Joseph Montferrand is
symbolically important to French-Canadians. The legends of Montferrand have
persisted into this century and have become interwoven in French-Canadian
cultural folklore.
    During Heritage Week, dozens of community activities and events will be
held throughout Ontario. For a listing of these activities and events, visit
    "Heritage week helps to promote the distinct identity of Ontario's
communities," said Culture Minister Aileen Carroll. "This is a tremendous
opportunity for all communities to celebrate their architecture, traditions,
stories and places that make them unique."
    The Joseph Montferrand provincial plaque is one in a series of plaques
that commemorate Franco-Ontarian heritage subjects. They have been created
with assistance from the Ontario Office of Francophone Affairs and financial
assistance from the Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canada-Ontario
Agreement on French-Language Services.

    The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario,
dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's

    Quick Facts:
    -   The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
        significant people, places and events in Ontario's history.
    -   Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.
    -   42 provincial plaques across the province commemorate Franco-Ontarian

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For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:

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