Canada 150

New festival coming to town to celebrate Canada and Ontario’s 150th birthdays



By Ron Giofu


A new festival is on its way to Amherstburg this summer in recognition of Canada 150.

From July 1 to Aug. 13, the Ontario 150 Tour will travel to six Ontario ports starting in Toronto, then on to Owen Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Midland, Amherstburg, and finishing in Brockville. Amherstburg’s event will take place Aug. 5-6 and will be known as the “Canuck It Up!” festival.

In collaboration, Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada will present the Tall Ship Appledore V and a “Raiders, Rebels and Redcoats” re-enactment that takes place at the Fort and in the streets that same weekend.

An enormous rubber duck will be coming to Amherstburg as part of the Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival that will be held Aug. 5-6. (Special to the RTT)

An enormous rubber duck will be coming to Amherstburg as part of the Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival that will be held Aug. 5-6. (Special to the RTT)

Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota said the new event came about through the successful submission of a co-op grant application and in collaboration with lead organization – Water’s Edge Festival and Events based out of Toronto.

“Amherstburg is the only municipality in southwestern Ontario to be included in this commemorative tour, thus maximizing impact for visitation and economic benefit for the town,” she said.

Calling it a 150th “signature event,” Rota compared it to the Roots to Boots Festival in 2012 and the Sails to See Festival in 2013.

“We’re anticipating about 25,000 people to visit our town Aug. 5-6,” she said. “This event will be fun and everything Canadian. We just want to celebrate all the good things about Canada and about Amherstburg.”

Multiculturalism, inclusivity and participation will be the overarching themes of the event, she added. Highlights of the festival include Rhythm of the Nation; an interactive street dance and musical performance centered on nationally-renowned street artist DJ Creeasian. This artistic piece was written specifically for Canada 150.

The West Coast Lumberjack show is heading to Amherstburg as part of the Aug. 5-6 Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival. (Special to the RTT)

The West Coast Lumberjack show is heading to Amherstburg as part of the Aug. 5-6 Canuck It Up Canadiana Festival. (Special to the RTT)

There will also be “n action packed” West Coast Lumberjack Show, the world’s largest rubber duck in support of Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Amherstburg Farmers and Craft Market, local performances of all genres, a Kids Fun Zone and more.

All activities will be free and souvenirs, such as Canada 150 t-shirts and caps, will be available at the Gordon House.

Rota said the town anticipates the town to be full of activities that weekend.

“It’s going to be high energy and high fun,” she said.

The event is being recognized as a major festival locally for the Canada 150 celebrations and could be one of several this year.

“We’re always proud that Amherstburg seems to be the epicentre for large scale community events,” she said.

The Canada 150 red and white tulips, planted in the King’s Navy Yard Park last fall, should also be blooming soon and the town encourages people to come down to the park and view the tulips when they are in full bloom.


Navy Yard Park received “Canada 150 Garden Experience” designation



Amherstburg has received a special honour as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebration.

The Canadian Garden Council, in collaboration with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association, announced 150 gardens and garden experiences that have been awarded the “Canada 150 Garden Experience” designation.

Amherstburg’s King’s Navy Yard Park is one of the 150 recipients of this award nationwide.

On 2015-04-26,at 4:23 PM Latif, Anam ( Subject: Canada 150 logo                     University of Waterloo student, Ariana Cuvin, beat 300 other submissions in a design contest to create a logo for Canada‰Ûªs 150th anniversary coming up in 2017. The logo will be featured on special products commemorating the event.      Anam Latif Reporter, Waterloo Region Record 519-895-5638

“Canada has a long-standing garden culture,” said Alexander Reford, president of the Canadian Garden Council. “From First Nations gardens that were here long before settlers arrived, to the enormous variety of gardens that every culture has brought to this country since Confederation, gardens – from modest kitchen and community gardens to celebrated botanical and public gardens – have played a role in defining and developing our Canadian aesthetic and quality of life.”

“The gardens that will bloom this spring and the great care in designing a replica of the Canada 150 logo in our signature garden bed, will be a spectacular show for all to enjoy along our waterfront,” adds Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “Amherstburg will be hosting exciting Canada 150 events throughout the year, many of which will take place in our beautiful gardens and downtown.”

For more information on the designation awards, visit

Town to pursue grant funding for possible 2017 festival



By Ron Giofu


Canada’s 150th birthday is coming next year and the town of Amherstburg hopes to have a celebration here.

The town agreed to apply for funding under the Canada 150 grant program to stage an event in Amherstburg in 2017. Manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota told council in a report the September 2017 festival would be similar to the Roots to Boots Festival, held in 2012 as a bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812.

“This is more or less a heritage event,” said Rota.

Rota added that “some legacy components, school participation, citizen’s recognition of achievement, garden projects and the creation of learning materials will be explored as part of the grant. The main areas of the festival and activities would include local heritage sites, Toddy Jones Park, the King’s Navy Yard Park and the downtown core.”

A preliminary estimate given by Rota is that it would cost $50,000 to stage a two-day event. Without Canada 150 funding, the event will not be possible, she said. That amount is what the town is pursuing from the federal government through the grant program.

“The Canada 150 Fund requires no matching funds. The grant monetary allocation is not capped at any specific amount. The amount requested from the grant will depend on eligible costs,” Rota stated in her report.

Rota said that in-kind sponsorships from businesses and participants would be pursued. She told council she currently envisions that existing restaurants would take care of food sales.

“Amherstburg is well recognized throughout the region as a premier, heritage tourism destination. Through verbal and e-mail requests, retailers and citizens have asked repeatedly for this category of an event that compliments the town of Amherstburg and brings large numbers of shoppers and history enthusiasts to the community,” Rota’s report added.