War declared! …200 years ago…


Thursday, June 14, 2012   by:SooToday.com Staff



June 18, 1812 – WAR DECLARED! Algoma Region: Sault Ste. Marie, St. Joseph Island, and Thessalon communities prepare for first military manoeuver, July 17, 1812

June 18, 2012 – Algoma Region prepares for commemoration of the War of 1812 – July 2012. Re-live the moment!

An Algoma 1812 primer to activities scheduled to commemorate the War of 1812

Did you know that Algoma led the first military maneuver in the War of 1812?

Learn about his historical moment, and many others, during the Algoma 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration, July 14 to 21.

Events will take place on St. Joseph Island and in Sault Ste. Marie and include historical encampments with re-enactors, a  canoe flotilla, tall ship tours, military musters, cultural pageantry, storytelling, vendors and more.

All-access passes retail for $13.50 per person and can be used at Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site, Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site and to board the tall ship “Welcome” for a tour (all-access passes can be purchased at the Algoma 1812 office, waterfront side of the Roberta Bondar Pavilion).

A detailed program is in development and will be issued later this month, however, here are some highlights to help identify media story opportunities leading up to the Algoma 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration:

  • The red geraniums now planted at the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site are the ‘official’ flower for the War of 1812 Bicentennial. This symbolic plant has been a tradition in Niagara on the Lake for years as a tribute to all those who fought for us in this War. Come to the site for a great photo opportunity!
  • The Algoma 1812 Media Launch will take place on Saturday, July 14 at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum at 2 p.m. This will officially unveil the Sault Ste. Marie Museum’s 1812 exhibit “Life at the Sault 1812-1870: A Time of Change”, as well as introduce the paddlers, who will be setting out to re-create a historical voyage the next morning.  Paddlers and canoe will gather on the front lawn of the Ermatinger-Clergue Site along with the members of the historic alliance from Sault Ste. Marie to St. Joseph Island. The canoe flotilla will eventually be landing at Fort St. Joseph on July 17 as a backdrop to our opening event.
  • A canoe flotilla (representing the gathering of the Fort St. Joseph troops and their Alliance (First Nations, Metis, Coureur de Bois, Francophone, area businessmen in 1812 to take over Fort Mackinac), will set out from Sault Ste. Marie on Sun., July 15 at 8 a.m. This group will paddle, that day, to Richards Landing where they will set up a traditional encampment as well as a modern encampment. Public tours will be available. Worth noting is the fact that many of these paddlers will have completed the first sanctioned ORCKA-certified Voyageur Paddling Course in Ontario – offered for the first time in Algoma on June 23 and 24!
  • On July 15, the public can also attend traditional events at the Centennial Grounds in Richards Landing (across from the Royal Canadian Legion) or have dinner with the paddlers at the Legion. The tall ship “Welcome” will be docked at the Richards Landing Marina for tours on July 15 and 16.
  • The Signature Event of the Algoma 1812 Bicentennial will take place at 11 a.m. on Tues., July 17 at Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site. Political dignitaries, and other special guests, will speak. This timing represents when Fort St. Joseph and its alliance took over Fort Mackinac. Following this ceremony, there will be cultural pageantry, military musters, cannon firings, an encampment, re-enactors, music and more until 7 p.m.
  • On Thurs., Algoma 1812 Bicentennial moves back to Sault Ste. Marie for HistoryFest at the Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site until Sunday July 22, 2012. A full encampment, re-enactors, music, guest speakers, pageantry, military musters and more. Thursday July 19, Soldiers will pillage area businesses (namely in the Downtown), beginning at 18:12 p.m. (6:12 p.m.) as part of Downtown Days.
  • HistoryFest meets RotaryFest on Thurs., July 19, Fri., July 20 and Sat., July 21. Programming and entertainment will be offered on the stage and re-enactors will be marching and walking ‘en masse’ for the RotaryFest Parade Saturday, July 21, 2012.

There are many feature stories, as well as stand-alone photos, that can capture this event as it rolls out. Here are just a few story ideas for your consideration:

  • Fort St. Joseph, and its alliance of area First Nations, Metis, Coureur de Bois and proprietors, led the first military maneuver in the War of 1812. Learn about what led up the war and Algoma’s important role in it.
  • Being a re-enactor means eating, sleeping and breathing a character …interview someone from the past!
  • A canoe flotilla, representing the alliance that came together to achieve that first military maneuver, will paddle from Sault Ste. Marie to Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site. Learn what’s involved in securing volunteers, ensuring historical accuracy and the training involved in undertaking this endeavour.
  • Algoma 1812 represents an alliance of British soldiers, First Nations, Metis, Francophone and coureur de bois. Learn about cultural pageantry that honours ancestors, represents individual cultures and portrays the importance of what an alliance is all about.
  • What does it take to roll out a historical event like Algoma 1812. We’re one of seven regions in Ontario taking on the challenge of showcasing an integral event  that shaped our country.


This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

The Government and agencies in Ontario, Canada and the United States are commemorating and celebrating the bicentennial over a three-year period.

Algoma 1812 was created to plan and conduct annual Signature events and encourage other activities that will increase awareness about the War of 1812.

Algoma 1812 has a diverse mix of organizations represented on its executive committee, whose role is to ensure board connectivity among community partners and to align Algoma 1812 activities with the Federal and Provincial priorities wherever possible.

This entry was posted in CANADIAN NEWS AND EVENTS. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to War declared! …200 years ago…

  1. It was my understanding from a park ranger that the red geraniums were in memory of the victims of sexual assault, not the War of 1812? Does anyone have any sources regarding either side?

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