Parks Canada

Parks Canada

December 20, 2011 09:30 ET

Government of Canada Supports the Preservation of the St. Roch National Historic Site of Canada

Parks Canada announces contribution for conservation at site

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2011) - On behalf of the Honourable Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Minister responsible for British Columbia, and Member of Parliament for Port Moody - Westwood - Port Coquitlam, today announced that the Government of Canada will be investing in a plan for conservation of the St. Roch National Historic Site of Canada in Vancouver, British Columbia.

"For decades, the St. Roch schooner served as a reminder of Canada's presence in the Arctic," said Minister Moore. "By investing in its conservation, the historic ship will continue to remind Canadians of our role in the North and ground-breaking exploration of the Northwest Passage."

Dry-docked as part of the Vancouver Maritime Museum at Kitsilano Point, the Canadian-built St. Roch is an auxiliary Royal Canadian Mounted Police schooner built in 1928, recognized as the first ship to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic by the Northwest Passage and the first ship to complete the hazardous journey in both directions. Retired in 1948, the St. Roch was sent to Halifax via the Panama Canal in 1950, making her also the first ship to circumnavigate North America. The ship was designated a national historic site in 1962 and moved to the museum.

Through Parks Canada's National Historic Sites Cost-Sharing Program, the Government of Canada will be contributing up to $23,940 to support the preparation of a long-term maintenance and conservation plan for the schooner.

"One of our Government's major objectives is to inspire Canadians to develop strong and meaningful connections with Canada's national treasures," said Minister Kent. "Our national historic sites are vital to our history, our identity as Canadians, and our tourism industry. By investing in them and by building lasting relationships with the community groups that operate them, we ensure that they will continue to help support local economies and encourage more Canadians to explore and discover our national heritage."

"We are very pleased that the St. Roch, Canada's arctic sovereignty icon and one of the world's great arctic explorer ships, can undergo this much needed survey," said Simon Robinson, Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum. "She stands as a true testament to Canada's spirit of northern exploration and adventure and she truly embodies the words, 'True North strong and free'."

The Cost-Sharing Program reflects the Government of Canada's dedication to protect Canada's heritage through funding towards the conservation of our national historic sites. In this centennial year, Parks Canada is pleased to continue its efforts to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.

Contact Information

  • Adam Sweet
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of the Environment

    Media Relations
    Parks Canada