The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, along with Toronto artist Adrienne Alison, today officially inaugurated the War of 1812 Monument on Parliament Hill.
The monument commemorates the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and recognizes the courage and bravery of those who successfully defended their land in the fight for Canada. In the midst of terrible loss and conflict, the victory won during the War of 1812 helped ensure that a strong and independent Canada was able to be established in North America.
As a metaphor for the “coming together” of the key combatants in this pivotal conflict, Alison’s dynamic and sensitive composition comprises seven bronze figures set on a base that evokes both the land and maritime theatres of the war. The figures represent the key combatants that came together to defeat the American invasion: a Métis fighter firing a cannon; a woman bandaging the arm of a member of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles de Salaberry’s storied Voltigeurs Regiment; a Royal Navy sailor pulling a rope; a First Nations warrior pointing to the distance; a Canadian militiaman raising his arm in triumph; and a member of a British Army unit, specifically the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, firing a musket.
- The national design competition for the War of 1812 Monument was launched in September 2012.
- The concept by Toronto sculptor Adrienne Alison won the competition. This was announced in June 2013.
- Ongoing research carried out by Heritage Canada has unearthed more than 1,600 names of early Canadians from Ontario and Quebec, from the maritime provinces and from Newfoundland, as well as over 130 names of First Nations warriors, who lost their lives in the War of 1812. It is believed that many more First Nations warriors died during the War of 1812, though their names were not recorded. This work is an important part of ensuring Canada properly recognizes those who gave their lives in this conflict for a common cause.
- At the July 2014 site dedication ceremony, soil samples from ten key battlefield sites and water samples from six bodies of water representing the important naval conflicts of the War of 1812 were poured at the base of a commemorative maple tree planted at the site of the Monument. The tree planted in this scared soil symbolizes the strong Canada that was able to emerge as the result of the sacrifices made by those early Canadians.
- Today’s inauguration takes place on the 200th anniversary of the last battle to occur on Canadian soil during the War of 1812—the Battle of Malcolm’s Mills.
“This new landmark on Parliament Hill will forever remind us of the courage and bravery of those who served and successfully defended their land in the fight for Canada more than 200 years ago. As we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, let us continue to connect to our past and celebrate the stories, the events and the people that make Canada the strong, proud and free country it is today.”
—The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
“I hope Canadians will be very proud of this sculpture. To me, the War of 1812 Monument symbolizes the incredible contribution of diverse Canadians and our ability to work together to achieve remarkable outcomes.”
— Adrienne Alison, Artist, War of 1812 Monument