November 2008 Events
Remembrance Day Ceremonies November 9 and 11, 2008
During November we were involved in two Remembrance Day Ceremonies. On Sunday November 9 we participated in the Bradford Legion Remembrance Day Parade and wreath laying ceremony. On Tuesday November 11, we once again were able to augment the Honour Guard at the Fort York Remembrance Day Ceremony on the Fort York Common. World War I re-enactors, members of the Canadian Military, The York Rangers, representatives of the Fire, Police and Ambulance services joined the IODE, Fort York Staff, members of the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada and members of the public to remember and give thanks.
Coupland Statue Installation November 3, 2008
Also during the month of November the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada attended the unveiling of the Douglas Coupland War of 1812 Memorial statue at the corner of Bathurst and Lakeshore. The following article was originally published in the National Post.
By Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
TORONTO - Vancouver-based artist and author Douglas Coupland hopes his new military monument will help stop what he calls a "creeping revisionism" of the War of 1812.
"I've grown up and a lot of people have grown up thinking 'Oh, Americans lost that one didn't they?"' Coupland said Monday after unveiling the "Monument to the War of 1812" outside a condominium near Fort York in Toronto.
"But once I began getting involved in the project and doing research, I began noticing that the Americans are now starting to change history and they're saying, 'Well actually we won that,' or, 'Actually, we didn't lose' or whatever.
"So it's a war monument but it's also an incitement for people to remember what's going on in the present as well as the past."
Commissioned by condo developer Malibu Investments Inc. and approved by the City of Toronto, the four-metre-high sculpture comprises two soldiers - one standing and one fallen.
The standing soldier is painted gold and depicts a member of the 1813 Royal Newfoundland Regiment. The other is painted silver and depicts an American soldier from the 16th U.S. Infantry Regiment.
The monument is meant to be a scene from April 27, 1813, when U.S. troops overran Fort York, burned it and then left.
"I wanted to create something that was just a quick haiku moment for people driving by or walking by to think about the War of 1812," said Coupland, whose bestselling novels include "Generation X" and "JPod."
Coupland designed the monument using a 3-D model in Vancouver.
Calgary-based Heavy Industries, which makes dinosaurs for theme parks, constructed the piece with materials including steel armature, plastic moulding and foam, said Karen Mills, president of the firm Public Art Management.
The monument - estimated by Mills to have cost $500,000 - arrived from Calgary on an open flatbed truck and was erected with a crane.
Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson was at the unveiling with her husband, John Ralston Saul. Also present were uniformed members of the Fort York Honour Guard and the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, which does military re-enactments.
Coupland was one of several artists approached about three years ago by Mills, the project manager, to do the piece. The prolific writer and artist had to submit a proposal to a jury before being chosen.
In his proposal, Coupland wrote: "Without Fort York there would have been no Canada - the British would have lost Canada to the Americans in the War of 1812, and Canada would have been absorbed into the U.S."
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