• Chatham-Kent Museum to host War of 1812 Memorial

    November 28, 2013

    On Sunday, December 15 at 1:00 p.m., Chatham-Kent Museum will host a War of 1812 Bicentennial Memorial at the “Skirmish at McCrae’s House” memorial cairn on Riverview Line west of Chatham.

    Two hundred years ago, on December 15, 1813, British militia from Norfolk and Middlesex Counties and the Loyal Kent Volunteers attacked the American outpost at Mr. McCrae’s house near Chatham and captured a defending force made up entirely of US Army regular troops. It was the only time in the war that a unit comprised solely of British militia defeated a unit of US Regulars. Several Americans were wounded, one was killed, and one escaped. They were marched into captivity in the east. Their equipment was taken for use by the militia, and their supplies, including cattle and other foodstuffs, were delivered to the British Army.

    The Chatham-Kent Museum will recognize this action with a symbolic skirmish and memorial presented by local re-enactors. The cairn is located on Riverview Line, south of the Thames River, approximately 2 km west of Bloomfield Road. The public is invited to attend.

    For more information, please contact our event co-coordinator, Doug Robinson, at 519-436-6220 or email

  • War of 1812 bicentennial expected to attract thousands of visitors

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013
    Chatham Daily News
    Vicki Gough

    While the guesstimate varies, there could be a heck of a lot of people visiting Chatham-Kent in coming days.

    Four years of planning local War of 1812 commemorations are in full swing, with the main stage set for the re-enactment of the Battle of the Thames at the site of the Tecumseh Monument on Longwoods Road, just east of Thamesville on Saturday.

    “We really don’t know the numbers,” Charlene Houle, tourism project development officer for Chatham-Kent told The Daily News Wednesday.

    “We’ve heard 10,000 to 80,000 people,” Sandy Benedict, general manager at Johnny Quests Adventures in Food & Drink said.

    “The freezer is filled to the hilt,” Benedict added.

    Area hotel operators are showing an increase in reservations, however some won’t know why people, who booked through third party websites, are coming until after they’ve arrived.

    Lisa Faber, assistant manager of Comfort Inn, said all 80 rooms were booked Monday through Thursday this week.

    “We have some rooms available on the weekend,” Faber added.

    “I just took a call from a gentleman in Guelph who was waiting to check the weather before booking,” she added.

    Retro Suites Hotel general manager George East did not return phone calls, but suites were unavailable on the business’ website for making on-line reservations.

    The Holiday Inn Express sales manager, Jackie Bonner, did not return calls, but a check of the hotel’s on-line reservation site indicated only a few rooms available this weekend.

    Event organizers have secured parking for 8,000 vehicles Saturday near the Thamesville site, with shuttles running.

    Ramzan Qureshi, manager of Howard Johnson hotel near Ridgetown told The Daily News he is 50% pre-booked and expects walk-ins on the weekend.

    “This is great, especially in this region, we need to have more events like this,” Qureshi said.

    Stacey Jacklin, manager at the Travelodge in Chatham said rooms are still available.

    The 103-room hotel has some sport-related bookings this weekend.

    “I hope they (War of 1812 events) have a very successful weekend,” Jacklin said.

    The Saxony, a 31-room motel in Chatham, is not fully booked.

    Owner Roger Kohli said he heard 40,000 people are expected to attend the commemorative events.

    “If you live in Chatham-Kent, you won’t need a room,” Kohli said.

    Houle said the events have been marketed in Chicago and the Lake Erie Living magazine.

  • Caldwell’s Rangers camping at Tecumseh Park; ready to receive visitors

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013
    Chatham Daily News
    Diana Martin

    People couldn’t help but stop and stare as they walked by, their step brisk and purposeful, giving a slight nod and smile as they passed.

    Caldwell’s Rangers, dressed in rough green woollen coats, cotton pants or britches, carrying their muskets and water flasks, seemed out of place and simultaneously normal, as they strode through the downtown core of Chatham on Wednesday afternoon

    “To see them come swinging down King Street in full kit, weapons over their shoulder, exactly where we would have had troops 200 years ago, I’m getting a little…,” said Doug Robinson. “I’m getting a little emotional actually standing here.”

    Robinson, a local re-enactor, was on hand to direct the small group to the cannon in Tecumseh Park where the men shot off a salute to the men that fell at that same spot during the Skirmish at the Forks.

    Alex Dale, John Jasurak, Stephen Smith, and Rob Bondy set out from Fort Malden, in Amherstburg, last Thursday to follow in the steps of the many militia who were retreating with British forces.

    “It is painful, when you’re doing 20-25 km a day, it’s a painful situation, but it brings it all back to reality of what these guys did 200 years ago, not just once, they did it on a regular basis,” said Dale. “Their feet must have been resilient because we’re constantly bandaging blisters or anticipating blisters.”

    Dale said he’s been waiting in anticipation of these celebrations for 20 years and has tried to participate in as many as possible.

    “It’s my job as a Parks Canada interpreter to educate as many people on the route and educate students, and we have. We’ve talked to close 400 students,” said Dale of the journey. “That’s a big thing for me being able to talk to people and educate them and let them know a glimpse of what happened in what is essentially their back yard 200 years ago. That’s rare.”

    He said the men have been stopping along the route at each marked historical site and have gained a deeper appreciation for the journey made not only by militia and soldiers, but also the families accompanying them.

    “Knowing I was standing on the banks of the Thames River on the day that the British, 200 years ago, were standing on the banks of the Thames River – it’s more a spiritual thing,” said Dale.

    No only did the men shoot off a round but as they marched past the cenotaph they performed an eyes-right formation and saluted.

    “To be able to burn powder here as a salute to that (skirmish) it’s really indescribable, to know we can be on the ground where it happened,” said Robinson.

    He said the fact that the men saluted the cenotaph only added to the significance.

    “It’s one long continual timeline to us, the history that we mark is directly connected to the history the cenotaph marks,” he said. “It’s Canadians in service for over 200 years – it matters. It matters.”

    The re-enactors are camping in Tecumseh Park Wednesday night to rest before marching the final leg of their journey to Thamesville to participate in a re-enactment of the Battle of the Thames this weekend as part of the War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations.

    They will be available to speak with the public tonight about their journey and the local historical events surrounding the War of 1812.

  • A Desert Between Us & Them: Raiders, Traitors, and Refugees in the War of 1812

    BRANTFORD, Ontario – September 30th , 2013 – A story that has been two hundred years in the making will have its broadcast debut on Saturday, October 5th at 9:00 P.M. on TVO. Narrated by R.H. Thomson, A Desert Between Us & Them: Raiders, Traitors, and Refugees in the War of 1812 is a 120 minute cinematic documentary that explores those stories that make the War of 1812 a “modern war” by stepping back in time to experience the conflict through the eyes of the people of Southwestern Ontario, who spent several years living in a War Zone.

    For much of the War, the area that we now call Southwestern Ontario was a nomans land, controlled sometimes by the British, sometimes by the Americans, and sometimes by nobody in particular. There were insurgents and bands of vigilante groups loyal to both sides. There were refugee camps and rampant plundering and theft. The vast majority of the population were recent immigrants from the United States, who had to decide if they were going to fight for the British, “turncoat” and fight for the Americans, or do what most people did and simply try to stay out of the conflict by whatever means possible.

    October 5th, 2013, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Thames, is a fitting date for the broadcast. One of the featured topics explored in the film is the fate of the Moravian Delaware from Fairfield (now the Moraviantown Delaware First Nation) whose dramatic experiences leading up to and following the Battle of the Thames are brought to life in vivid detail thanks to diaries kept by the Moravian Missionaries.

    Director Zach Melnick notes that the stories in the film come from throughout Southwestern Ontario – running the gamut from Windsor to Burlington. “When we began our research, we knew that we wanted to cut through the veneer of romanticism that often surrounds the War of 1812,” says Melnick. “Our film imagines what it would’ve been like for you or I during the War of 1812, which was a truly brutal conflict for residents and soldiers in Upper Canada. But it’s worth remembering so that we can gain a greater understanding of our own history, as well as perhaps to better empathize with people today who are living in War Zones all over the world. In many ways, not much has changed in the last 200 years.”

    “These stories also resonated with the re-enactment and volunteer communities who got involved in the project in a big way,” adds Melnick. Over 350 volunteer actors and numerous community organizations and municipalities were directly involved in creating the film, which will be distributed for free, along with a curriculum companion, into every school in Southwestern Ontario this fall. Also watch for the A Desert Between Us & Them mobile app.

    In addition to the TVO broadcast, viewers can also attend a series of free community screenings in Southwestern Ontario in the fall of 2013 and throughout 2014. Visit for the most up-to-date screening information. DVD and Blu-ray copies will also be for sale starting on October 6th, 2013 at .

    For press interested it getting a “sneak peak,” a digital screener can be made available for viewing prior to the broadcast. Please contact producer, Yvonne Drebert for details.

    This project was made possible with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Heritage Canada, TVO, the Sand Plains Community Development Fund, the 1812 Western Corridor Bicentennial Alliance, and the communities of Southwestern Ontario. A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities.

  • War Along the Thames 1813: Photographic Portraits of War Reenactors by Eric Shaw

    September 12, 2013

    ARTspace is pleased to announce a new exhibition, War along the Thames, 1813: Photographic Portraits of War Reenactors by Chatham artist Eric Shaw.

    Eric Shaw, a long time reenactor, military historian and lecturer has been recording images of 1812 reenactors for the past six years. He tries to capture the likenesses of individuals who he feels match our perceptions of what people looked like at that time.

    “These portraits are meant to put flesh upon the bare bones of the history you read. There are certain things that are best conveyed through art.”

    Eric is an artist, actor and writer currently residing in Chatham. In addition to portraiture, he produces controversial conceptual and satirical pieces with an emphasis on history, clothing and the human form. This exhibition will be on display from October 2 – November 9, 2013, with an opening reception on Thursday, October 3 at 6pm.

    ARTspace is open Tuesday through Saturday 12pm – 5pm and is located at 165 ½ King Street West in Historic Downtown Chatham. Admission is always free. ARTspace gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Community Futures Development Corporation of Chatham-Kent, Windmill Cabinets and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

    For more information:
    Danielle Dupuis
    165 ½ King Street West
    Chatham, Ontario

  • Request for Proposals: The Redevelopment of the Tecumseh Monument

    From the Municipality of Chatham-Kent

    Greetings friends and colleagues in arts, heritage & culture,

    On behalf of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, I am pleased to share this exciting new opportunity to commemorate and recognize one of the most influential figures of the War of 1812, Tecumseh. Through his leadership and vision, he succeeded in uniting many different native groups across the continent and his death in October, 1813 had profound effects on the future of First Nations in North America. There is now the opportunity to more fully recognize this important figure. The Municipality of Chatham-Kent, in partnership with the Friends of the Tecumseh Monument committee, has recently released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for conceptual drawings, project description, timeline and costs to design and build a new monument and interpretive plaza to commemorate Tecumseh. The project location is on the north side of the Thames River, approximately five kilometres east of Thamesville, Ontario, adjacent to the Battle of the Thames historic site.

    For complete information and link to the RFP #R13-213, please visit:

    I would very much appreciate it if you could circulate this exciting new project throughout your networks. We are aiming for as wide a distribution as possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Best regards,


    Alysson Storey
    Manager of Culture, Municipality of Chatham-Kent
    T: 519.360.1998/F: 519.354.4170/E:
    Please consider the environment before printing this email

    “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” ~George Bernard Shaw

  • STOWAWAY 1812 becomes a passenger on Liana’s Ransom
    July 15, 2013

    Furthermore, the special engraved barrel of STOWAWAY 1812 wine, a blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon from the six participating wineries will be placed aboard the Tall Ship Liana’s Ransom for a voyage throughout Lake Erie until its final departure from Pelee Island September 1. At the end of its voyage the barrel of wine will be bottled and auctioned off as collector’s items.

    Amherstburg – July 15, 2013 – On July 19, 2013 at the Kingsville Dock, the Coastal Trails: Sails to See Festival will launch two publications; the Windsor Star Tall Ships insert and the July/August issue of Biz X magazine with a feature cover and eight page story. These publications will be available for distribution at this 11:30 am event.

    Furthermore, the special engraved barrel of STOWAWAY 1812 wine, a blend of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon from the six participating wineries will be placed aboard the Tall Ship Liana’s Ransom for a voyage throughout Lake Erie until its final departure from Pelee Island September 1. At the end of its voyage the barrel of wine will be bottled and auctioned off as collector’s items. The barrel, engraved with a mapped voyage of its journey, will be on permanent display at Pelee Island Winery.

    “The four ports and the six wineries have come together to do something truly unique and special to the South West Region. Their collaboration for the widely anticipated festival and their success with the Stowaway 1812 wine collection shows the value of working together,” said Gordon Orr, CEO of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island.

    The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour presented by Redpath Sugar, produced in partnership with the TALL

    SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2013 will travel throughout 15 Ontario ports during the summer of 2013, commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and, in Southwestern Ontario, the Battle of Lake Erie.

    From August 30 to September 1 during the Labour Day weekend, The Tall Ships® will travel to 15 Ontario ports with the last major stop in our region before the Battle re-enactment on Lake Erie, outside of Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Both special publications are made to highlight the Coastal Trails Festival and all of the things to see and do in our region during the Coastal Trails: Sails to See Weekend.

    “Biz X magazine is thrilled to be a Captain’s level sponsor for the Coastal Trails: Sails to See” Festival,” says Deborah Jones, Publisher. “Thousands of local residents and visitors are going to be able to attend this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the exposure the event is giving to local businesses and our magazine is absolutely huge. Whenever an event garners this much attention, it is certainly a tremendous boost to our local economy and this helps us all.”

    “The Windsor Star is thrilled to partner with Coastal Trails Sails to Sea Festival,” says Beverly Becker, Director of Digital Products and Marketing. “The event is sure to bring our areas rich history alive through demonstrations, concerts and tours. There isn’t a better way to experience Windsor-Essex County in one weekend. Make sure to visit for coverage throughout the event”.

    Commemorative Boarding Passes for the Coastal Trails Festival cost $15 each and are free for children five years and under. Along with the thrill of enjoying the deck tours of the famous sailing vessels, visitors will be able to participate in special events in each community, including free wine tasting at each of the six Stowaway 1812 participating wineries and 25% off of admission to Point Pelee National Park and Fort Malden National Historic Site.

  • Renowned Wine Writer Tony Aspler talks STOWAWAY 1812

    Thursday, July 4: Breakfast in the hotel with Kyra Knapp, War of 1812 Regional Project Facilitator. Kyra had asked me to write a piece for the press release on the project called Stowaway 1812.

    Stowaway 1812

    Six Lake Erie North Shore wineries have produced unique wines to commemorate the War of 1812 Bicentennial and the Coastal Trails: Sail to See Tall Ships Festival. These six VQA wines are bottled as the “Stowaway 1812″ series and each features on its label the image of a different tall ship that plied the Great Lakes in the 1812 era. The Tall Ships from around the world will sail to 15 Ontario ports over the summer from June 14 to September 2nd, 2013.

    Their majestic presence in our waters speak to an ancient tradition of ageing wines at sea. As early as the 16th century in Europe sailing ships transported wine from Madeira to India and China by way of the Cape of Good Hope. The hot temperatures as the ships crossed the equator and the incessant rolling action had a beneficial ageing effect on the wine. Like most advances in beverage alcohol technology the discovery of sea travel to improve the flavour of Madeira was accidental. But once discovered this technique of long sea voyages was used to speed up the maturing process of Madeira and port.

    As a nod to this naval tradition and a salute to the War of 1812, the six participating wineries will contribute their Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon blend to a 100-litre barrel that will be subjected to a 13-day voyage on the Great Lakes in the hold of Liana’s Ransom. Flying the flag of the British Virgin Islands, Liana’s Ransom is a replica pirate ship – a gaff rigged, square top sail schooner. At the end of the voyage the wines will be bottled and auctioned off as collectors’ artifacts.

    I had the opportunity to taste the Stowaway 1812 wines before they were released for sale at participating wineries.

    Labels from the Stowaway 1812 series

    Pelee Island Winery Stowaway 1812 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (the label depicts a two-masted Brig with square sails): The wine is pale lemon yellow in colour with a bouquet of cut grass and citrus fruits; nicely balanced flavours of green plum and white peach carried on fresh acidity. Medium-bodied and lingering on the palate.
    Colio Estate Wines Stowaway 1812 Pinot Grigio 2012 (the label depicts a Despatch Schooner with fore-and aft sails): Pink-gold in colour, this Pinot Grigio has a minerally, peach pit nose with well extracted flavours of peach and apricot; soft, dry and full on the palate and easy drinking.
    Smith & Wilson Stowaway1812 Viognier 2010 (the label depicts a Corvette, a three-masted ship all rigged with square sails): Bright, light straw in colour with a nose of honeysuckle and melon; spicy, melon and citrus flavours that fill the mouth. Good tension between sweet fruit and citrus acidity.
    Oxley Estate Winery Stowaway 1812 Cabernet Franc 2012 (the label depicts a two-masted Topsail Schooner): This Cabernet Franc is ruby in colour with a bouquet of redcurrant and raspberries; medium-bodied, with ripe tannins and a velvety mouth-feel. Nicely balanced with enough tannin on the finish to give the wine structure.
    Sprucewood Shores Stowaway 1812 Deux Rouge 2011 (the label depicts a single-masted Sloop): A blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. A nose of cherry pit and leather with a floral top note; dry, fruity, medium-bodied with cherry and redcurrant flavours. Supple tannins.
    Cooper’s Hawk Cabernet Merlot 2008 (the label depicts The Snow Rig, square sails on both masts with a small trysail mast): Deep ruby colour with a mature rim; cedar on the nose, oak spice with nuances of red and blackcurrant. Dry with red berry fruit flavours and a dark chocolate note. Well balanced and good length.
    (All wines except the Cooper’s Hawk are under screwcap.)

    Sculpture commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie in Amherstburg

    The press launch for the Stowaway 1812 tall ships event was held at the Provincial Marine Commissariat in King’s Navy Yard Park, Amherstburg. A commemorative sculpture of the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 stands in a the grounds and history buffs dressed in authentic costumes of the time discharged a 3 lb muzzle-loading brass cannon (my ears are still ringing from the noise). After the speeches we sampled the six wines involved in the project.

    Preparing to fire the ceremonial cannon

    After the press conference Kyra drove me to Oxley Estate in East Harrow for a tasting and lunch. The winery, in very welcoming contemporary style, is a refurbished 1920 tobacco barn. The proprietor, Ann Nedon Wilson, told me they had grapes and made wine from their two-year-old vines in 2011! Their website has profiles of not only the key people in the winery but the farm workers as well.

    Oxley Estate Chardonnay 2012: very pale colour; light, apple nose; creamy mouth feel with apple, herbs and fennel flavour. (87)
    Oxley Estate Chardonnay 2011 (second leaf fruit): light, floral, apple nose; surprising intensity of fruit flavour; light and delicate, dry Asian pear flavour. (88)
    Oxley Estate Riesling 2012: almost water white; aromatic, minerally, spicy melon nose; off-dry but finishing dry with grapefruit, lemon and honey flavours. (87)
    Oxley Estate Rosé 2012: pink with a bluish tint; floral, cherry nose; soft mouth-feel, easy drinking, strawberry and orange flavours. (87)
    Oxley Estate Pinot Noir 2011 (second leaf fruit): light ruby colour; lifted cherry nose; dry, light and high-toned flavours of cherries and cherry pits. (87)
    Oxley Cabernet Franc 2011 (second leaf fruit): light ruby colour; raspberry candy nose; light and elegant, raspberry flavour with a floral grace note. (88)
    After lunch (breaded perch), Kyra dropped me at Windsor Station for the train-ride back to Toronto.

  • Biz X Releases its July/August Issue Featuring the Tall Ships

    Ahoy matey! What we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived!

    We hope you had a great weekend as there was so much to do in Windsor Essex from the Biz X Beach Jam to the Fork N Cork and more…and the fun continues this entire month and next! You can read up on many wonderful events, like the big tall ships festival to come in our latest edition with the special Coastal Trails Sails to See edition on the COVER and with references all over the book so flip through and you will see. The big story on page 18!

    Click on the link below in newsletter to access this edition. Don’t forget to forward to your business colleagues, friends and family! It’s automatically being emailed to 10,000 digital subscribers like yourself and delivered first class by Canada Post to all Windsor Essex businesses in the next few days but i will be bringing you tons of copies!

  • Avast, Mateys!

    The Windsor Star | Jun 24, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun 24, 2013 – 7:07 UTC

    Scrub the deck and set the mainsail: tall ships are getting ready to visit four ports in Windsor and Essex County, and local families are invited to check them out.

    This Labour Day weekend, nine tall ships will drop their anchors in Windsor, Amherstburg, Kingsville and Pelee Island, and each port is planning aseries of fun, family-oriented events to mark the occasion.

    The ships, whose visit is part of the region-wide War of 1812 commemorations, will be in port from Aug. 30-Sept. 2. Regional Boarding Passes are available for $15 and give you access to all of the ships docked in the region over the course of the weekend. For a list of locations where you can purchase passes, to learn about the visiting ships, and to see a complete schedule of programming, please visit us at

    Port of Windsor: Windsor will welcome the tall ships Sorlandet, the Pride of Baltimore II, and the Denis Sullivan to Dieppe Gardens.

    The festival will include:

    . Tall ship deck tours

    . Outdoor artists’ markets

    . An outdoor local bookstore

    . The Windsor Community Museum’s 1812 and pirate/privateerexhibits

    . An evening poetry event with Windsor’s poet laureate Marty Gervais aboard the deck of the Sorlandet. Details at

    Aiming specifically at youngsters, the festival will also feature:

    . Stage shows with magicians, illusionists, storytellers, puppeteers, musicians, singers, songwriters, fiddlers, stilt walkers, dancers and more

    . A War of 1812-themed inflatable exhibit from Parks Canada

    . A Kids’ Pirate Landing Zone with games, activities and more

    . Knot-tying with sailors from HMCS Hunter

    . A free screening of the 1991 Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman hit Hook at the Capitol Theatre

    Port of Amherstburg: View the tall ships Lynx and Friends Good Will while enjoying the beautiful gardens and activities at the legendary King’s Navy Yard Park, a shipbuilding port used in the War of 1812. Here, you can stand on the very ground on which sailors and soldiers defended Canada from American invasion. A Women’s March re-enactment to celebrate the women of Amherstburg’s role in peacemaking is scheduled for Sunday. There will also be free concerts. Kids will enjoy the ‘Little Mates’ children’s pavilion, ship tours and much more. For a schedule, visit or call 519736-8320 for ship boarding passes.

    Port of Kingsville: Kingsville hosts the tall ships Faire Jeanne, Peacemaker and Unicorn at picturesque Kingsville Harbour. Feast on the best Kingsville cuisine at a VIP Reception Friday. Saturday, take part in the commemoration of the newest Peace Garden at Lakeside Park. The town comes alive with music, dazzling floats and magnificent bands as part of the 1812 Commemorative Parade; bands from across North America will be featured. Other highlights include: a display from Cedar Island Marina; a regatta; family entertainment and historical re-enactments; and the Grand Finale Symphony of Sound &Light spectacular in Lakeside Park Sunday evening. For a schedule, visit

    Port of Pelee Island: Celebrate Labour DayWeekend and commemorate the Battle of Lake Erie on Pelee Island with the tall ship Liana’s Ransom. Highlights include: Day Sails leaving from Scudder Marina at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm; 7pm Sunset Wine and Appetizer Cruise; Art at the Marina, a one-of-a-kind exhibit featuring local artists and artisans; a period log encampment at the oldest log house on the island; period food samples, re-enactors and children’s activities. War of 1812-themed exhibits including the art of Peter Rindlisbacher and an 1812 dinner at the ruins of Canada’s largest and oldest estate winery -VinVilla on Sheridan Point. For a schedule of events, visit

  • Mayor Offered Ticket to the Ball

    Monday, June 17 2013
    Chatham Daily News
    Diana Martin

    Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope gets inundated with dance card requests for Oct. 5 The Ball at the Forkes from Linda Corrente, left, Linda Henderson and Anita Brinkman, in commemoration of the Battle of the Thames Bicentennial. The authentic period ball will feature music of 1813, including an Aboriginal drum and dance demonstration, along with a delicious dinner served at The Chatham Armoury. TIckets are $85 per person for both the dinner and dance, or $30 for just the dance, corporate tables of eight are available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.cktickets and more information can be found at PHOTO TAKEN: Chatham, On., Monday June 17, 2013.

  • Tecumseh Parkway officially launched

    Dave Welton, member of the Battle of the Thames 2013 organizing committee, shares a laugh with Kyra Knapp, War of 1812 project facilitator for Southwest Ontario, during a stop along the Tecumseh Parkway, which was officially launched on Friday. The event included a bus trip that began in Jeannette’s Creek and ended in Thamesville. (TREVOR TERFLOTH, Chatham Daily News)

    May 3, 2013

    Chatham Daily News


    JEANNETTE’S CREEK – Motorists were likely curious about the 19th century U.S. soldier keeping watch in full regalia on Tecumseh Line.

    And curiosity is exactly what the local heritage community hopes to spark.

    Re-enactor Dave Welton was faithfully playing the part, which deviated slightly from history when he boarded a bus that stopped at his checkpoint.

    The Tecumseh Parkway was officially launched on Friday with the bus trip from St. Peter’s Church in Jeannette’s Creek to Park’s Blueberries in Thamesville, including stops at various sites along the way.

    Through interpretive signage, as well as information that can be access via smartphones, visitors can learn about the historical significance of the area during the War of 1812.

    Kyra Knapp, War of 1812 project facilitator for Southwestern Ontario, said the stretch of road is not only culturally important, but also visually appealing.

    “The signage is so stunning … It draws the eye,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for a better driving route.”

    Dave Benson, Chatham-Kent’s heritage co-ordinator, said he’s pleased with how the route turned out, but noted the launch isn’t the end of the work.

    “I hope people come and enjoy it and learn from it,” he said. “This is only hopefully the beginning of the parkway.”

    Welton, a board member with the Battle of the Thames 1813 organizing committee, called the parkway beautiful and said people often pull over to read the signs.

    “That’s the whole purpose of this Tecumseh Parkway,” he said.

    He said the community has shown strong support for the event, which will feature numerous activities from Oct. 4-6.

    “We’re in good shape,” he said. “We’ve got six months, but we’ve got to use those six months.”

    Knapp said 65,000 people are expected for the Battle of the Thames commemorations, with an estimated 120,000 throughout the community during the entire week.

    “It’s going to be a really great economic boost for the region,” she said.

  • Tall Ship Festival Announcement

    April 27, 2013

    Blackburn Media: Mike Vlasveld, Reporter

    The Coastal Trails: Sails to See festival is coming to Windsor and Essex County.

    More than eight ships will be stopping at 11 ports across Ontario before docking in Windsor, Amherstburg, Kingsville and Pelee Island over Labour Day weekend.

    Kyra Knapp with Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island says they’ve launched a brand new web site for the festival at “We really hope that this festival can be a footprint for how festivals can work together and we know that it’s going to be very successful,” explains Knapp. “So it has the capabilities, if we decide to continue this festival in years to come with different themes, then we’ve grabbed the domain name and we can update it as the festival evolves and grows with the communities.”

    The provincial government is helping to fund the tall ship tour, kicking in $100,000.


  • Arts festival part of War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration

    April 22, 2013

    Lawrene Denkers of Florence wears period costume to promote the Theatre Kent production of War Finds A Way: Fairfield 1813, which will be performed at the Capitol Theatre in Chatham from Oct. 3 to 5. Written by Karen Robinet, the play tells the story of the Moravian mission’s final four days.

    Chatham This Week

    As part of the local commemoration of the War of 1812, an arts festival, A Cultural Odyssey, will be held.

    The festival will encompass a wide range of activities, from theatrical performances, to music, art exhibits, a sound and light show, spoken word experiences and much more.

    Working in conjunction with the Battle of the Thames committee, which is staging a massive re-enactment of the battle on Saturday, Oct. 5, the Cultural Odyssey committee consists of volunteers from all facets of Chatham-Kent’s arts scene.

    Cultural Odyssey chair Karen Robinet said, “This festival will continue to evolve and we are looking forward to hearing from other artists and performers who want to be part of the experience.”

    One of the highlights of the festival will be Theatre Kent’s production of War Finds A Way: Fairfield 1813, which will tell the story of the Moravian mission’s final four days.

    “This is a fascinating piece of local history which tends to get overshadowed by the death of Tecumseh,” said Robinet, who wrote the script.

    The show will be presented at the St. Clair College Capitol Theatre in partnership with St. Clair College, and will involve at least two community choirs.

    “The St. Clair College Capitol Theatre is honoured to be a part of this historical Theatre Kent production honouring the 1812 bicentennial,” said the Capitol’s technical director Ryan Brink. “Theatre Kent has a great reputation in this community and our crew is excited to finally have the opportunity to work with them.”

    The show will run from Oct. 3 to Oct. 5.

    Thames Theatre will be holding an encore performance of its show The Second Battle Of The Thames at the Kiwanis Theatre on Oct. 4.

    On Sept. 29, Thamesville United Church will host a roast beef dinner and public reading to honour War of 1812 hero Tecumseh. Like A Hero Going Home: The Final Days Of Tecumseh, October 1813 has been written by Marion Johnson with George Henry.

    A limited number of tickets are available for $25 and can be reserved by calling 519-692-4827.

    A public speaking/spoken word evening will be held at the Kiwanis Theatre on Sept. 30 and A Musical Odyssey, featuring a variety of performers will be held at the Kiwanis on Oct. 2.

    On Oct. 3, the theatre will be the site of the Flames Of War Sound & Light Show, a project of the Niagara Historical Society and Museum.

    In addition to scheduled events, a variety of exhibits and demonstrations will take place, with further information to be provided at a later date.

    Committee member Lydia Burggraaf is heading up the visual arts component of the festival and has issued a call to artists.

    “Gallery exhibit space is available for traditional works,” she said. “We are also looking for site-specific installations and performances throughout Chatham-Kent.”

    Projects being sought would “re-frame the politics of the initial 1812 conflict within contemporary Canadian society,” Burggraaf said.

    More information on the festival is available online at on Facebook by searching CK Cultural Odyssey or by e-mailing or

    Tickets for events at the Kiwanis and Capitol Theatres will be available through the Cultural Centre box office at 519-354-8338 or online at



    April 22, 2013

    Costal Trails: Sails to See Festival is proud to announce the Tall Ships 1812 Tour, a pan-provincial event that will travel throughout Ontario during the summer of 2013, commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

    From June 14 to September 2 the Tall Ships will tour 15 Ontario ports, including Windsor, Amherstburg, Kingsville and Pelee Island. This exciting summer of waterfront entertainment is produced in partnership with the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2013 Series.

    The Coastal Trails: Sails to See Festival will announce regional and pan-provincial funding and launch the website. The Windsor Essex leg of the pan-provincial festival will take place over the Labour Day weekend from August 30 – September 2, 2013.

    When: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 10:30AM

    Where: Riverfront Festival Plaza – Aboard the Macassa Bay, Windsor River Cruises

    Please RSVP:
    Kyra Knapp
    War of 1812 Project Facilitator – South West Ontario Region

  • Tecumseh Parkway Launch Planned in Chatham-Kent

    April 12, 2013
    Chatham Daily News

    The launch of Tecumseh Parkway is scheduled for May 3 at 1 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church on Tecumseh Line near Jeannette’s Creek.

    The signed driving route follows the Thames River and he pursuit of the British military and First Nations warriors by the American Army during the War of 1812.

    From St. Peter’s Church those taking part in the launch will travel by motorcoach to Parks Blueberries on Longwoods Road near Thamesville for a media announcement at 3:30 p.m.

    The parkway explores 11 historically significant stops along the Thames River. Through interpretive signage the public can read about the skirmishes, camps and fires. The public can also yes smartphones to access audio, video, web and musical interpretation.

  • Tall Ships return for 1812 tour of Ontario

    TORONTO, March 7, 2013 /CNW/ – Water’s Edge Festivals & Events is proud to announce the TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour: a pan provincial event that will travel throughout Ontario during the summer of 2013, commemorating the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.

    From June 14th to September 2nd the Tall Ships will travel to 16 Ontario ports, including Brockville, Toronto, Hamilton, Port Dalhousie, Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Penetanguishene, Midland, Discovery Harbour, Windsor, Amherstburg, Leamington, Kingsville and Pelee Island. This exciting summer of waterfront entertainment is produced in partnership with the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2013 series.

    “Our government is proud to help commemorate the War of 1812 Bicentennial through our support for the TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour,” said Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour will be a spectacular way to mark a defining moment in our nation’s history. This is a signature event that will draw visitors from Ontario and beyond our borders, strengthen local economies and create jobs right across Ontario.”

    The fleet’s in! A vantage point on Toronto’s waterfront.
    The Redpath Waterfront Festival, from June 20-23, 2013, will be the official launch of the tour and will welcome the entire Tall Ship fleet, occupying two kilometers along the inner harbour. The spectacular Opening Ceremonies will take place on Thursday and the entire four-day weekend is given over to festivities for all ages and interests. Visitors will enjoy deck tours of Tall Ships, thrill to the beauty of famous sailing vessels, and participate in special events on land along Toronto’s waterfront. The launch will end on Sunday with an unforgettable sight – the entire fleet displayed in a Parade of Sail as they leave for their next port.

    Redpath Sugar – presenting sponsor
    “For over 150 years, Redpath Sugar has been bringing raw sugar into Canada by ship,” said Peter Toppazzini, Redpath Director of Sales, who is also the Festival Board Chair. “In addition to being the title sponsor for the annual Waterfront Festival in Toronto, we are proud to be the presenting sponsor of this Pan Provincial event that celebrates the shared histories of Canada and the United States through the TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour.”

    Response from the tall ships community is enthusiastic, with many historic and spectacular vessels joining the ever-growing fleet. Among the early participants are two ships that provide a link to the War of 1812. They are the Pride of Baltimore II and Privateer Lynx, both replica topsail schooners modeled after US vessels that took part in the many sea battles of the war. Another is a truly tall Tall Ship – SS Sorlandet, from Norway; at an impressive 890 tons, she is the oldest full rigged ship in the world, still in operation.

    A summer of excitement at Ontario Regional ports
    Tall Ships America® Executive Director Bert Rogers comments: “As befits the commemoration of the momentous events that took place here during the War of 1812, the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2013 will be the most exciting series ever produced in the Great Lakes. We are extremely proud that the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® will return to the beautiful port city of Toronto and will expand to 15 other ports in Ontario. We look forward to celebrating 200 years of peace between nations through these wonderful events.”

    Water’s Edge Festivals & Events (WEFE) is an Ontario not-for-profit corporation created in 2011 with a mandate to be the driving force behind the successful Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto.

    The Redpath Waterfront Festival provides on-water and on-land programming, while positioning and promoting Toronto locally, nationally and internationally as a premiere waterfront destination. The festival is proud to recognize Toronto Brigantine Inc. as its preferred charity partner. Toronto Brigantine provides sail training opportunities to youth, building character through adventure.

    To keep up to date with developments during the countdown to the Redpath Waterfront Festival, visit the official website For information on the entire TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour, please visit

    TALL SHIPS® 1812 TOUR Ports & Dates:

    Brockville TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour June 14 – 16
    Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto June 20 – 23
    TALL SHIPS® Hamilton June 28 – 30
    St. Catharines 1812 TALL SHIPS® Visit June 29 – 30
    Sails on the St. Marys, Sault Ste. Marie July 19 – 21
    TALL SHIPS® 1812 Georgian Bay August 16 – 18 / 24 – 25
    Southwestern Ontario: Sails to See August 30 – September 2

    Image with caption: “The US Pride of Baltimore II, an 1812-era reproduction of a topsail, privateer schooner will be among the fleet participating in The TALL SHIPS® 1812 Tour presented by Redpath Sugar Produced in partnership with TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2013, the tour launches the Redpath Waterfront Festival, Toronto, June 20-23. It will visit 16 Ontario ports this summer. (CNW Group/Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)”. Image available at:

    SOURCE: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

    For further information:
    Peggy Sheffield, APR
    Peggy Sheffield & Associates Inc.
    Office: 416 246-0474
    Cell: 416 822-8511

  • Harper Government commemorates Shawnee leader Tecumseh for his role in the War of 1812

    Chatham-Kent, Ontario, February 22, 2013 — Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham-Kent—Essex, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, today announced that the Government of Canada building located at 120 Wellington Street West in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, will be named the Tecumseh Building in recognition of his contribution during the War of 1812.

    “I am delighted that this building is being named in honour of Shawnee leader Tecumseh to commemorate the crucial role he played during the War of 1812,” Minister Ambrose stated. “It took the combined efforts of English- and French-speaking militias as well as First Nation allies, together with British military forces, to succeed in defeating the American invasion.”

    The building was constructed in 1958 based on a design by Joseph W. Storey, an internationally renowned architect from Chatham, Ontario. It is currently used by Canada Post, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Canadian Grain Commission, and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, among others.

    During the naming ceremony, MP Van Kesteren unveiled a commemorative plaque that will adorn the building. “Tecumseh fought courageously in several important battles of the war”,
    said MP Van Kesteren. “His alliance and friendship with Major-General Isaac Brock led to the capture of Detroit and saved Canada from invasion in the early days of the War of 1812.”

    This event is part of several commemoration activities taking place to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. The anniversary is an opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in our country’s traditions and history. The end of the war laid the foundation for Confederation and Canada’s ultimate emergence as an independent nation in North America.

    Shawnee war chief Tecumseh

    Shawnee leader Tecumseh’s great contribution to the War of 1812 helped shape Canada and our country’s rich history. The outbreak of the War of 1812 drove Tecumseh to collaborate with the British to resist the American invasion of British North America. He was an important ally and co-leader with Upper Canadian military commander Major-General Sir Isaac Brock in the Battle of Detroit, where Brock’s troops were joined by 800 First Nations warriors. The American surrender was partly due to Brock and Tecumseh’s skillful use of the warriors’ fearsome reputation to intimidate the Americans. In the spring of 1813, Tecumseh went on to lead more than 1,200 warriors alongside 900 British soldiers under Major-General Henry Procter in taking Fort Meigs near Perrysburg, Ohio.

    Ongoing fighting, however, eroded the resolve of British troops and many First Nations allies. In this weakened state, the allies met the Americans at what would be Tecumseh’s final battle at Moraviantown (also known as the Battle of the Thames) on October 5, 1813. When the British troops retreated in the face of more than 3,000 American soldiers, only 500 warriors were left to fight. Tecumseh was one of many who fell that day.

    Tecumseh’s heroic efforts paved the way for the Canada we know today– an independent and free country with a constitutional monarchy, its own parliamentary system and a strong respect for diversity.

    For more information on Tecumseh and the War of 1812, visit


  • The Dangerous World of the Indian Agent Performance at the Chatham-Kent Museum

    January 15, 2013

    The Dangerous World of the Indian Agent
    Performance at the Chatham-Kent Museum

    Join the Chatham-Kent Museum for a fascinating performance on Thursday, February 21, 2013.

    One of the most important and least known organizations within the British colonial government during the War of 1812 was the Indian Department. It was responsible for maintaining good relations with the First Nations and for rallying the Native Warriors into an effective military ally. Officers of the Indian Department distributed the traditional yearly tributes to cement the alliances, sat in at Native councils, and often worked as interpreters.

    While not a part of the British Army, the officers of the Indian Department were given military rank, with the head superintendent being a colonel and the regional superintendents being ranked as captains. The officers, like the army, wore red coats on the field. The individual officers would also incorporate items of Native dress and significance into their appearance.

    Officers of the Indian Department would go on to be involved in more than thirty major actions during the War of 1812, including the capture of Fort Detroit, the Battle of the Thames, and the capture of two American warships.

    Through the lives of two men, Edward Hazel and Robert Ramsay Livingston, we will get a glimpse into the strange and dangerous world of the Indian Agent and see how their work affected the flow of the war in our region.

    This fascinating performance will take place on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 7PM. Tickets are $12 (includes HST) and may be purchased at the Chatham Cultural Centre Box Office, 75 William Street North, by calling 519-354-8338/toll-free 1-866-807-7770, or online at
    A limited amount of tickets will be available at the door. The evening will also include light snacks.


    For more information:

    Deanna Bullard
    Education Coordinator
    Chatham-Kent Museum
    519-354-8346 x. 45

  • HISTORY: A strong arts, heritage, culture and tourism base key to our survival

    Source: Chatham Daily News
    Friday, December 28, 2012 12:51:46 EST PM
    By: Jim and Lisa Gilbert

    The new year is fast approaching and it never ceases to amaze me how quickly the years now pass. I remember hearing my grandparents say that same thing and as a young lad could not understand why they thought the years passed so quickly. As a teenager, anxious to get on with my life, I thought that they dragged on incessantly. Now, in my sixties, I am beginning to understand. As I get slower, the years go by faster!

    However, that being said we are on the cusp of a brand new year and since most of us survived December 21st ,it is time to regroup, rethink and offer some humble suggestions for Chatham-Kent and beyond for the next year.

    First of all let us all get behind the celebration of the War of 1812 bicentennial that will be having a large impact upon our community in 2013. We have been involved in events all over Ontario and the United States celebrating this pivotal time ( 1812-1814) in our history so let us not miss it in our own backyard.

    The Tecumseh Trail (between the Lighthouse and Fairfield) embraces a series of plaques, “pull offs” and i-Phone tours is in its final stages of completion and will make a nice driving tour along the Thames this year.

    Our own Tecumseh’s Last Days bus tours have been running for out-of- area bus groups and local historical groups for the last few years but will be running more regular tours during this bicentennial year. More information will follow on this tour as the year proceeds.

    Lisa and her Tecumseh Monument group have revised their original plans and are moving quickly to incorporate a new design that will commemorate not only Chief Tecumseh and his Native allies but ALL of the men and women who lost their lives during the event known as the Battle of the Thames (or the Battle of Moraviantown).

    Once again, there will be much more about this as government money is secured and a new vision comes to light. It promises to not only enhance the Tecumseh Trail project, my Tecumseh Bus Tour, the Battle of the Thames Re-enactment but tourism in general for Chatham-Kent.

    The weekend of October 4-6, 2013 is one that you should definitely circle in your new calendars right now. It will consist of a re-enactment of the Battle of the Thames (Moraviantown) on the actual battle site east of Thamesville on Hwy. 2 . Mark Dickerson, Dave Welton and their project coordinator David Wesley have been working diligently to get this project up and running and it promises to be a weekend full of excitement and memories. It also promises to be a weekend that could bring 20,000 to 30,000 people to our community in addition to the many tourists who stop at the site on a regular basis!

    In addition to this, on this same Oct 5th weekend, the people at Fairfield Museum as well as the First Nations People at Moraviantown will be offering workshops, symposiums, food, historical interpretations etc. There will, of course, be much more information on both of these events as the year proceeds and events firm up.

    In addition, the annual Summer Ghost Walks organized by Sheila Gibbs ( aka “Ghost Girl”) will be happening from the Retro Suites Hotel in the months of May, June, July and August. Once again, the hugely successful annual Cemetery Strolls will, once again, make their eerie presence known in the darkly, descending days of October. Once again, more information to follow as the year proceeds.

    Buxton’s Homecoming, the WAMBO extravaganza in Wallaceburg, the Ridge House Museum, the Wallaceburg Museum, the Odette Heritage Home in Tilbury, the Ck Museum, the Milner House plus a number of places and events that I have mistakenly overlooked ( please forgive me if I have) promise to make 2013 a very exciting year. Exciting from a Heritage point of view and a profitable one for local businesses as tourists pass through our area during this second year of the War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebrations. You should make a resolution this year to visit as many of the above sites as you can in 2013

    And one more thing…maybe the Economic Development Commission of Chatham Kent should heed the advice being given lately to smaller local communities throughout North America by various “think tanks”. Stop “chasing smoke stacks”! Find ways to support local tourism, local heritage products, local businesses (like the new Micro Brewery in Erieau!) and start “thinking bigger” by “thinking smaller”.

    The potential for growth for Chatham-Kent is not in China, Japan nor the Middle East but right in our own backyard. If you think Honda or Toyota will come to the rescue of Chatham Kent by building a plant and hiring thousands of people, give your head a shake! It will simply not happen under the current economic approach and the lack of vision for a new world in our community.

    And if it ever does happen it will be because we will have developed and nurtured in word, thought and deed a strong arts, heritage, culture and tourism base. Big companies go where the action is and where there is creative thought, a dynamic well-educated and vibrant community and a community that embraces the future by celebrating its past, its natural attributes and positive characteristics. We need to aid and abet small local businesses, festivals, events and creative endeavours of all kinds. In short, C-K needs to be an exciting community in order to attract businesses and not the other way around!

    It will not be an easy process. We have ignored these things for way too long a period but why not in the spirit of a new year, start a new thought process. Give up the ideas from the 1950s and start thinking and acting in a unified, dedicated and progressive manner suitable for 2013. How can it hurt?

    Jim and Lisa Gilbert are local historians. To contact them about local history, arts or culture email

  • First Video for Battle of the Thames

    December 4, 2012

    We are very excited in the South West Region to show the first of a series of advertisements featuring prominent television and film actor Graham Greene. Graham took time out of his busy schedule to shoot a series of videos to promote the Battle of the Thames and several of the other projects here in Chatham-Kent. The major events are scheduled between September 28 and October 6, 2013 and are sure to make the South West Region unforgettable in the legacy of 1812 commemorations.
    We are proud to promote what we already know is a significant region in the War of 1812 history, and delighted that we are receiving this level of national recognition.

  • Tecumseh Parkway Entryway Signs Are Up!

    Tecumseh Parkway entryway signage in Jeanette’s Creek, Chatham-Kent

    November 13, 2012

    If you are driving along Longwoods road as you come into CK or through Jeanette’s Creek by historic St. Peter’s Church, you would be hard-pressed to miss the larger-than-life entryway signs to the new Tecumseh Parkway. These signs mark Route 1812 and follow Procter’s retreat up the Thames. For more information on the parkway or the associated smartphone app that narrates your driving route with historical information, music, and local attraction information visit the “Plan your Trip” section of the website.

  • Commemorative Poster Unveiled

    Veterans Terry Hall, from left, David Hollingsworth, Earl McWhinney and George Sesto are four of five remaining vets, all members of Christ Church (Anglican) Amherstburg, pictured on a newly created poster of 57 veterans, all past and present parishioners, Friday, November 09, 2012 at Christ Church. (The Windsor Star- Julie Kotsis) Cy Curtis, a Second World War veteran, was unable to attend the unveiling. The five veterans are the only remaining from the 59 depicted on the poster.

    The Windsor Star
    November 9, 2012

    A remembrance tribute, created to honour the patriotism and extraordinary sacrifice of 59 local veterans, was unveiled Friday at Christ Church Anglican.

    “Today is the first time I’ve seen the poster,” said George Sesto, a Vietnam vet. “It is quite a tribute to our fallen … not just from Amherstburg – nationwide. It honours all vets.”

    Sesto is one of the five remaining veterans present at the unveiling of the 42” by 48” poster. The poster features photos of 59 men and women, all past and present parishioners of Christ Church. They represent the War of 1812, the First and Second World Wars and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

    Sesto, 68, was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corp, who enlisted in 1962. He said his parents came to Canada in 1928 from communist-run Yugoslavia, looking for a better life, and it was for that reason that he joined.

    Terry Hall’s family was the starting point for the collection. He has eight family members – Halls and Hamiltons – featured on the poster. Hall’s grandfather, mother, father, uncles and cousins are pictured.

    “My family was the starting point. I kept looking at that picture … a dry, dusty list of names … that people just walk by,” said Hall, referring to a list on the wall of the church. “They’re not just faceless names on a wall.

    “They were ordinary people like you and I … who never dreamt of going off to war. But they did it. They volunteered.

    “Ten laid down their lives.”

    Small red crosses are placed on the photos of the 10 who lost their lives in action, including three brothers – Douglas, Hugh and Mack Reynolds – all pilot officers in the RCAF during the Second World War. They were from a family of nine, who all went to war, including their sister Betty.

    Hall, 63, who served in a machine gun unit in the Canadian Army, said he made two promises to the Christ Church congregation. The first was to write the history of the church, which is the oldest military church in Canada having been the garrison church for Fort Malden. He finished it during the summer.

    The second was the commemorative poster.

    The project took Hall five years to complete.

    “The patriotism that these people had, I look at that and I think we should honour that,” Hall said.

    David Hollingsworth agrees.

    Hollingsworth served with the British Forces’ Far East Flying Boat Wing during the Korean War. He signed up at 16 and flew “all over the place,” including Japan, Ceylon, Bornio, the Phillipines and Singapore.

    Born in Rotherham, England, he came to Canada in 1969.

    “I think it’s lovely,” Hollingsworth said after the unveiling.

    Hollingsworth, 81, has been a member of Christ Church since 1973.The tenor can be found singing almost every Sunday in the church’s choir.

    Earl McWhinney, also 81, served as a seaman on two tours of duty in Korea. He signed up at 17.

    McWhinney was stationed on the HMCS Nootka, a tribal class destroyer that escorted ships from other countries and patrolled the coast of Korea.

    “I think it’s fantastic,” said McWhinney, a Windsor native who has lived in Amherstburg for 45 years. “It’s very well done.”

    Cy Curtis, the fifth remaining veteran in the parish was unable to attend Friday. He served during the Second World War.

    Rev. Bill Strang said the congregation will get its first look at the poster during two Remembrance Day services Sunday.

  • More War of 1812 bicentennial events to come to Windsor-Essex

    October 5, 2012
    The Windsor Star

    A period group dressed as soldiers from the 1812 era march in the heritage parade at the Roots to Boots Festival celebrating the bi centennial of the war of 1812, in Amherstburg, Ont., Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (DAX MELMER/The Windsor Star)

    The celebrations marking the War of 1812 bicentennial between Canada and the United States continue next year with big festivities marking the Battle of Lake Erie and the Battle of the Thames.

    According to records, 1813 was a bad year for the British. They lost Fort Detroit, were chased out of southern Ontario to Burlington, York and Niagara were burned, the naval fleet was lost on Lake Erie and an important First Nations leader was slain. Those events will be relived at a multitude of commemorative ceremonies in towns west of Toronto.

    After York and Niagara burned in the spring of 1813, the American naval fleet crushed the British on Sept. 10, 1813 during the Battle of Lake Erie. The British lost control of the Great Lake and were cut off from their supply route. That forced Canadian and British troops and fleeing civilians at Fort Malden to begin retreating along the Thames River toward Burlington.

    On Oct. 5, 1813, the American army caught up with the British and First Nations warriors two kilometres east of Thamesville. The British were defeated and fled to Burlington, while First Nations soldiers continued to fight, giving the British time to get away. First Nations leader Tecumseh was killed during the battle.

    Fort Malden employees are planning a nine-day, 145 kilometre march to the Battle of the Thames site prior to the start of the Oct. 4 bash.

    Walkers will retrace the steps taken by fleeing troops and stay overnight in the same locations. The event is still in the planning stages, but so far it’s estimated there will be four or five hours of walking a day with a break in the afternoon for visits with students for education sessions. There will be campouts in Sandwich, Tecumseh, Belle River and Chatham. Planners are using historical military journals to retrace the route accurately.

    There will be a big celebration Oct. 4 -5, 2013 to mark the historic Battle of the Thames at the battle site. Organizers partnered with First Nations communities from Walpole and Delaware to plan activities that will include a battle re-enactment involving a calvary from Kentucky. There will also be a canoe flotilla down the Thames River from Chatham to the battle site that organizers hope will attract hundreds of canoeists, said David Wesley, project manager for the Battle of the Thames.

    Wesley said the commemoration event will revolve around Tecumseh and his principles. The drama festival, concerts, plays and story telling will be coordinated with the theme for what Tecumseh stood for: he united First Nations people to fight with the British to stop American western expansion and establish a separate nation for First Nations people. While the war ended in a stalemate between the British and Americans, the First Nations people lost.

    “That’s the tragedy of the war,” Wesley said. “The things Tecumseh stood and fought for are still part of life today.”

    Earlier in the summer on Labour Day weekend, Lake Erie communities in conjunction with Put-in-Bay, Ohio will host days of activities to mark the Battle of Lake Erie. About 18 Tall Ships will visit the region with several staying in Amherstburg, Kingsville and Leamington.

    On Labour Day, there will be a naval recreation of the battle on the U.S.-side of the lake. Kingsville Mayor Nelson Santos said planning is underway for the Labour Day weekend that will have a maritime festival theme.

    The town of Essex is planning festivities in mid-July at its Colchester Marina except it hasn’t received funding from the federal government yet to solidify its plans, said Laurie Brett, the town’s communications manager.

  • Serenity Lavender Farm, North 42 Degrees Estate Winery Peace Garden Launch and Dedication

    August 27, 2012

    On September 1, 2012 from 3:00-4:30 Serenity Lavender Farm and North 42 Degrees Estate Winery be launching and decdicating their Peace Garden
    For more information and location CLICK HERE!

  • New Peace Tree to be Planted at Moraviantown Cenotaph

    August 22, 2012
    In 1999 some delegates from the Moraviantown Reserve in Chatham-Kent, Ontario went to Albany New York area and had a meeting with the National Park Service. The meeting was in regards to the burials of Frist Nations people at Deer Island many years ago. These burials went back to approximately 1675 around the time that colonials attacked Frist Nations people with armies from the Boston area.
    Where they met, at the Knickerbocker Mansion site, there was an approximately 350 year old “Peace Tree” representing peace in their area. The tree was so old it had died but some locals had tried to keep it standing by placing steel beams along its exterior to keep it upright.
    It was these memories that were evoked with Darryl Stonefish, a prominent member of the Moraviantown Reserve, was talking of Peace trees with Oneida spiritual leader last Friday at Moraviantown Peace tree site.
    The old Moraviantoen Peace Tree was a tree planted long before European contact and it symbolized peace between two First Nations Groups who had been at war. It is said their weapons were buried beneath the tree to bring about peace.
    In the 1960s, at the Fairfield site in Thamesville, a Maple tree was planted to signify a peace between the United States and Canada, commemorating the end of the War of 1812.
    On October 15, 2012 a new tree will be planted at Moraviantown cenotaph site representing peace in our region.

  • Capture of Detroit in Windsor this Saturday!

    August 22, 2012

    Click here for more information about this weekend’s Capture of Detroit

  • Thamesville’s Corn Maize Draws Attention to Tecumseh!

    August 21, 2012

    “Yes, the rumour is correct. Once again Chief Tecumseh is in the field. He looks great,” states Ingrid Dieleman, the organizer of the annual corn maize located at R.R#6, 12768 Longwoods Rd. (Hwy 2) Thamesville, Ontario. The giant corn maize shows a full-body likeness of Tecumseh, the Shawnee leader who united a First Nations confederacy and whose life ended during the War of 1812. The Battle of the Thames, near Thamesville happened on October 5, 1813.

    Tecumseh is known throughout Canada and the United States as a prolific leader and his role in shaping South West Ontario’s history is especially significant. Dieleman explains, “We went with Chief Tecumseh this year because we really felt that he was worth the attention especially in this area…to know that he walked along our shoreline is pretty cool.”

    The Thamesville Corn Maize is one of many initiatives throughout the province that honours Tecumseh. Canada Post launched a Tecumseh Stamp, and the Federal Government has identified Tecumseh as one of the four highlighted War of 1812 figures in its national campaign. In Chatham-Kent, local community members are working towards a major update of the current Tecumseh Monument east of Thamesville, the route taken by Tecumseh’s warriors and the British as they were being pursued by the Americans will be marked by the Tecumseh Parkway, which is also featured in a Smart Phone App and the Battle of the Thames committee is working diligently to plan a large scale event on October 4-5, 2013.
    The Thamesville Corn Maize won’t be around for much longer though as the corn season is coming to a close, so we are encouraging everyone to get out to the corn maize and get “lost” in history.

    Hours of Operation
    Monday through Thursday Group Reservations
    Friday 6:00pm-10:00pm
    Saturday 10:00am-10:00pm
    Sunday 1:00pm-5:00pm

    To arrange interviews or for further information:
    Thamesville Maize Owners and Operators
    Ken and Ingrid Dieleman
    Tel: 519 692 5451

  • Artist’s 1812 Tributes Showcased to help build Trust for Community Artists

    August 10, 2012

    “The Turtle and the Lion”, the Twin Crown Jewels of the Canadian Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Tributes to Tecumseh and Brock.

    “I was inspired by the wish to honour these Men in the manner of an elegant and opulent Florentine Art usually reserved for Emperors and Kings.” This is a work of engraved enamel on glass inlaid with 23 K solid gold, a new Canadian method developed by the Artist who also made the frames and the hand-carved Sacred Plants of Tobacco, Sweet Grass, Sage and Cedar, as well as the Snapping Turtle head, the Lion’s head and the Mameluk Sabre.

    The Turtle and the Lion each hold a 10 foot sash of pure red silk signifying the highest of sacrifices.

    The Coat of Arms of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, in enamel and gold, commissioned by Oliver Brock of Guernsey, are the Arms awarded to John Brock, Isaac’s Father, and to his descendants, for use on any memorial created in honour of Major-general Sir Isaac Brock.

    It is the wish of the Artist that the proceeds from the purchase of the Tributes, at the end of the Celebrations, be awarded to a Trust for the Artists of our Community and that the Tributes be given as a Legacy to the Communiuty was funded by the Artist without any financial assistance. Anyone wising to help or participate in this cause is most welcome to contact the Artist at: studio.,

    To access a photo album of the tributes please ‘like’ MAURO MAVRINAC on Facebook.

  • “Incredible” turnout for Amherstburg Roots to Boots festival

    August 4, 2012
    The Windsor Star by Kristie Pearce

    From muskets and cannons to beauty queens and stilt walkers, the Amherstburg War of 1812 bicentennial parade ended with a cheering crowd and confetti in the street.

    Thousands, who lined Dalhousie Street from Pickering Street to Fort Malden on Saturday, applauded the marching bands, Native dancers and decorated horses.

    The hard work of 300 volunteers did not go unnoticed as spectators raved about the hour-long, “impressive,” show.

    “It was fantastic, especially for a small town,” Amy Soucie of Amherstburg said while standing with her husband, two kids and mother-in-law.

    Ava, 2, and Isabelle, 4, were especially thrilled with the horses, stilt walkers and costumed dogs, they said.

    “And mom and grandma liked the men in uniforms,” Soucie’s husband Mike chimed in.

    Anne Rota, manager of Amherstburg tourism and culture, was elated with the Roots to Boots Festival turnout. The $400,000, pricetag was paid mostly by grants from the provincial Trillium Foundation, Heritage Canada and regional donors.

    She estimated 10,000 people attended the parade alone. Thousands more attended events throughout the weekend celebrating the town’s War of 1812 history.

    “It’s indescribable,” Rota said in between snapping photos and cheering on passing floats. “Two hundred years of peace and The War of 1812 really is the reason why we are Canadian. Had we not won the war we would be flying a different flag today.”

    The parade kicked off a slew of 1812 events including an original stage musical by Theatre Intrigue Society; historical scenes performed by Provincial Marine and First Nations re-enactors; concerts by Juno winner Chantal Kreviazuk, and several Windsor folk singers; a display of mural paintings by students of General Amherst high school; art displays at two galleries; tall ship appearances; historic cricket matches, and various guest speakers and readers at the public library.

    The celebration four years in the making ran Friday to Sunday.

    Rota was almost brought to tears by the “amazing” response.

    “It’s just very patriotic and I think people here today are full of civic pride,” she said as she looked around at Canadian flags waving in hands and sticking out of hats.

    A Tavern on the River featured period food and drink.

    Executive Chef Mike Jimmerfield of St. Clair College Centre for the Arts said the menu was inspired by food the soldiers ate, with native influences.

    He was cooking chicken and salt pork with wild rice, salmon with corn, beans and squash, and short ribs with potatoes and carrots.

  • Brock’s Landing- Wheatley Event

    Click here for Wheatley’s Information Poster

    July 25, 2012

    As part of the commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association and the Wheatley Fish Festival, with the support of Heritage Canada, will be hosting a re-enactment of General Isaac Brock’s landing at Sand Island, Wheatley in 1812.
    The event will take place on Monday August 6 at noon (12:00 p.m EST) at the Taylor Beach at the foot of Pier Rd on the Wheatley shoreline. This landing area remains largely untouched from the time of the original event.

    Brock was reported to have landed in this vicinity on approximately this date 200 years ago en route to his taking command of British forces at Amherstburg and his subsequent capture of Fort Detroit.
    The re-enactment will include the transport of Brock in full uniform to the shore in a long boat manned by the Provincial Marine, also in full uniform, his landing and an anticipated meeting with aboriginals and local settlers. Following a brief address, Brock will mingle with those in attendance while local folk singers David and Sharon Light and Dale Butler perform their original 1812 themed songs. A few remarks by local politicians are also anticipated. At the end of the event all will be invited to attend a perch dinner at the Legion in downtown Wheatley at which David and Sharon Light and Dale Butler will also perform. The entire event is to be captured on videotape and result in an edited record meant to be available to schools and other public institutions.

    This event will be a wonderful opportunity to witness a colourful replication of local history, tied to a national hero and his actions which secured the country that became known as Canada.
    The support of this event by Heritage Canada is gratefully acknowledged.

    For further information, please contact John McDonald at 519-736-2573 or or Sue Adamson at519-825-3360 or

  • Explore the Shore Weekend is Coming Up!

    July 20, 2012

    3rd Annual Explore the Shore Weekend
    July 28 and 29, 2012
    11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    We are getting ready to welcome you to the 3rd annual Explore the Shore weekend along the scenic and historic County Road 50, on the north shore of Lake Erie, in the Town of Essex, just south of Harrow. Twenty-nine businesses, recreational facilities and community groups are participating on the weekend of July 28 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

    We are excited to have 5 new participants this year: Farm Dogs Cycles with a bike rodeo, Ravine Cottages with tours of the Tin Can Tourists vintage trailers, historic Christ Church Colchester with tours and a delicious lunch, Communities in Bloom with their plans for a Peace Garden in Colchester, and a unique tour of the new North 42 Degrees Estate Winery. Our returning participants are planning a full slate of activities and local products, including the opening of Oxley Estate Winery, live entertainment, wine tastings, fresh produce, pioneer crafts and activities, vineyard and orchard tours, artwork, gift shops, hair studio and florals. We have expanded to 12 locations offering food specials, including ice cream cones, wood-fired pizza, BBQs and picnic lunches.

    Learn more about County Road 50 in the 1812 era by exploring our 1812 Scavenger Hunt, trying a musket ball putting competition at Oxley Beach Golf Course, cruising on a Tall Ship at Colchester Harbour, buying Chief Tecumseh tee-shirts, and reading a new tour book by local authors on the history of County Road 50. Enjoy our beaches, conservation areas, and especially the free Clubhouse Kidz Zone at the Colchester Beach and Harbour (with games, crafts, treasure hunt, and sandcastle building contest).

    Bring a canned good for the Harrow Food Bank, and support our other charity events chosen by each participant.

    Check out the website at or follow us on Twitter.

    For more information contact Ann Wilson, 519-564-8914 or

  • Official Peace Garden Launch Release: Colchester and Windsor Community Museum

    July 18, 2012

    2012 Peace Garden Launch: Windsor and Colchester Media Release
    Come to our Peace Garden Launches this week!

  • François Baby House Peace Garden Launch

    July 17, 2012

    Windsor’s Community Museum, the City of Windsor,

    the Museum Volunteer Group, the Greater Windsor Horticultural Society,

    Binational Alliance, and Binational Heritage Peace Garden Partners


    Invite You to Join Us For

    The Launch of the

    François Baby House Peace Garden


    Thursday, July 19th, 2012

    2:00 pm to 4:30 pm

    Windsor’s Community Museum

    254 Pitt Street West,

    Windsor, Ontario N9A 5L5


    Free birthday cake, children’s activities, outdoor music, crafts, face painting, bubbles, gallery tours, and refreshing lemonade in celebration of the 200th Birthday of the François Baby House and launch of our site as part of the War of 1812 Binational Heritage Peace Garden Trail.


    For more information, please call (519) 253-1812.

  • War of 1812 Remembered in River Canard

    War of 1812 remembered in River Canard

    CBC News

    Posted: Jul 16, 2012 2:41 PM ET

    It was 200 years ago July 16, that American and British troops engaged in the first battle of the war of 1812.

    Two British soldiers engaged 280 invading Americans at River Canard, Ont., southwest of Windsor.

    Private James Hancock was the first British soldier to die in the War of 1812. His partner, John Dean, was wounded and taken prisoner. Both men were commended by General Sir Isaac Brock.

    Historians in River Canard commemorated the event Monday.

    Ron Lapointe helped organize the event. All the major Canadian players were represented.

    “We have groups honouring all aspects of the forces that gathered there 200 years ago. So you’ve got the First Nation there; you have the provincial marine; the local soldiers that were there at the time; and British soldiers as well,” he said.

    The ceremony featured a number of actors and re-enactments.

  • Roots to Boots Festival Map and Itinerary

    July 17, 2012

    All aboard!!


    August 3,4,5 – check out the Bicentennial Roots To Boots map and itinerary. Action packed and so exciting! Make Amherstburg your 1812 headquarters. 200 years in the making. It’s authentic and it’s real!


    Circle your favorite activities and get here early – additional parking and free shuttle service from Honeywell parking lot.


    See you soon mates! for complete listing and musical line up.

    Click here for the: Roots To Boots Festival Map

    Click here for the: Roots to Boots Itinerary

  • Windsor-Essex 1812 Cycling Tour

    Come cycle through Windsor-Essex on our newly designed cycling tours!

    Click here for our cycling tour map!

  • Wheatly Fish Festival











  • Pelee Days Inn Dinner Theatre














  • The War of 1812 Gets an App!

    War of 1812 gets an app

    By Kristie Pearce, The Windsor Star
    June 25, 2012

    Kyra Knapp shows off a brand new smart phone application that highlights the War of 1812 as part of the bicentennial celebration at Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre Saturday, June 24, 2012.
    Photograph by: Kristie Pearce , The Windsor Star


    WINDSOR, Ont. — We’ve all heard of U.S. Route 66, but have you ever travelled Route 1812?

    Thanks to Western University public history students, now you can.

    A team of 12 students spent their academic year researching and creating a smart phone application called Route 1812.

    The app, that works on tablets or touch phones, is a historic southern Ontario driving trail that highlights sites and stories from the War of 1812.

    “So you can drive literally all the way from Amherstburg to Thamesville and stop along the spots on the route,” project facilitator Kyra Knapp said Saturday at Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre during the app’s launch. “The purpose is really to draw people to the region and to show them all the great sites that may have not heard about.”

    The group of master’s students compiled music, images and video accompanied by narration, which guides the user along paths used during the war in a loop from Toronto to Amherstburg.

    In addition to the interactive history lesson, the GPS navigable app features local restaurants and hotels to stop at along the way.

    Knapp said it’s up to users how they want to experience the app, which can be done in sections or over a long period of time.

    The app is a legacy project, Knapp said, to commemorate this year’s bicentennial of The War of 1812.

    The Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation provided funding for the app.

    “Whether you’re from the region and or you’re not, we want people to learn the history of why the War of 1812 was so important here.”

    Jim Hudson, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation executive director, said they wanted to take advantage of the “new wave” of technology.

    “It’s not a wave of soldiers crossing over to have the first battle at River Canard, but it’s certainly a wave of how we get to people in the future, ” Hudson said.

    In 2008, Hudson said only 8,000 apps existed in the world. Now Hudson said that number has grown to 1.3 million.

    To access the app go to 1812. or, where users can scan a QR code to view and save the app to their touch phone or tablet device.

    © Copyright (c) The Windsor Star

    Read more: 


  • Farm Dog Cycle Tours!


    Call to Artists!

    Click here for Mural Locations

    Deadline for Submissions: Wednesday August 15, 2012 at 12 noon
    Commission and award announcement: Start of Symbolic March from Sandwich Towne to Festival Plaza on Saturday August 25 2012 at 10:00 a.m.
    Project unveiling: Monday February 18, 2013
    Please send all applications electronically to:
    The WindsorEssex Community Foundation and the City of Windsor with funding from the Canadian Department of Heritage is inviting artists to participate in a mural project in Olde Sandwich Towne. There will be two murals created and installed as part of this project.
    The murals need to focus on the commemoration of the war of 1812, helping our community to celebrate 200 years of Peace between Canada and the United States of America in an interesting and unique way.
    Project Intent:
    As part of Windsor’s commemoration of the War of 1812, two murals will be created. One is to be located in Patterson Park (marked with yellow star on attached map) and the other is to be located in Mill Street Park (marked with yellow star on attached map). Application may be made by an individual artist or by a group of artist collaborators. Applications may be made for one or both of the locations of the mural project.
    The competition is open to artists living within Canada.
    Total budget for the murals project is $25,000 or $12,500 per mural. This fee will be inclusive of all project costs including but not limited to: Artist fees General administration expenses All materials and labour Fabrication costs including third contracted or third party fees Shipping, delivery and installation costs including equipment rentals, labour, utility locates, structural/foundation work (foundation needs to consider wind load) Stamped engineering drawings need to be provided to City of Windsor staff prior to the installation of the piece
    Selection criteria: (25%) Sensitivity and relevance to the commemoration of the War of 1812 and 200 years of Peace between Canada and the United States of America (25%) Creativity of approach (25%) Technical Capacity to include : Durability and maintenance requirements, understanding of project and methodology (25%) Experience to include: capacity to plan and execute a large scale mural, quality of work as demonstrated in documentation of past work
    Site Considerations:
    Both locations within Olde Sandwich Towne are within community parks and as such consideration must be taken in terms of potential vandalism and graffiti.
    There is no requirement for the mural to fill a huge area, but scale is important and attention must be paid to the park setting. The piece can be as large as the artist wishes with the understanding that the artist will be required to provide engineer stamped drawings of their proposed design and installation procedures in order to ensure a secure foundation. Wind loads must also be taken into consideration.
    The selected mural will not feature any nudity, contemporary political themes or religious imagery, nor will it promote violence, hatred, or contempt against any group on the basis of colour, race, ancestry, religion, or ethnic origin.
    Submission to include: A letter of interest Current artist curriculum vitae of all collaborative members Electronic access to an online portfolio A project description and renderings of their proposed design Image and identification sheet to include size and materials used in proposed mural Project timelines Names and contact information of three references familiar with your work A completed Submission Checklist (included in this document)
    * Please note submission will not be returned to artist
    The Selection Committee:
    The Mural Selection Committee will evaluate the design proposals and will select an artist to fabricate and install their design using the selection criteria listed above.
    The Mural Selection Committee may consist of a representative from: Olde Sandwich Towne BIA, Sandwich Teen Advisory Group (STAG), the Arts Council of Windsor and Region, the City of Windsor, the Community Public Art Advisory Committee and the WindsorEssex Community Foundation.
    Submission Checklist:
    o A letter of interest
    o Current curriculum vitae of each artist or collaborative partner
    o Electronic access to an online portfolio
    o A project description and renderings of the proposed design
    o Image and identification sheet to include size and materials used in proposal
    o Project timelines
    o Names and contact information of three references familiar with your work
    o A completed Submission Checklist
    * Please note submission will not be returned to artist

  • The Chatham-Kent Museum Selected to Host the Canadian War Museum’s Travelling 1812 Exhibit

    The Chatham-Kent Museum was able to meet the rigorous facility requirements (conservation, security, etc.) and has been approved by the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa to host their travelling exhibit – 1812. The 1500 square foot exhibit will be on display in the museum from December 21, 2013 to March 16, 2014. The exhibit presents a new and dramatic account of the War of 1812 as seen through the eyes of its Canadian, American, British and First Peoples participants, for whom it had surprisingly different meanings and consequences. It will feature approximately 50 artifacts, including paintings, including portraits, landscapes, and battle scenes; musical instruments; uniforms, weapons, and accoutrements; small scale dioramas; and audiovisual components to create strong environmental immersive experiences for visitors. This groundbreaking exhibit has its official opening at the Canadian War Museum on June 12, 2012.

  • Essex County Council Shows Support: War of 1812 Commemoration Declaration

    War of 1812 Commemoration Declaration

    18 May, 2012

    Essex County Council, at its May 16th, 2012 meeting, made the following declaration:

    Resolution 117-12

    Moved by Mr. McNamara
    Seconded by Mr. Wright

    WHEREAS in 2007, both the Canadian Provincial and Federal governments recognized the War of 1812 as an integral event in our nation’s history and, subsequently designated the South West Region (encompassing Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex) as a prominent part of that history; and

    WHEREAS the South West Region War of 1812 commemoration has proven to be beneficial for local government, business, tourism and cultural awareness, and Essex County municipalities are actively participating in 1812 commemorations; and

    WHEREAS 2012 to 2014 marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812.  Throughout the year 2012, Windsor-Essex will host numerous events, activities, and educational programming to commemorate the bicentennial including: large-scale festivals, book releases, the creation of area-specific War of 1812 music, and museum exhibits; and

    WHEREAS in commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, we are reminded of this seminal event in our history and in our nation’s present;

    NOW THEREFORE, the Council of the County of Essex hereby declares June 1 to December 31, 2012 to be a PERIOD OF COMMEMORATION FOR THE WAR OF 1812.

  • Hundreds of students commemorate War of 1812

    Students commemorate the War of 1812 Thursday at Fort Malden. (CBC News)

    Approximately 300 students from Canada and the U.S. gathered Thursday at historic Fort Malden to commemorate the War of 1812 and celebrate 200 years of peace between the countries.

    The Path to Peace ArtFest 2012 has been nearly seven months in the making and involved five schools and several government agencies from each side of the border.

    “The whole idea of it is to bring the Canadian students together with the American students to learn about the War of 1812 but also about the peace that exists between Britain, Canada and the United States,” said Blanca Stransky of the U.S. National Parks Service.

    The students first met in October 2011 when 150 students from Windsor-Essex met 150 students from Bellevue, Ohio, at the Paths to Peace Symposium in Put-In-Bay, Ohio.

    Students remained in contact online until Thursday, when the American students were in Amherstburg to return the visit.

    Students on both sides of the border created artistic presentations, including theatre, dance and puppetry, to commemorate the War of 1812 and the peace that followed.

    Riley Little, a Grade 7 student from Stella Maris elementary school in Amherstburg, Ont., chose to tell the story of two brothers — one of whom died — who fled the war. In her tale, one brother buried the other.

    “I just wanted to show the actual reality of how tough it was for them,” Little said. “One thing that really struck me is how hard it was. It would just be crazy to live in a time like that.”

    Daniel Reljic is a Grade 6 student from Dr. David Suzuki public school in Windsor. He and his fellow students performed a dance.

    “We wanted to do something to show people about peace,” Reljic said.

    He called the entire project “amazing.”

    “I didn’t know anything about the War of 1812. From October to now, I’ve learned so much,” he said.

    Students were split on who actually won the war.

    “No one was right. There was no winner,” Reljic said.

    Stransky agreed.

    “The War of 1812 really had no winners. It’s open for interpretation,” she said. “The overall value of this project is that we came together as strangers in October and we’re leaving as friends and that’s really was the lasting legacy of the War of 1812; international peace between countries.”

  • Ontario commemorates the War of 1812

    The fog of war: War of 1812 battle re-enactments will take place at several historic sites across southern Ontario


    Ontario commemorates the War of 1812

    Published Saturday, May. 12, 2012 9:48AM EDT
    Last updated Thursday, May. 17, 2012 10:05AM EDT

    This summer marks the bi-centennial of the War of 1812, the last military conflict between British North America and the United States. Still, when your neighbour is the most powerful nation on Earth, why not throw a few taunts in his direction?

    “It’s all in good fun,” explains Cathy Masterson, manager for Cultural Affairs, City of Windsor. “We invited the Americans to join.”

    The August 25 event marks the capture of Detroit with a symbolic march from historic Sandwich Town, home to some of Ontario’s oldest buildings, to downtown Windsor. The event encourages friendship as much as it recalls the bravery of British General Brock and Shawnee warrior Tecumseh. Keen to have company, the locals will stage a full day of entertainment.

    Where history was less dramatic, events build on local enthusiasm. Take the town of Leamington. One night in 1812, General Brock and his fleet camped on the shores of Point Pelee before travelling west to Amherstburg. The municipality and partners have planned an entire day (July 28) loosely interpreting this pause, sailing to Pelee Island for a winery lunch and a voyageur-themed canoe race followed by fur trading re-enactments, traditional native smudging ceremonies, drumming and dancing.


    Today, tour boats ply the eastern end of Lake Ontario, cruising toward the scenic Thousand Islands. But two centuries ago, dockyards bristled with preparations for war. In 1809, the Royal Naval Dockyard in Kingston launched the largest war-ship on Lake Ontario, the heavily armed, three-masted square-rigged, HMS Royal George.

    That famous vessel is commemorated when dozens of ships gather at Bath and Kingston, June 29 to July 1, for encampments, battle recreations and a naval engagement that marks the flight of the Royal George from pursuing American ships in 1812.

    Tall ships also arrive in Essex County at Colchester Harbour on July 20 for a War of 1812 Festival weekend featuring re-enactor camps, ship-to-shore gun battle, entertainment, deck tours and public cruises.

    Bikinis meet redcoats when some 500 re-enactors invade Wasaga Beach (Aug. 17 to 19) to demonstrate marine assault tactics and man 19th century-like merchant booths.


    For landlubbers, Amherstburg’s Roots to Boots event (Aug. 3 to 5) promises re-enactors on every corner. While local women cook historical fare on an open hearth, actors portraying Chief Tecumseh and General Brock will mingle with the public. A new musical, Spirit of a Nation, premieres at Fort Malden and fireworks light up the Detroit River.

    Battle re-enactments—often involving hundreds of volunteer “soldiers”—form a good portion of the 1812 commemorations, but few are as well rehearsed as the Battle of Stoney Creek (June 2–3), now in its 31st year. Bayonets flash through the smoke-filled fields and musket fire rings in your ears. Off the battlefield, meet the fighting men and their women as you stroll through soldiers’ encampments; shop for period goods from bonnets to moose hide moccasins.

    On August 6, Burlington celebrates the Joseph Brant Day Festival, in honour of Brant’s Mohawk heritage and the important role his son John played in the War of 1812. Expect First Nations cultural interpretations as well as re-enactments by period British and American military, refreshment stands, artisans and vendors—even a ghost walk.

    Walk in the footsteps of soldiers at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake and experience the thrill of battle music when fife and drum corps demonstrate how musical sig-nals rallied troops and communicated orders on the battlefield.

    Long after the last commemorative canon shot is fired, the inspiration will linger at Niagara’s Queenston Heights. General Brock fell in battle, but his towering monument rises high enough to be seen across the river by the invaders he helped repel. Just a bit of harmless taunting you can enjoy any time.

  • River Front Fireworks Party-June 25

  • USA and Canadian Students to Reunite in Canada

    May 14, 2012

    Contact:               Debra Polich  

                                    Artrain, Inc. 

                                    734.747.8300 ext. 701


    USA and Canadian Students to Reunite in Canada

    Paths to Peace ArtFest 2012

    Commemorates the War of 1812 and 200 Years of Peace between Nations

    Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada – 300 USA and Canadian students will be reunited on May 17, 2012 in Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada.  The students first met in October 2011 when 150 Windsor-Essex Ontario, CA students traveled across Lake Erie to meet 150 students from Bellevue, OH for the first Paths to Peace Symposium in Put-In-Bay, OH, USA, home of the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (PVIPM.)   During the Paths to Peace Symposium, students received instruction from War of 1812 content specialists from Canada, the United States and First Nations/American Indians and participated in workshops and interpretive activities conducted by their artist mentors.

    Now it is time for the American students to travel to Amherstburg to visit their Canadian friends and participate in the Paths to Peace 2012 ArtFest

    Since their meeting in October the American and Canadian students have remained in contact via Skype.  They have been sharing what they have learned about their respective community’s ties to the War of 1812, artists/craftsman of the times, peace movements and international relations.  At the same time, students have been busy with their artist mentors creating theater, dance, puppetry, storytelling and visual art that reflects and interprets their learning.   Students will present their work to their international friends at the Paths to Peace ArtFest 2012 on May 17th in Amherstburg, Ontario.

    In addition to sharing their performances and works of art, students will be treated to tours of historic Amherstburg and enjoy activities at Fort Malden lead by Parks Canada staff with assistance from National Park Service staff from Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.

    Paths to Peace: A War of 1812 Arts Legacy Project is an international history and art education project targeting middle school students from Canada and the United States that coincides with the bicentennial of the War of 1812 – years 2012 through 2015.  Paths to Peace interprets the War of 1812 and the long-lasting peace between nations that were once at war –Canada/Britain, First Nations/American Indians and the United States – from multiple perspectives and through the cultural arts.

    The international community pairings for 2012, the pilot year of Paths to Peace, has matched students from the regions of Windsor/Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada and Bellevue, Ohio, USA.  Seven artists from these regions joined forces with teachers to augment classroom curriculum and provide artistic instruction.

    Paths to Peace provides a life-long learning experience while educating future generations about an important piece of history that is fairly unknown to both American and Canadian residents. It also connects students to the concrete historical sites, the social and cultural milieu

    of the time, the war’s outcome of 200 years of peace and results in the creation of artworks, both visual and performing, speaking to that legacy.  Through international dialogue students learn about one another’s history and cultures and are given the opportunity to appreciate the very real differences in national interpretations of historical events. 

    Program Organizers, Historic Sites and School Participants:

    United States of America

    -        Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, National Park Service, Put-in-Bay, OH (project partner)

    -        Artrain, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI (project partner)

    -        Bellevue City School District, Bellevue, OH

    o   Bellevue Middle School

    -        Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, Put-in-Bay, OH


    -        Fort Malden National Historic Site, Parks Canada, Amherstburg, Ontario

    -        Town of Amherstburg, Ontario-A War of 1812 Community, Amherstburg, Ontario

    -        Greater Essex County District School Board

    o   Amherstburg Public School, Amherstburg, Ontario

    o   General Brock Public School, Windsor, Ontario

    o   Dr. David Suzuki Public School, Windsor, Ontario

    -        Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board

    o   Stella Maris Elementary, Amherstburg, Ontario

    -        1812 Project – Southwest Ontario Region, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island

  • Welcome Home Chatham-Kent

    The Friends of the Tecumseh Monument will be exhibiting their 3D model and redevlopment plans at this event for young professionals.



  • Toronto Star – War of 1812: Re-enacting the Battle of Longwoods

    May 12, 2012 – Toronto Star

    DELAWARE, ONT.—It’s 5 a.m. on a Saturday when Jim Niddery coaxes the previous night’s coals into a fresh fire, readies two blackened coffee pots on the grill, and then retreats to his tent for a few winks.

    An hour later, the coffee is bubbling away as another soldier from the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada emerges from his small white tent and settles himself uneasily onto a nearby chair.

    “How’s the old head?” Niddery wonders.

    “I don’t get pain. I just get dizzy.”

    “Want another drink?” taunts Niddery.

    There had been many of same scant hours before, at what has become a first-night tradition whenever those portraying the Incorporated Militia come together to help re-create a War of 1812 battle, in this case the 1814 Battle of Longwoods near present-day London.

    This would be the ritual port tasting in a large, white tent that serves as officers’ mess, with 13 bottles on offer the previous night, among them a 20-year-old tawny port from Taylor Fladgate.

    But before any lips could embrace a port-laden silver glass, another tradition had to be observed — the first of three formal toasts, one customarily given by the man most recently enlisted.

    Which would, in the event, be yours truly, a freshly minted private with the 2nd Lincoln Militia Artillery.

    “To his grand and glorious majesty, King George III, his heirs and successors. Gentlemen, The King.”

    All: “The King.”

    There followed a toast to the regiments — with sundry members of The Incorporated Militia, the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles (the “Glennies”), the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (the “R & Rs”), the 2nd Lincoln Militia and even the opposing 102nd U.S. Infantry in attendance — and then a toast to the fallen, the absent friends.

    This was all starting to seem like a lovely little war.

    Until, that is , you come to the buttons, which in period costume means a great many.

    There are buttons on your woollen vest and buttons on your woollen jacket, both of which cover a long-sleeved, white cotton shirt that drapes to your knees.

    This is a little problematic when it comes to the buttons on your trousers, what with all that cotton inevitably bunched-up around your middle.

    There are, to begin, the three buttons that secure your trousers at the waist. Then comes the trickier bit involving a kind of drawbridge flap just below that, which you have to fold in on itself and then raise one end up to the waist, where it’s secured with two more buttons.

    The bunched-up cotton, the folding of the flap — it all makes you feel so paunchy that you start wondering whether all the worthies portrayed in old oil paintings were really as fat as they seem.

    There is, however, just one problem. The black boots on offer from John Sek of the 2nd Lincoln are several sizes too small. So it’s time to improvise, which involves the story’s only connection to fly fishing: I grab my felt-soled wading boots from the truck. Dark green and black, at least they won’t be as conspicuous as white sneakers.

    “Nobody looks at your feet,” assures Sek, who’d come up with the offer of a uniform after learning that my great-great-great-great-grandfather had been wounded in the Battle of York in 1813, while serving with the 1st York Militia.

    Now suitably garbed in white trousers, red vest, blue jacket and blue-and-red cap, it’s easy to start feeling the part.

    It’s also funny how tunes from HMS Pinafore start popping into your head, unbidden, the music of one performance art migrating to another.

    For he himself has said it/and it’s greatly to his credit/that he is a Englishman/that he is-is a-a Eng-eng-eng-eng-eng-eng-eng-eng-enggglishman.

    Off in the woods, the more zealous enthusiasts are already doing an early morning skirmish — essentially an excuse to run around the forest, hide behind trees and fire muskets before the real business gets underway.

    “Why you get into this stuff is personal,” says Sek. “Some guys are absolute purists, but the majority of us are here to have fun.”

    Sek’s personal delight is firing his custom-built replica cannon, a two-pounder for those keeping score at home. During battle re-enactments, he and all the others will only use gunpowder, sans cannon balls or grapeshot.

    But the guys with cannons all seem to have friends with enough acreage elsewhere to let them safely fire away with all sorts of projectiles when they’re not off on re-enacting weekends — everything from golf balls to pig-iron window weights cut into smaller pieces.

    Then there’s the particular genius of Richard Waddington, who’s discovered that tall and slim beer cans, cut in half and filled with plaster, make for dandy ammunition.

    He’s here portraying the gun crew of a landing party from HMS Magnet, the latest iteration of a re-enactment career that’s already spanned 37 years.

    Waddington confides that his fascination with all things military goes back to when he was 7 years old, on D-Day. Now he’s the proud owner of a full cannon rig, a three-pounder that set him back $6,000.

    “I cancelled my life insurance, paid for my funeral, and bought my cannon,” he says, grinning.

    For others, it’s a love of history, one reason Norm Drouillard, a private with the Glengarry Light, has been doing it for 25 years, although he’s cut back to maybe six events per year from as many as 15 in the past. “I have a good, loving wife I hope to keep as a good, loving wife.”

    Drouillard says the real attraction is social, and since the Battle of Longwoods kicks off the marching season, there’s an extra frisson in the air, which is why he can scarcely get to the washroom without being stopped every few paces by someone he hasn’t seen in months.

    And the older you get, the dicier such delays become. “It can get critical really quick,” he says.

    And then there are all those buttons.

    Richard Feltoe , the mutton-chopped Geordie who’s captain of the Incorporated Militia, is barking out a long series of commands, all set in 4/4 time.

    Present arms

    Reverse arms

    Rest on arms reversed


    Present arms

    Shoulder arms

    The drilling had begun in earnest after breakfast, but this is a new one, which essentially starts with twisting and turning your musket out front of you and then putting it under your left arm with the barrel sticking out behind, which you then secure by reaching behind your back with your right arm.

    As the token guest from the 2nd Lincoln, yours truly has become the sole member of the Incorporated’s third rank, behind two other lines of men when firing.

    We spend a goodly amount of time drilling (Secure arms/fix bayonet/shoulder arms. . . ) and then drilling some more (Make ready/p’sent/fire), as well as much marching (To the right, oblique) and regrouping in various ways (Dress left).

    It’s all about building muscle memory, so you don’t have to think about any of the commands, which come thick and furious in the field. Wielding a standard-issue, 12.5-pound “Brown Bess” musket just inches from the next soldier, there’s no room for error when it comes to bayonets and ramrods.

    Hence the strict rules about the formation and movement of British Army and Canadian militia units, since in any battle they all come together and act in unison.

    As a British Army “Book” or manual from 1807 insists, it’s all about conformity:

    “To attain this important purpose, it is necessary to reconcile celerity with order; to prevent hurry, which must always produce confusion, loss of time, unsteadiness, irresolution, inattention to command, &c; to ensure precision and correctness, by which alone great bodies will be able to arrive at their object in good order, and in the shortest space of time.. . . ”

    On this day — hosted by those playing The Royal Scots, a regular army regiment dating to 1633 — there are several hundred re-creators on site, portraying more than two dozen regiments. They’ve come from as far away as Ottawa and Ohio, and almost all of them have camped out overnight in period tents, cooking on open fires.

    By mid-afternoon, all the British and Canadian regiments are coming together for the first real battle. As was the custom 200 years ago, we march and wheel (or turn sharply) in a long, narrow column, designed to let us turn quickly in any direction to fire on the enemy.

    After marching along a gravel roadway, we halt. Several regiments ahead of us continue marching up a hill and beyond some trees. The sound of musket-fire and cannon is soon reverberating.

    Then it’s our turn to march up the hill, this time in front of the trees, until we come to the top of a small meadow. The whole column quickly reassembles as a line, two and three men deep, to face the enemy, who’ve already been engaged by the first regiments to climb the hill.

    The air is thick with the smoke of cannon and musket fire. The Americans in the meadow look more like a very loose huddle, with those portraying the Kentucky Volunteers, the 19th U.S. Infantry and the like firing on bended knee.

    They’re no match for the wall of musket fire coming from the British and Canadian line, which begins to advance, sidestepping those playing dead, until the Americans flee into the nearby woods.

    Just behind the Incorporated, a redcoat is lying face down on the grass next to a Kentucky rifleman, the two convulsed in giggles.

    This isn’t how the actual Battle of Longwoods played out all those years ago. In 1814, the Americans had lined up behind a log barricade and, thus protected, managed to rout a British and Indian force almost twice as large.

    But it’s become a tradition on re-enactment weekends that one side is triumphant on the Saturday, with the other claiming glory on Sunday. Come the morrow, says Feltoe, “we die like carp.”

    This is partly a practical matter. Relatively few re-enactors come from the U.S. to take part in War of 1812 battles, which the Americans lost more often than not.

    “If you’ve got guys from the U.S. and they are constantly getting the crap beaten out of them, they wouldn’t be too keen on always turning out,” says Feltoe.

    And even at that, Canadians often end up portraying Americans just to get the numbers right. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment ends up doing this so often they’ve been dubbed “the cross-dressers” by some of their peers.

    “It’s a game,” says Feltoe. “We’re all in this for fun.”

    Or, as our sergeant, Paul Kelly, likes to put it: “You get to be 12 years old.”

    The Incorporated Militia

    The Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada were created in 1813 to help fight off American invasion.

    As new, full-time regiments, they were in addition to the existing, part-time militia (which tended to train infrequently) and the fencible regiments, like the Glengarry Light Infantry (militia trained as if they were regular British Army).

    For the soldiers, being in the Incorporated had its advantages. While serving, they would be free from taxes, and couldn’t be sued or arrested for any outstanding debt less than £50.

    Since the Incorporated were created and paid by the parliament of Upper Canada, they weren’t technically part of the British Army, unlike the fencible units.

    Source: Richard Feltoe, Redcoated Ploughboys: The Volunteer Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, 1813-1815.–war-of-1812-re-enacting-the-battle-of-longwoods


  • Run for Heroes Marathon/ Half Marathon/ 10k/ 5k

    September 23, 2012 marks the World Alzheimer’s Day ‘Run for Heroes’ Marathon in Amherstburg, Ontario. The Official Run for the Battle of 1812 Bicentennial Celebrations. Heroes live amongst us, raise the bar, and make us all better people. This run allows you to say, “I am running for the person who has made a difference in my life.” We celebrate the Caregivers of Alzheimer Patients. The proceeds of this event go to fund Caregiver Support Programs at the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County.

    Join our flat (the highest to lowest elevation change is 31ft), fast, scenic, historic small-town Marathon. This is an officially measured and certified Boston Qualifier course. Join us for all the great history and running fun. Fifty-one percent of all runners surveyed say they did their Personal Best on this course, and 99% would definitely recommend it to friends. (The other 1% obviously have no friends!) Our goal is to be the largest ‘small town’ Marathon, with a maximum of 4,000 runners, so join now before it is sold out!

    Your regional coordinator is looking to set up a distinct 1812 presence at this race, with an 1812 team running various sections. If you are interested in being a part of a 1812 team, contact

  • Chatham Daily News – Soldiers Camped at River Line Farm

    May 10, 2012 – Chatham Daily News

    When Adele Steele looks out across the farm her family lives on, she sees more than the crops that are grown there – she sees history.

    The 11-year-old Grade 6 Chatham Christian School student has won two awards from the Ontario Heritage Fairs Association for a history project about the War of 1812 – Battle of the Thames, which is based on where she lives.

    American troops are the project’s focus. Soldiers camped at the River Line property in Harwich Township, where her family lives, on Oct. 4, 1813. It was the night before the Battle of the Thames took place.

    The budding historian is fascinated by the fact that Shawnee Indian chief Tecumseh may have died at the farm.

    “That’s what makes the Battle of the Thames so much remembered,” she said.

    “Just thinking about what happened there, makes me think this isn’t just a field, this is part of history . . . something that makes a difference,” Steele added.

    Her research included learning about Tecumseh and details of the fateful battle. She also made a video, showcasing her family’s land.

    “It shows the property I live on and shows the (Thames) river where they could have fought.”

    Steele even made biscuits similar to what the American soldiers would have eaten before going into battle.

    Steele’s teacher, Marianne Visser called her student’s project “absolutely amazing.

    “Adele typically is a very quiet, methodical student, but she just got so intrigued and so interested in her project,” she said. “This new enthusiasm came and she just kept discovering more and more things.”

    Visser said Chatham Christian School students won five awards in total from the regional contest, which included participation by 19 schools submitting 210 projects.

    Steele received the Local History Award and the Young Citizen’s Award, which has earned her a two-day trip to York University in June with other winners of the award to learn more about history.

    Other winners from the Christian school include Nicola Wolgen, the Reading and Remembrance Award for her project on the Battle of Vimy Ridge; Emily Kirkpatrick, the Ontario History and Social Science Teacher’s Award for her project on the Canadian Pacific Railway; and Ethan Coolen, OHFA Founders (Enthusiasm) Award, for his project on Alexander Graham Bell.

    All four students will be attending the Heritage Fair Awards Night on May 24 in London.

    Steele is honoured by the recognition she has received for this project, noting, “This will be something I remember the rest of my life.”

    Twitter: DailyNewsES

  • Postmedia News – General Brock & Chief Tecumseh Commemorative Stamps

    May 7, 2012 – Postmedia News

    Nearly two centuries after they died as allies thwarting an American invasion of Canada, the country’s pre-eminent War of 1812 battlefield heroes — British general Sir Isaac Brock and aboriginal chief Tecumseh — have been reunited in a set of commemorative stamps to be issued next month by Canada Post.

    The stamps are the first in a series of souvenir issues to be unveiled by the postal agency over the next three years to mark the bicentennial of the 1812-1814 war. The Brock and Tecumseh stamps go on sale at post offices across the country on June 15, three days before the 200th anniversary of the U.S. declaration of war against Britain and its North American colonies.

    Featured in profile portraits illustrated by Canadian artist Suzanne Duranceau, Brock and Tecumseh are shown posed, respectively, in front of a pioneer European settlement and aboriginal encampment.

    “The setting is a visual representation of the motivation for each man — this is what they were fighting for,” designer Susan Scott said in a statement provided to Postmedia News.

    “The War of 1812 was a defining moment for the provinces that would later confederate into the Dominion of Canada,” Canada Post stated. “While many significant battles raged along the U.S. border in Quebec and Ontario — and many leaders arose,” Brock and Tecumseh were “two of the most important.”

    The Royal Canadian Mint already has begun selling commemorative coins marking the war’s bicentennial.

    In January, the mint released its 2012 silver dollar featuring images of an Iroquois warrior, a British sergeant and a French-Canadian soldier united in defence of the country. A map showing part of the Great Lakes and Southern Ontario — the Upper Canada epicentre of the war — appears in the background.

    The design, produced by B.C. military artist Ardell Bourgeois, also appears on another coin that features 200 tiny beads of gold around the outer edge, signifying the two centuries since the war began.

    The mint’s other War of 1812 commemorative, a pure-gold coin designed Cathy Bursey-Sabourin of the Canadian Heraldic Authority, shows a bald eagle symbolizing the United States and a lion representing Britain positioned on either side of Maple Leaf-emblazoned shield, the principal Canadian emblem.

    Brock led the defence of Canada after war broke out with U.S., directing allied British, Canadian and First Nations troops to key victories in the opening months of the three-year conflict before dying heroically at the Battle of Queenston Heights, near Niagara Falls, Ont., on Oct. 13, 1812.

    Felled by an American sharpshooter while leading an attack against invading U.S. troops, Brock is remembered as a valiant commander whose exploits in the war not only helped preserve the future Canada as a collection of British colonies, but also helped cement the sense of national identity that led to Confederation in 1867.

    The stamp’s likeness of Brock is based on the only known adult portrait of the mythic general created from life — a pastel image completed in Quebec just before the War of 1812.

    That portrait was shipped to Canada last month from an art gallery in Guernsey — the British island in the English Channel — for display at a Niagara Falls-area museum during this year’s bicentennial commemorations.

    Tecumseh played a crucial role in leading native warriors into battle — fighting alongside British-Canadian forces — against the American invasion of southern Ontario.

    The Shawnee chief, accorded the status of a British general as he led up to 500 native troops, was killed about a year after his ally Brock — during the Battle of the Thames in October 1813 — near present-day Chatham, Ont.

    His dream of a continent-wide Indian Confederacy died with him, but Tecumseh’s role in rallying aboriginal nations against the U.S. made him a pivotal player in the War of 1812 and one of Canadian history’s leading folk heroes.

    © Copyright (c) Postmedia News

  • You are invited to the launch of the South West 1812 WEBSITE

    You are invited to the launch of the
    South West 1812 WEBSITE
    Learn about the commemorations, events, projects and sites in this historically significant region. The South West 1812 Website will be the hub of bicentennial information for the South West.
    Please join us as we commemorate
    200 years of Peace between our Nations.
    Come visit one of our authentic 1812 sites and learn about the exciting plans for the bicentennial. Windsor‘s Community Museum is one of the many sites that is developing an 1812 Peace Garden. Learn about this exciting, regional initiative and about the special exhibit that Windsor Museum has planned for the bicentennial.
    Friday, August 12th – 9:30 a.m.
    Windsor’s Community Museum
    François Baby House
    254 Pitt Street West, Windsor

    To arrange interviews or for further information, please call or email:
    Charlene Houle,
    War of 1812 Project Facilitator – South West Ontario Region
    cell 519-784-1851

  • You are invited to the launch of the SouthWest 1812 website And Fairfield Museum – 1812 Peace Garden Dedication

    You are invited to the launch of the
    South West 1812 WEBSITE
    Fairfield Museum – 1812 Peace Garden Dedication
    Learn about the commemorations, events, projects and sites in this historically significant region. The South West 1812 Website will be the hub of bicentennial information for the South West. Please join us as we commemorate
    200 years of Peace between our Nations.
    Experience the Dedication of the Fairfield Museum – 1812 Peace Garden. Fairfield Museum is ideally suited to a peace garden as it was a Moravian settlement, devoted to peace which was burned by Americans following the Battle of the Thames in 1813. What better way to commemorate our 200 Years of Peace than by dedicating a Peace Garden – which features extensive garden that includes native heritage species of flowers and grasses.
    Friday, August 12th – 2:00 p.m.
    Fairfield Museum
    14878 Longwoods Road, Thamesville, ON N0P 1C0 (#2 Hwy between Thamesville and Bothwell)
    To arrange interviews or for further information, please call or email:
    Charlene Houle,
    War of 1812 Project Facilitator – South West Ontario Region
    519-682-2583 cell 519-784-1851

  • Peace Gardens

    Title: Peace Gardens
    Description: (2010-2013)
    Multi-national initiative. Dedication of new or existing outdoor public space as an 1812 Peace Garden. Leading to an eventual 1812 Peace Garden Trail.
    Amherstburg has one already – many throughout the region are expected – to compliment the Tecumseh Trail and Parkway. Confirmed at Windsor Community Museum and Fairfield Museum.
    Date: 2011-08-01