Dear Friends, Re-enactors & Who it may concern,
As many of you are aware our organization, the Historic Military
Establishment of Upper Canada, which brought great historic, education,
community and special event programming has been evicted from Discovery
Harbour as of December 3, 2001
Furthermore, our efforts to keep the Battle of Georgian Bay event which
brought over 2000 re-enactors, over 50,000 people, the largest War of
1812 event in North America and had a local tourism impact of 4 to 5
million dollars is also in jeopardy. The Management at Huronia
Historical Parks has determined that the battle encampment may be
damaging the archeological remains of the historic site through fire
pits and tent pegs which are driven into the ground.
After much thought and deliberation on the fact that our organization
would have to move the encampment off the historic site, and in respect,
change the whole atmosphere, logistics and planning of any future Battle
of Georgian Bay event, the Historic Military Establishment of Upper
Canada ,a not-for profit charity operated entirely by volunteers, has
come to the conclusion that this would have a negative impact on any
future Battle of Georgian Bay event.
We successfully brought to our communities this huge tourism event and
had the perfect venue to
support it and help it grow, and support the historic site at the same
time. In moving the encampment location we run the risk of re-enactors
not wishing to participate because it is not what it used to be, not on
an historic site, and ultimately the next Battle of Georgian Bay would
be a challenge and huge risk on our part to execute. While the economic
impact of this event is enormous and the participation and support of
the communities of North Simcoe is something we treasure, the events'
primary focus is to bring exposure to, and help keep alive an historic
site. If we are unable to host the event on the historic site, the event
becomes more of a commercial venture, and while that aspect is something
we feel is important, it is not the major focus of our organization. The
importance of re-enacting on an historic site, "walking in their
footsteps" if you will, is something that re-enactors understand and
should not be understated.
Fort George, Stoney Creek, Fort York, Fort Erie, Louisbourg etc., all
have encampments on a grand scale and never have tent and fire pit
issues come to a point where living history encampments have had to be
cancelled. Don't get us wrong, the Historic Military Establishment of
Upper Canada believes strongly in the preservation of archeological
remains as all historical organizations do, however, we are all in the
same game here and that is to promote and preserve history, we are just
promoting it through living history.
Personally, it's a really hard decision for myself to come to grasp with
as thousands of hours of personal volunteer time and effort has gone
into planning the Battle of Georgian Bay events over the last 8 years.
At this time, however, there seem to be no options available to have the
encampment return to the historic site.
Leaving the Battle of Georgian Bay riding on the success of 2001 as many
have quoted as the best economic tourism impact, organized and
re-enactment experience of their lives, will always be a milestone
within our organization. We will take pride in the memories and stories
of our accomplishments as they echo by the fires and in our communities
for years to come.
Unless the management of Huronia Historical Parks has a complete change
of direction on this issue and can somehow allow us to return and run
the Battle of Georgian Bay as it was meant to be, it will remain
We take this opportunity to sincerely thank the municipal councils,
businesses and citizens of North Simcoe for their tremendous support of
this event and of our organization. We also would like to tip our caps
to the best volunteers anywhere, the good, hardworking folks of these
communities who helped present the Battle of Georgian Bay 2001.
David J. Brunelle
Battle of Georgian Bay 2001
Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada
P.S. - I apologize for those who have received this e-mail and it does not relate to you especially curling friends and associates!
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