Today the St. Marys River hosted the Parade of Paddles and History Fest to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary and the importance and value of this Canadian Heritage River.
The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority, Parks Canada and Ermatinger Clergue came together to host the Parade of Paddles and History Fest.
The Parade of Paddles welcomed paddlers to decorate their canoes and kayaks in red and white and join a historic Voyageur brigade in a parade that locks through the Sault Ste. Marie Canal recreational lock and parade down the St. Marys River to kick off our Canada Day celebration in Sault Ste. Marie.
Dignitaries attending this event included Mayor Christian Provenzano, “Canada’s First Woman in Space”, Dr. Roberta Bondar, MP Terry Sheehan and MPP Ross Romano.
The Parade of Paddles followed the waterfront down to the Bushplane Heritage Centre where participants were encouraged to portage across Bay Street to History Fest at the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site. During History Fest, everyone was invited to tour the site with historic interpreters. They also enjoyed period performers, heritage crafts, pioneer games and entertainment.
In 2017, Canadians are uniting for Canada 150 from coast to coast to coast by celebrating their Canadian Heritage Rivers at the heart of their communities.
“The 150th anniversary of Confederation provides Canadians with the wonderful opportunity to become active in their communities and celebrate the rich history of their rivers. Communities across the country will take part in events that highlight the importance of preserving our precious natural resources for future generations.” said, The Honourable Mélanie Joly Minister of Canadian Heritage
“As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, I encourage Canadians to visit and learn about the importance of Canadian Heritage Rivers. Our rivers tell the stories of our land and people. Their role was crucial in trade and transportation and in building a sense of identity and pride in communities across the country. I am pleased to see that communities across the country are celebrating Canada 150 with their heritage rivers.” said ,The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“We all have the same feeling when we go to our rivers—that feeling of wonder and amazement, the peace and calm that comes over us and the sensation that we are at the edge of something grand. This is what rivers give us: a sense of place, a sense of self, a sense of connection and a sense of pride.” said, Molly Demma Project Director and Executive Director The St. John River Society (New Brunswick / NB)
The Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) is Canada’s national river conservation program. Established in 1984, the CHRS gives national recognition to Canada’s outstanding rivers and encourages their long-term management to conserve their natural, cultural and recreational values for the benefit and enjoyment of Canadians, now and in the future. There are currently 42 Canadian Heritage Rivers across the country, totalling close to 12,000 km.
For background information on the St. Marys River please visit chrs.ca/the-rivers/st-marys