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The Crown Forces Form Square to fend off cavalry at The Battle of Chippewa/Lundy's Lane event in 2014.
Life in the encampment... a respite from battle and a place to rest, chat, and relax...
Marching steady onto the field for another battle. The Incorporated Militia is on the way!
As night falls in Fort Erie, the line fires a volley at the dreaded invaders in the fort!
At the Annual Mess Dinner, there's always time to have a dance and create memories...

Our Unit History

djEarly in the War of 1812, it became apparent that the existing militia system was woefully inadequate for the defense of Upper Canada. To rectify this situation, the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada passed an Act creating the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada. Volunteers from throughout the Province were to be formed into Battalions, and to serve for the duration of the war. The men received...

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"Trading Places" 2003 - Part 1

May 23rd, 2004
Families across Canada swap towns, houses, jobs, hobbies, even friends and relatives, for a brief walk in another family's shoes on Trading Places. Watch as families tackle unforeseen challenges in this series about extreme exchanges. Can the Mitchell family of Orangeville, Ontario who love to immerse themselves in a different historical era survive the Arsenault family's world of motocross racing in Bloomfield, Prince Edward Island? So goes the byline for the LifeNetworks show, Trading Places......

Our members trade The Siege
of Fort Erie for the mud flats

2003 was a year of changes for the Mitchell family. I had completed the application for the television show and sent it off without mentioning a word to anyone in the family until the deed was done. My family was being used to me acting "strange" lately. I had recently left my job of 12 years to start my own business, as a sutler. Once we received confirmation of our application, everyone was excited about the next steps. The producers of the show seemed quite interested in our various hobbies and had asked us to videotape some of our experiences at camp, karate, Gord's work with solar-powered robots, etc.

Taking the King's shilling!

The camera came out at the Port Perry Field Day and the Longwood Re-enactment. Other re-enactors got their first taste of video cameras in their faces at these events! Who was to know that this was just the beginning! The field producer had decided that our segment, for our matched family, would revolve around one of our re-enactment events that year. At first, it looked as if the event might be Stoney Creek. That would have given us 2 weeks to get everyone and everything in place! Fort George and then finally, Fort Erie, were discussed as well. Arranging schedules with the other family had the producer deciding that Fort Erie, in the beginning of August, would be the event. At no time were we to know who the other family was. It didn't stop us from wondering how capable they were at camping, did they have kids, how savvy were they about Canadian history, and would they have the sense of humour necessary for "Old McDonald" and the other MRSC antics?

Michelle learns about campfollowing

Some time passed and we were very busy arranging various schedules. The only clues that we had received from the producers were to pack sturdy boots, long sleeved shirts and jeans. Many an hour were passed speculating what this could mean... cattle ranches, bush work in the Yukon...

Trent is interviewed
after his first drill

Finally, the day had come and the film crew was at our house saying those most repeated words... Just one more time for television! We had our preliminary interviews and before we knew it, Gord was trying to lose the crew on the way to Toronto Airport. Holly was chosen to read the note telling us to go to Bloomfield, PEI. This was great news for all of us. We had wanted to go to a place that bordered on an ocean. Leah just wanted to have a nice long airplane flight.

The Island weather could
have been better!!

We were all surprised and challenged throughout the whole time that we were in PEI. Many times, though, we heard the crew say that they needed new challenges for us as we kept beating their expectations. Through the four days that we were away, we kept wondering how our counterparts were doing. We had heard that the Friday night at Fort Erie was a very wet experience. We didn't have much time to gloat about that though. The next day and everyday after that, we had downpours so great that we were looking for Noah's Ark.

Musket Inspection

Stepping away from our everyday lives was nerve-wrecking and yet very fulfilling. You never know what you can accomplish until you take that first step. Before you know it, a new path opens up in front of you.

This summer, Gord Leah and I will be driving to PEI to meet the Arsenault clan and spend our vacation with them. This visit will be another adventure as Michelle and Trent have only heard rumours about Gord's antics.

Cpl Mitchell of
Green Gables!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends in MRSC and everyone else who had helped to make this experience a wonderful one.

Beth Mitchell

Pvt Trent, our new pioneer

Editor's Note:
While Gord, Beth and family were busy with the BMX MotoCross park in PEI, Trent, Michelle and the Arseneault Family were fitted out in 1812 kit and literally thrown into the Siege of fort Eire in Ontario. With only the weekend to bring them up to speed, the Arseneault family did very well! They took to 1812 life like seasoned pros!

"Trading Places" 2003 - Part 2

May 26th, 2004 - Many Thanks to Michelle Arsenault for the views below...
Michelle Arsenault, her husband Trent and family from PEI only had a few hours notice about becoming part of the regiment for the Siege of Fort Erie.

Reveille in the rain!

Like Beth Mitchell, I also filled in the online application without mentioning ANYTHING to my family!! I had heard of another Island family who had been on the program. I went online to see when their show was going to air and found an application there (maybe I should have called the other family and gotten some more info from them first!!)

That was in September and I had pretty much had forgotten all about it when I got an email in early March asking for an audition video. In June I got that fateful call "Hi! This is JACQUI SWEDEBURG calling ....." If anyone out there ever hears those words coming over the phone, HANG UP AND CHANGE YOUR NUMBER!!!!! Little did I know what we were getting into!!

Directors directing

Well let's get back to the good stuff! We had no idea where we were going, despite my best covert efforts!! I tried calling a travel agent relative to get her to find our tickets. I tried bribing my friends! Some of them would be working with the trades, (that is what the Mitchells were referred to at out end and what we were called by the Mitchells in Orangeville. No clues as to where we were going materialized! All we knew was that we needed black shoes and Trent needed black boots. We really thought we were going to be Mennonites!! Looking back on it, it might have been better, because at least Mennonites live in HOUSES!!

Trent is interviewed
after his first drill

Well by the time we arrived in Orangeville my nerves were about shot! (I never knew how obsessive-compulsive I was).

We were shocked when the Paul , Jack Chris and Alex the drummer came marching down the street, I think that was one of the top trading places moments of all time! The funny thing was that I really didn't realize that going to "Camp" actually meant going to camp! My reaction to the bit on the show was actually a "do over" because the camera missed my first reaction to the knock on the door, which was really quite a bit more extreme. We also had no idea how far away "Camp" was! FIVE hours in a van with 3 kids!!!!!!! Horrible!!

Making ice cream
with the kids

Camp was really lots of fun, and the camera really wasn't with me that much! They just seemed to put all my bad moments in! We made lots of great friends, especially with the Lightfoot family. And yes my PIE did taste as good as it looked, I am actually a really good cook, but definitely not a morning person!!!

When we got home we found a note from the Mitchell's and we ended up talking on the phone for more than an hour. (Beth really didn't wreck the track either by the way!)

Good byes to our
Island Recruits!

After all was said and done we had an awesome experience, and we can't wait to see the Mitchell's face to face this summer! Good luck IMUCers!

Editor's Note:
For more information about "Trading Places" check out

Kitting up on the Island

Blue Flower