On March 14, 2016, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Community Foundations of Canada made the announcement about a new community fund to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Led by Community Foundations of Canada and participating community foundations, with the support of the Government of Canada and leaders from coast to coast to coast, the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th brought Canadians together to build community and activate a groundswell of local initiatives, activities, and events leading up to and during Canada’s sesquicentennial.
The Canada 150 Fund distributed small grants through community foundations to locally-led projects that build community, inspire a deeper understanding of Canada, and encourage participation in a wide range of initiatives that mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Fund was responsive to local priorities and was accessible to all Canadians, including indigenous peoples, youth, groups that reflect Canada’s cultural diversity, and official language minority groups.
Community Foundation Grey Bruce received $25,000 that was matched by a contribution from the Eva Leflar Endowed Fund, bringing the granting allotment to a total of $50,000. The Foundation is very grateful to the Eva Leflar Endowed Fund Advisory Committee for supporting this Canada 150 celebration in Grey Bruce.
Following is a list of projects receiving Canada 150 Fund grants:
The Dramatic History of the Nawash
The Maadooki Senior’s Group are collaborating with the loical Canadian Federation of University Women on this project. Polly Keeshig- Tobias’s book entitled “The Illustrated History of Chippewa’s of Nawash” will be crafted into a play and presented throughout the year with performances in multiple locations throughout the counties and within our local schools. Further, the play will be video- taped, archived and become part of the curriculum within the schools for years to come. The play will educate and inform our community through sharing the language and culture of the First Nations and bring together our Local First Nations and non-aboriginal communities. This event will also be documented and shared within the Book of Celebration housed in Ottawa!
Niimaywikwedong Reconciliation Garden
Several organizations have partnered to execute this project: The United Way Bruce Grey, the City of Owen Sound, the Great Lakes Metis Council, St. George’s Anglican Church, Grey Roots Museum and the Ginger Press. The participants will build a permanent healing and reconciliation garden in Kelso Park that will recognize and celebrate our communities’ Indigenous history. The project will include not only an indigenous plant garden but also art and historical installations. It will provide community members and visitors the opportunity to pause, learn, and reflect upon the traditional territory of the Saugeen Ojibwa Nation….and to enjoy summer after summer!
Blue Mountain Year of Canada Celebrations
This year-long celebration will be presented by the Blue Mountain Public Library. Monthly themes will mark the milestones and growth of the many different, small communities that are a part of the Blue Mountain area. It is expected that visitors, community members, and library clients will be excited and educated by these monthly presentations — ranging from the cultural arts, history, environment, to multi-culturalism, and more – and thus look forward the bright future of these communities within Canada. Especially of interest is one of the first upcoming monthly exhibits entitled “Champlain’s Footsteps”!
The Poets Laureate
The OS Poet Laureate Advisory Committee, in partnership with the Neyaashiinigmiing Band will be creating and performing their Legacy Project entitled “Metissage”. The name “Metissage” suggests the diversity and inclusivity of the multiple roots, the identities and the diverse nature of OS community. This artistic performance will include a collection of poems, songs, indigenous drumming, spoken word and live projections. It will be also archived on film available for many to review! The many untold stories of OS, the communities of the First Nations, Metis, Black, and other working class people will be highlighted …..as it is these people, who are often omitted from our history books.
Walking Tour Towards Truth and Reconciliation in Brooke
The Metis Centre, The Nikaanaganaa Centre and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation along with the First United Church strongly agree that “Walking is Medicine”! The project will develop a walking tour of the significant Indigenous locations within the OS area known as Brooke. Sculptures, plaques, and audio tapes will recount, through story- telling, the history of the area. It is this story-telling that has been the traditional method of communicating history throughout the years. Printed pamphlets will also be a part of this unique educational project.
Home in a Distant Land
The Grey Roots Museum and the GB Chinese Heritage and Culture Association will honour Canada’s rich cultural diversity and history highlighting the impact of our region’s Chinese Heritage. This project comprises of a travelling display focusing on the 130 years of local Chinese presence in the area and workshops and displays within our local schools. All of these segments will strengthen the understanding within our community of Chinese heritage but also will focus attention of the OS 160th Anniversary and Canada’s 150 Celebrations!
Dinner and County Cultural Variety Show in Meaford
The Thornbury, Owen Sound Little and Meaford Community Theatres, the Grey County Historical Society and three additional Grey County theatre companies are collaborating on this project to be held in Meaford. A Variety Show will be presented at the Meaford Hall Opera House celebrating, with the use of short vignettes, the cultural and deep history of Grey County over the past 150 years. Through the use of song, dance, readings, comedy and drama, attendees will gain an understanding of who exactly shaped and made a difference in forming our portion of Canada – Early Settlers, Black and Indigenous Peoples’ History!
Canada 150 - Come Celebrate in Brockton
A two-day Festival Celebrating the heritage of Brockton and area is planned by many Brockton partners – the Cargill Masonic Lodge, the Rotary Club, Chepstow Lion’s Club, the Power Workers Union, the Bruce County Heritage Association, The Cargill and District Community Fund and hundreds of volunteers! The event will begin with historical displays - both local and provincial history, artists and music celebrating and bringing together youth, seniors, persons with disabilities, as well as our indigenous, francophone and multicultural peoples. Baking and art contests and multiple other activities will be featured over the two days and the event will end with a massive fireworks display. All of these activities will celebrate the spirit of diversity, access and inclusion!
Earth Film Festival
The Grey Sauble Conservation Authority will present an exciting Sesquicentennial Event - A Youth Day – featuring films, cultural demonstrations and displays - all intended to inspire one’s true natural spirit! The event will highlight the nation’s natural treasures, natural history and landscapes as well as focus on the traditions and place in history of our First Nations. An extensive use Canada’s already produced Nature Films and local First Nations Cultural Displays will comprise the backbone of this event. It is expected to be an incredible event for youth to partake — as in many ways, they are the custodians of the future environment!
Point Clark Lighthouse Canada Day Festival
A collaboration of Huron- Kinloss Township, the Huron Shore’s Lion’s Club and Hawk Theatre will be hosting a dinner theatre event on the eve of Canada’s Birthday. The theatre event, which will include young performers, will show the history and contribution of the area in shaping today’s society. Additional events are planned for the July 1st Birthday – tours of the Lighthouse, Crafts, Games, Music and Fireworks inviting all to be part of their great community and build upon already strong ties.