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  2. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
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News

Bicentennial of the Declaration of War of 1812

June 13, 2012

Governor General to Attend Celebrations Commemorating the Bicentennial of the Declaration of War of 1812

OTTAWA—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will attend events commemorating the bicentennial of the declaration of the War of 1812, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, on Saturday, June 16, 2012.

“As we approach the bicentennial of the outbreak of the War of 1812, we remember and honourEnglish, French and First Nations communities who, together with British military forces, defended Canada and thereby ensured our existence and independent destiny,” said His Excellency. “These celebrations are an opportunity for all Canadians to acknowledge this important chapter in the history of our country and to cherish our nation as we know it today.”

10 a.m.
Official Opening Ceremonies of War of 1812 Commemorations

His Excellency will attend the opening ceremonies of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, hosted by the Niagara 1812 Legacy Council, on the historic battlefield of Queenston Heights. This ceremony will launch over 1 000 days of commemorations across the region. As commander-in-chief of Canada, His Excellency will inspect a guard of honour comprised of the Queen’s York Rangers and the Lincoln and Welland Regiment. He will also deliver an address to government officials, guests and members of the public gathered on this occasion. For more information about the declaration of the War of 1812 weekend commemorations, visit www.discover1812.com. For more information about Queenston Heights Historic Site of Canada, visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/queenstonheights or www.niagaraparks.com/garden-trail/queenston-heights.html.
Queenston Heights Historic Site of Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake
OPEN TO MEDIA

11 a.m.
Visit to Brock’s Monument and Heritage Fair
His Excellency willvisit Brock’s Monument, a 56-metre column dedicated to Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, one of Canada’s heroes of the War of 1812, who died during the Battle of Queenston Heights. In addition, His Excellency will stop by the Heritage Fair to see various cultural performances and meet with merchants dressed in period costume who will be showcasing artefacts and replicas from the era of the War of 1812. For more information about Brock’s Monument, visit www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/on/fortgeorge/natcul/natcul2c.aspx.
Queenston Heights Historic Site of Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake
PHOTO OP

1 p.m.
Visit to Laura Secord Homestead

The Governor General will visit the residence of Canadian heroine Laura Secord, who walked 32 kilometres to warn the British Army of an imminent American attack in June of 1813. For more information on the Laura Secord Homestead, visit www.niagaraparks.com/heritage-trail/laura-secord-homestead.html.
29 Queenston Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake
PHOTO OP

1:30 p.m.
Cycling on the Niagara River Recreation Trail

His Excellency will cycle 12 kilometres from the Laura Secord Homestead to Fort George on the Niagara River Recreation Trail, with volunteers and cycling enthusiasts from the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) and the Trans Canada Trail.

Constructed in 1986, this 53-kilometre trail is managed by the NPC and is linked to the Trans Canada Trail, of which His Excellency is patron. This trail follows what was once considered the front lines between Canadian, British and American forces and their Aboriginal allies during the War of 1812. The trail connects Queenston Heights and Fort George, and winds itself along the entire Niagara River corridor from Fort Erie to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. For more information about the Niagara River Recreation Trail, visit www.niagaraparks.com/nature-trails/niagara-river-recreation-trail.html.
Niagara River Recreation Trail, Niagara-on-the-Lake
PHOTO OP

2:30 p.m.
Visit to Fort George and Discussion with Parks Canada Interpretive Staff
His Excellency will visit the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada, which was constructed across the Niagara River by the British Army to protect their interests in Upper Canada. In 1802, Fort George was completed and served as the headquarters for the Centre Division of the British Army during the War of 1812.

During his visit, the Governor General will tour the soldiers’ barracks, the powder magazine—the oldest surviving military building in Ontario—the new 1812 exhibit and the officers’ quarters, where a discussion with interpretive guides on the importance of the War of 1812 today will take place.

The visit will conclude with a performance by the Fife Drum Corps of the 41st Regiment as they celebrate their 25th anniversary, and with the firing of the brass six-pounder field gun. For more information about Fort George National Historic Site, visit www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortgeorge.
Fort George National Historic Site of Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake
OPEN TO MEDIA

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Media information:

Annabelle Cloutier
Rideau Hall Press Office
613-993-8158
613-301-2764 (cell)
annabelle.cloutier@gg.ca

Katie Farr
Media and Communications
Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council
905-685-4225, ext. 3456
905-348-1994 (cell)
communications@discover1812.com

Tony Baldinelli
Acting Director, Communications, Marketing & Stakeholder Relations
The Niagara Parks Commission 
905-356-2441, ext. 220
905-246-2923 (cell)
tbaldinelli@niagaraparks.com

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