Murray Canal’s 125th Anniversary Celebration


Murray Canal 125th on October 18th at 1PM

Connecting with Heritage

At 1:00 pm on October 18, 2014 the Murray Canal District Organization will be marking the 125th anniversary of the official commissioning of the Murray Canal with a celebration to be held at 12 O’Clock Point Road that will highlight its rich history and significance to the region.

The story of the official opening of the Murray Canal in 1889 by Sir John A MacDonald will be brought to life through re-enactment, historical tours and local tales to re-acquaint the community with this incredible historical asset. David Dingle, founder of the Murray Canal District Organization, commented that “Reconnecting the community with the historical aspect of the canal is a key step to elevating the prominence of the Murray Canal in our time and ensuring the preservation and enhancement of the waterway and its trail system for future generations. Our organization is looking forward to building on this first MCDO heritage event to work with Parks Canada on the Murray Canal initiatives in the future.”

Noted historical re-enactors Brian and Renee Porter will appear as Sir John A. and Lady Agnes MacDonald, reminiscing, at the time of the canal’s opening, about MacDonald’s involvement with the commissioning and building of the canal. Local residents with strong ties to the canal and area historians will be on hand to provide authenticity and interpretation to the event.

Working with the The Sir John A. MacDonald Bicentennial Project of Prince Edward County, MCDO has put together a great event to showcase the 125th anniversary of a little known story about Sir John,  just in advance of the MacDonald Bicentennial in 2015.

Also, the MacDonald Heritage Trail is in development as a heritage tourism asset, including a stop on the Murray Canal. This will draw attention to the Canal as an important component of this trail.

Culture, heritage and the arts have long contributed to appeal of tourist destinations. Cultural heritage tourism, defined as traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past, is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry. This trend is evident in the rise in the volume of tourists who seek adventure, culture, history, archaeology and interaction with local people. Cultural heritage tourism has proven to have positive economic and social impacts and creates opportunities to preserve the physical and cultural assets of a region. “This celebration is a jumping off point to future heritage and cultural events centered in and around the Canal, and it is our hope that this engages our community and generates enthusiasm for future activities” said Don Bonter, Chair of the Organizing Committee.

For further information about this event, please contact Don Bonter, Event Chairman, 613-885-8481.

For media enquiries, please contact David Dingle, MCDO Founder, 416-576-1691.

A full size statue of Sir John A. Macdonald conducting the defence at his first trial.
A full size statue of Sir John A. Macdonald conducting the defence at his first trial.

From the Macdonald Project of Prince Edward County

This is a photograph of part of the work entitled Holding Court.  Attached to it will be a prisoner’s dock and chair.  Macdonald won his first trial in Picton in 1834.  The work commemorates the event.  It marked his “coming of age” and the beginning of his career.