More Canadians than ever before enjoyed amazing experiences at Parks Canada places in 2017
Prescott – National parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer and tell stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, the Government of Canada offered free admission for all visitors to Parks Canada places, to encourage Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way. Parks Canada is pleased to have welcomed more visitors to our treasured places than ever before, and to have played an important role in the celebration of Canada 150.
Fort Wellington National Historic Site saw increased attendance this season which enabled more Canadians to experience their rich history and played a big part in the celebration of Canada 150. The season kicked off with the Scouts’ Fort Town Night Run, a race through the historic town that began and ended at the fort. In May, the War of 1812 Garrison weekend and Artillery Day ensured the season began with a “bang” as re-enactors and active members of the Canadian Forces brought the historic fort to life.
The annual community Canada Day at the fort provided fun for all ages and the 2017 season also marked the triumphant return of Prescott’s famous Loyalist Days Festival and re-enactment. Along with special events, many visitors took part in interactive programming including guided tours, the fire a cannon program, whisky tastings, and fort kids camp days.
Fort Wellington participated in two major national Canada 150 signature projects: Canada C3 and the Tall Ships Rendezvous. Participants on the first leg of the Canada C3 vessel were given the opportunity to fire authentic cannons on the fort field when the vessel landed at Prescott in June. In July, the fort’s cannons and crew were called into action to participate in salutes and presentations at the Tall Ships Rendezvous in Halifax.
The season is changing and so are Fort Wellington’s hours. Visitors can still use their Parks Canada Discovery Pass to take full advantage of FREE entry to Fort Wellington as the national historic site will be open Thursdays through Monday until October 9th. The fort will reopen in May 2018 for another engaging season.
The Government is committed to preserving our national parks, while making them more accessible so that Canadians, including youth and newcomers, can experience the outdoors and learn about our environment. Parks Canada continues to ensure the best possible visitor experience for people coming to our places, and has effectively managed 2017’s increased visitation.
To help visitors plan their experiences, Parks Canada launched a mobile app earlier this season. The app is incredibly popular and, to date, there have been over 150,000 downloads. The Parks Canada Mobile App is a great planning tool which offers up-to-date information and resources to help visitors plan their visit and discover breathtaking locations, including a list of hidden gems and other unique and memorable experiences at national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas.
“I am so pleased to see just how many Canadians and visitors alike have made Parks Canada’s places part of their Canada150 celebrations. Canada’s national parks and historic sites are amazing places for Canadians to connect to nature and history, and as we see the effects of climate change around the world, we know we must protect them as we enjoy them with our friends and families. By building connections to these places, we can foster the stewards of tomorrow — people who know and care about these irreplaceable treasures. I look forward to welcoming you back to our
treasured places in 2018.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
· As of the end of July, there was a 37% increase in visitation at Fort Wellington compared to the same period last year.
· Located in Prescott, Ontario, Fort Wellington was built to protect the St. Lawrence River transportation route during periods of Canadian military conflict beginning with the War of 1812, through the Rebellions of 1837 up until Canadian Confederation in 1867.
· Over 6 million free 2017 Discovery Passes have been ordered by Canadians and people from around the world. Parks Canada has seen record visitation numbers across its network, and more Canadians than ever have had amazing experiences at our national parks, historic sites and marine conservation areas.
· Through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada expanded the Learn-to Camp program. Through this expanded program, more Canadians than ever before are acquiring the skills they need to experience and enjoy the outdoors. So far, in 2017, 35,000 people (a record number) have participated in Learn-to Camp events and activities across the country.