Parks Canada

Parks Canada

November 25, 2010 12:22 ET

National Parks 125th Anniversary Celebration Launches Enhanced Ways for Canadians to Connect With Their Treasured Places

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 25, 2010) - "The future of our national parks is very bright", is the message from Canada's Environment Minister John Baird to Canadians on the occasion of today's grand celebration of 125 years of national parks in Canada and the 125th birthday of Banff, Canada's first national park.

To celebrate the finale of this momentous anniversary year, Minister Baird announced some exciting new initiatives to better connect Canadians - including young and urban Canadians - to their national parks and national historic sites. They include:

  • The extension of the fee freeze on entry, camping and other services for yet another year (until March 31, 2012) at 2008 prices
  • The continuation of the My Parks Pass distribution to all Canadian students when they are in Grade 8, providing them a year of free entry for themselves and an accompanying adult
  • The renewal of the Canada's Greatest Summer Job student videographer program
  • The National Parks Project, which will feature contributions by more than 50 of Canada's most talented filmmakers and musicians
  • The Parks Canada Explorers Program, designed to engage children visiting with their family in a variety of fun age-appropriate activities that allow them to discover the significance of Canada's natural and historic treasures.

"Canada's world-class national park system is, without a doubt, Canada's gift to the world and to future generations, and through these new initiatives, we are finding dynamic new ways to help Canadians connect to their parks and to share in this proud legacy," said Minister Baird.

Today's day-long celebration in Banff features a number of thematic discussions examining the relevance of national parks to Canadians. Thanks to Library and Archives Canada, the original 1885 Banff order-in-council is being publicly exhibited for the first time ever, and will be on display at the Banff Park Museum until March 2011. An evening concert and celebration with the community will wrap up the day's festivities.

Parks Canada was also proud to welcome Mr. Marc Brûlé, Royal Canadian Mint Vice-President of Finance & Administration and CFO, who presented, on behalf of the Mint, a 2010 Fine Silver Kilogram Coin – 125th anniversary of Banff National Park to the grand celebration festivities. This spectacular coin, of which only 750 examples exist, is being given through a free draw to a lucky celebration participant.

"The Mint is committed to celebrating Canada's greatest symbols of heritage, culture and values through exciting and memorable coins and we are proud to have struck an unforgettable one-kilogram silver collector coin to immortalize125 years of Banff National Park," said Mr. Brûlé. "We are pleased to continue the celebration of our world-famous national parks by dedicating the upcoming 2011 Silver Dollar to the centennial of Parks Canada." 

"Our celebration today will be a triumphant conclusion to the 125th anniversary of Canada's first national park, while also setting the stage for another major Canadian milestone - Parks Canada's centennial in 2011," said MP Richards, who attended the celebrations held in Banff today. "I invite all Canadians to join the celebrations throughout 2011, a year that will be filled with new and exciting activities as we celebrate the first national park service in the world."

The Parks Canada system has tremendous growth momentum. In the first hundred years of the system, Canada set aside about 277,000 km2 of lands and waters. In the past four years alone, the government has taken steps that will add nearly 90,000 km2 to the existing lands and waters administered by Parks Canada - a 30 percent increase.

Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education, appreciation and inspired discovery of all Canadians, today and in the future, and offers them the opportunity for real and inspiring discovery.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at www.parkscanada.gc.ca under Media Room.

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