Bicentennial of the War of 1812 – $28 Million Dollars and counting!!!
Normally people and governments celebrate the END of a war. With respect to the War of 1812, June of this year will mark the Bicentennial of the START of the War of 1812 not the END of that war. At the Federal government level, $28 million dollars of Canadian taxpayer money has been budgeted to commemorate/celebrate/discuss/educate, etc. with respect to a a war that STARTED 200 years ago.
What started out last fall as the discussion of funding for another monument in Ottawa and some wood and nails to repair and renovate a few forts and battle sites has blossomed into a full scale government-style production. About a million for Vancouver, three quarters of a million for some television spots coming out of Toronto (nice to have Fort York nearby for filming), $50,000 for native Canadians in Saskatchewan to do something, another $300,000 for the First Nations folks to do something in Toronto, another $400,000 for an Oakville light and sound production and another 15 -20 projects of various size and importance to eat up the other $25 million.
With that much taxpayer money floating around, I am certainly hoping to get out to photograph a few more re-enactments and forts this year. Don’t get me wrong. I love visiting forts and photographing re-enactments, the more the merrier. I just hope that the people giving out those Canadian taxpayer dollars and the people receiving those Canadian taxpayer dollars are better at bookkeeping and delivering on budget on promises than we’ve seen in some fairly recent instances.
Hard to tell what our government might be doing by the time that we reach the Bicentennial of the END of the war (December 2014/January 2015). Maybe a nice fireworks celebration with ” The Star Spangled Banner” as the background music. Being a bit sarcastic here, but it is rather ironic that the lyrics for the US National Anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”, which we hear being played in Canadian arenas on a regular basis to start various professional sporting events, were penned in 1814 by Francis Scott Key and reflected his view of the British bombardment of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 – a war which Canadians feel they won, Americans feel they won, and the British, for the most part, have forgotten all about. Maybe spending $28 million will make a difference after all these years :-).
Some of our past blog entries relating to forts and re-enactments:
Clicking on the images will get you to the related blog entry: