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Future of the Battle of Georgian Bay and Histoirc Military Establishment of Upper Canada

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  • David Brunelle
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2001
      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
      dormant.

      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
      Chairman
      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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