March 30, 2012
Both committees have applied for $450,000 in federal funding in spirit of the approaching 100th anniversary of the War of 1812 to help fund a number of bicentennial celebratory events taking place next summer.
The War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee has looked to the federal government in hopes of receiving $150,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s 1812 Commemoration Fund—an initiative to foster awareness and understanding among Canadians of the importance of the War of 1812 in the country’s history.
Canadian not-for-profit organizations and Canadian schools are just some institutions that can benefit from the grant.
The three-year funding initiative, ending March 2014, is available in the form of grants and contributions for community-based commemorative and educational projects. A total of $11.5 million in funding is available between 2012 and 2014.
According to Fred Neale, Thorold Bicentennial Committee vice-chair, the money would enhance an event scheduled to take place at the Decew House.
That celebration is being held on the heels of the Laura Second Walk, which will commence in Niagara-on-the-Lake and wrap up at the Decew House in Thorold.
If the committee is approved for the Commemoration Fund, the money will help fund the restoration of the Decew House and will also go towards hosting educational presentations, War of 1812 live reenactments and other day-long events that are still in the process of being finalized.
“There are going to be fantastic events,” Neale said. “Obviously we won’t be able to do everything we want to do without the grant.”
If the committee receives the grant, it is also looking to convert a portion of the land where the Resolute Forest Products paper plant is located on Highway 58—the original site where the Americans surrendered in the War of 1812, into a commemorative park where a ceremony is anticipated to take place.
That site was named a national historic site in 1921.
Funding would also allow for busses to provide transportation to guests between the locations where events will be taking place.
Currently, a book dedicated to the War of 1812 is also in the process of being completed thanks to the War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee chair John Burtniak and Alun Hughes.
That book will highlight events that happened before and during the War of 1812 and the story of the surrender.
Upon getting wind that committees in other municipalities were applying for grants, Thorold’s BIA also moved forward in the application process to request $300,000 from the Commemoration Fund.
If that request is approved, the funding will help create a full lifestyle reenactment of the year 1813 with horses, clothing, food and music.
“People would love this. It would be fantastic,” said Michael Skrtich, member of the BIA executive.
“That money would go a long, long way.”
Both the War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee and the BIA are planning events in conjunction with one another to be held over the three-day period.