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Petawawa Heritage Village travels back in time to celebrate Canadian Confederation

By Celina Ip

The Petawawa Heritage Village went back in time to 1867 in honour of the Canadian Confederation. Re-enactors dressed in historic garments as they showcased trades and skills from that important time period in Canadian history. Pictured here, Sharon Rideough (far left) spins yarn on a 150-year-old Canadian Production WHeel (which she found and purchased at a junk store in Quebec a few years back) as Amanda Lopes and Claire Bernister (far right) are busy carding more sheep's wool for Rideough to later spin.

The Petawawa Heritage Village went back in time to 1867 in honour of the Canadian Confederation. Re-enactors dressed in historic garments as they showcased trades and skills from that important time period in Canadian history. Pictured here, Sharon Rideough (far left) spins yarn on a 150-year-old Canadian Production WHeel (which she found and purchased at a junk store in Quebec a few years back) as Amanda Lopes and Claire Bernister (far right) are busy carding more sheep's wool for Rideough to later spin.

PETAWAWA – The Petawawa Heritage Village stepped back in time to 1867 to commemorate the Confederation of Canada this weekend.

 

Hosting their annual settlers festival from Aug. 11 to 13, the Heritage Village was beautifully transformed to reflect the theme of “Discover the Dominion of Canada – 1867 through Re-enactment and Trade” as re-enactors lived out vignettes to commemorate the historic year in Canadian history and to honour Canada’s 150th.

The three-day event was funded by a $16,300 grant from the Canada 150th Community Foundation program. Led by Community Foundations of Canada and participating community foundations, with the support of the federal government, the Community Fund is given to locally-led projects that build community, inspire a deeper understanding of Canada, and encourage participation in a wide range of initiatives that mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Through the grant, Heritage Society president Ann McIntyre was able to bring in a variety of re-enactors to showcase Canadian trades and skills that abounded during 1867. Local talents were joined by some from as far away as Muskoka as they all set up camp around the Heritage Village and got into character to accurately reflect the time period. Dressed in historic costumes and stationed at the various buildings and tents around the Village, the re-enactors showcased the trades of trappers, blacksmiths, carpenters, spinners, weavers, loggers, ironmongers, knife and hawk throwers, chain saw carvers and bakers.

“It's all trades and skills and they’ve all come together because normally they don’t live in our village but they came in a rendez-vous to celebrate the new dominion of Canada – because we live in Upper Canada and even though they signed the accord in July 1867, we didn’t hear about it until August which is why we're celebrating now,” said McIntyre.

On the first day of the event, McIntyre was pleasantly surprised to already receive tremendous support from the community, in the from of a $500 grant presented by Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation executive director Diane McKinnon.

“The funding comes from the Government to support Canada 150th events happening at more than 39 heritage river sites across the country. The Canadian Heritage System is a national river conservation program that was established in 1984 which gives national recognition to rivers and encourages longterm management and conservation of natural culture and recreation resources,” said McIntyre. “So it was wonderful to receive that donation to further support what we do.”

From the first day all through Sunday, hundreds of people of all ages descended upon the Heritage Village as they wandered throughout the grounds, taking in the unique sights and sounds and feeling as though they had briefly travelled back in time to 1867.

The attendees chatted with the re-enactors who each had unique historical anecdotes to share, they enjoyed homemade gingerbread cookies from the Village’s bakers, they rummaged through the artisan craft vendors’ tent and on Saturday they were entertained by music from the Petawawa Military Wives Choir, Gillan Rutz and Tom & Gerry.

cip@postmedia.com