Commemorating Canada's Past

Commemoration is the means by which Canada gives official recognition to subjects of national historic significance. Such subjects cover the whole range of Canada's human history, including persons, places, events and other phenomena. Commemoration may take any of the forms described in the Historic Sites and Monuments Act and in Part II of the National Parks Act.

A commemoration will possess four qualities:

i) It will be formally approved by the Minister;

ii) It will communicate the national significance of what is being commemorated;

iii) In the case of resources of national historic significance administered by Parks Canada, it will respect the legacy that these resources represent; and

iv) It will be enduring.

The concept of commemorative integrity is used to describe the health or wholeness of a national historic site. A national historic site possesses commemorative integrity when the resources that symbolize or represent its importance are not impaired or under threat, when the reasons for the site's national historic significance are effectively communicated to the public, and when the site's heritage values are respected by all whose decisions or actions affect the site.