Media Release - May 1, 2014
For immediate release
Niagara-On-The-Lake - Friends of Laura Secord is pleased to announce that it has received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant of $75,000 to support research and technical development of a digital tour of the 32km Laura Secord Legacy Trail. The content of the tour will build awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the historical significance of women, First Nations peoples, and African Canadians in the founding of Canada. The tour will also serve to educate the public about the geology, ecology, and varied environments through which the trail passes.
"Congratulations to the Friends of Laura Secord on their successful application for the Trillium grant," said Wayne Gates, MPP for Niagara Falls. "Their tireless work has been instrumental in bringing light to the incredible role that women, First Nations and Afro-Canadians played in the history of the Niagara Region and Canada as a whole. The work of the Friends of Laura Secord has been integral to the bicentennial celebrations and will be valued by residents of the Niagara Region for years to come."
The initiative builds on last year's successful activities that included the research and charting of Laura Secord's historic trek; the design, engineering, and construction of a suspension bridge across Twelve Mile Creek at Laura's Crossing; the scanning and 3-D reproduction of Canadian sculptor Mildred Peel's celebrated 1901 bust of Laura Secord; and the first annual Laura Secord Commemorative Walk that registered over 1,000 participants.
"We're absolutely delighted by this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant," said Caroline McCormick, president of Friends of Laura Secord. "The digital tour will not only provide trail goers with fascinating information about the contributions underrepresented groups have made in shaping Canada as a nation, but do so in a way that's engaging and accessible to a broad audience."
Funds provided by the award will be used to recruit researchers to create the interpretive educational content for the digital tour and to hire graphic artists and technical specialists to adapt the multimedia content for use on a smartphone, triggered by the user's geographical location. The trail will then serve as an outdoor educational laboratory that promotes diverse cultures, supports and strengthens the region's heritage sector, and enhances fitness and recreation infrastructure to promote health and wellbeing.
Contributing as advisors to the digital tour's conceptual development were David T. Brown, associate professor of tourism and environment at Brock University, Tim Johnson, associate director for Museum Programs at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and Larry McDermott, executive director of Plenty Canada, an Aboriginal heritage and environmental organization.
"I'm very impressed by the capacity of Friends of Laura Secord to deliver on its educational and programmatic objectives," said Tim Johnson. "The organization's consistent and persistent commitment to being inclusive and respectful of underserved groups largely overlooked throughout history is laudable."
"On behalf of Plenty Canada we're excited to see Friends of Laura Secord receive funds from Ontario Trillium Foundation for this dynamic project that illuminates the contributions by women, Indigenous peoples, African Canadians, and the role of the environment, in shaping the Canada we know," said Larry McDermott.
A leading grant-maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. To learn more, please visit: www.otf.ca
The Friends of Laura Secord is a not-for-profit community group which was formally established in October 2010 to preserve, strengthen and perpetuate the legacy of Canadian heroine Laura Secord, who was designated a 'Person of National Historic Significance' by the Minister of Canadian Heritage for her heroic actions during the War of 1812.
Plenty Canada is a national Aboriginal charitable organization devoted to the development of sustainable communities.
Contact person: Caroline McCormick
Friends of Laura Secord