Commemorating the War of 1812

.....and a few stories that might interest you

From left to right: Alan Latourelle,Parks Canada CEO, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages and the Honourable Robert Nicholson, Minister of Justice, and Attorney General of Canada, pose with Parks Canada interpreters at Fort George NHS after the unveiling of the Government of Canada plans to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, Monday, October 11, 2011.
© Parks Canada / 2011

On October 11, 2011, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and his colleague the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, launched the federal programme for the commemoration of the War of 1812 and unveiled the new federal government War of 1812 website. On the following day, similar events were held at seven other historic places from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister responsible for Parks Canada, made the announcement in Vancouver on October 12.

Minister Peter Kent unveils the Government of Canada plans to commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, in Vancouver, BC, Tuesday, October 12, 2011.
© Parks Canada / 2011

The Government of Canada is commemorating the War of 1812, a nation building chapter in our history, with an awareness campaign, enhanced programming at our national historic sites, special events and legacy projects.

Parks Canada’s national historic sites are at the very centre of the bicentennial commemorations. For the next three years, these sites will resonate with authentic, not-to-be-missed events, including experiencing the lifestyle of 1812 at home and on the front lines, fireworks, spectacles, concerts of modern and period music, tall ship visits, grand encampments and military re-enactments on the actual battlefields.

At Parks Canada places, one can personally experience many of the most important sites of the war’s battles and skirmishes. Our expert and energetic Parks Canada team is waiting to welcome visitors to unforgettable experiences in dramatic landscapes, forts and buildings. These powerful places tell the story of how a fiery and uncertain conflict brought forth unity of purpose, bravery and perseverance as the destruction of war swept through fields and farms, homes and cities. This remarkable shared history helps us connect with our roots and values as a nation.

During the war, successive American invasions of Upper and Lower Canada were staved off by an outnumbered but valiant force of British regulars, Canadian militia and First Nations allies. Had the Americans succeeded, the British North American provinces would have been absorbed into the United States and these provinces would never have federated into a nation in 1867 – the nation of Canada we know today.

The War of 1812 began on June 18, 1812 when the United States declared war on Britain and finally ended on February 16, 1815 with the ratification of the Treaty of Ghent, the negotiation of which was completed in Europe on December 24, 1814.

You may be interested in learning more about some of the fascinating stories.

The end of the war in 1815 marked the beginning of a peace between the United States, Britain and Canada which has lasted for two centuries - a world record! And there is so much more to discover at our National Historic Sites....

For more information on the War and its significance to Canada, you can visit the Government of Canada War of 1812 website at www.1812.gc.ca.

In addition, you can visit http://www.eighteentwelve.ca, an innovative website created through a partnership among Canadian Geographic, Historica Dominion Institute and Parks Canada, for a fascinating primer on this conflict.