It started in 2006
On June 20, 2006, a group of industry leaders (tourism, heritage, financial etc.) gathered at Brock University for a round table discussion and on November 30, 2006, at the PBS station in Buffalo. Documentation from those meetings can still be found here on www.visit1812.com’s website; owned by the Niagara Parks Commission.
“..to increase public awareness and participation in the Bicentennial that marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 200 years of peace between First Nations, Canada and the United States that followed.”
After those strategic planning sessions, the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council was then created in August of 2007, as a cross-border corporation to increase public awareness and participation in the Bicentennial that marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 200 years of peace between First Nations, Canada and the United States that followed.
The Legacy Council was made up of bi-national board of directors composed of persons associated with leading Niagara institutions. A number of sub-committees were also created for each specific event as well as an Education Committee with Niagara’s school boards. An example of institutions board members belonged to: Parks Canada, Brock University, Niagara Parks, Regional Municipality of Niagara, Niagara University, WNED, Six Nations Legacy Consortium, Old Fort Niagara, the Buffalo History Museum and so forth.
The Legacy Council employed a full-time Chief Executive Officer as well as a full-time Media & Communications Officer and part-time Office Administrator who report directly to the CEO. The first CEO was Vincent DelBuono, who unfortunately passed away in 2010.
Brian Merrett then took on the role in August of 2010 and saw it through to the end in February of 2015.
In 2007 Elaine Wallis of Niagara Falls , Canada, won the Niagara 1812 Legacy Council logo contest. Wallis’ entry was selected amongst over one hundred entries from across North America. Since then, the Legacy Council had allowed other community and event groups to adopt the logo and simply change the “Legacy Council” text below to reflect their event or group name.
The licence plates
In the early years of the Legacy Council, they began selling graphic licence plates with the 1812 logo on them.Over 300 were created and almost all have been claimed by drivers (or collectors) across Ontario. These are valid licence plates that you’ll actually see on the road.
The Legacy Council produced a map in the early years as well. This was a show-stopping, award-winning product that was distributed to schools, tourism sites, historic sites, hotels, travel info centres and events across North America. Over 200,000 were printed; the design came from a cartographer at Niagara Region – John Docker – and input was given from local historians. The unveiling set precedence for the importance of the bicentennial; at Queen’s Park in Toronto with the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
The map features the historic sites and battlefields found in Niagara Canada and along Western New York’s Niagara Frontier.