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City of Kingston announces plans for Sir John A's bicentennial birthday bash in January

November 7, 2014 -

The home community of Canada's first and founding Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald of Kingston, has announced a full roster of activities to mark the bicentennial of the Father of Confederation's birth in January.

And all Kingstonians, Ontarians and Canadians are invited!

"The name Macdonald of Kingston still rings through Canadian history," Mayor Mark Gerretsen said in announcing the events the City of Kingston is planning for the weekend of January 9 to 11, 2015. "We are very proud to announce details of the events our City staff and community partners, assisted by the City's official Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Ambassador, Arthur Milnes, are organizing. We are confident Kingstonians will be joined by Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast as we celebrate the proud nation Sir John A. of Kingston did so much to create during Macdonald's Bicentennial Weekend in January."

Arguably, no city has a greater claim to Macdonald than Kingston and 2015 offers a unique opportunity to explore the man and his life, as a new Canadian, a Kingston resident, a practicing lawyer and City alderman as well as a lightning rod for debate.

The City of Kingston's signature Macdonald Bicentennial Weekend events are listed below.

The Great Debate: Was Sir John A. the Greatest Canadian Prime Minister?

Join The Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and The Honourable Bob Rae, past Premier of Ontario and former national Liberal Interim Leader, in a debate moderated by TVO's Steve Paikin on Friday, Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Grand Theatre.

All seats are $5 plus HST and handling fee. Tickets are on sale now at the Grand Theatre or online at http://kingstongrand.ca/event/great-debate

Official Bicentennial Birthday Bash

Come celebrate the birth of Sir John A. Macdonald on his 200th birthday, Sunday, Jan.  11. At noon, an official ceremony will take place on the steps of Kingston City Hall, where special guests including past Canadian prime ministers and others will formally fête the Father of Confederation. After a short break, all are welcome for a family-friendly Bicentennial Birthday Bash in Memorial Hall from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Cake will be served!

"On behalf of all Kingstonians I am proud to extend a warm invitation to Canadians everywhere to join us in marking this historic anniversary," said Kingston's Mayor-Elect Bryan Paterson. "Today marks the anniversary of the driving of the First Spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway, Macdonald's dream that first united Canadians through a band of steel from Atlantic to Pacific. It is therefore a fitting day to invite all Canadians to join us in Kingston January 9-11th, 2015. Happy 200th birthday Sir John A.!"

For more about City of Kingston Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial events, programs and projects: www.CityofKingston.ca/SirJohnA

For more about other Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial events happening in Kingston throughout 2015: www.canadacomeshome.ca  and www.sirjohna2015.ca/

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The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 120,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. In 2014, it was named a Top 7 Smart Community by the Intelligent Community Forum. Our vision – to become Canada's most sustainable city – focusses our efforts on: environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality. Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston

Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Media Relations Officer, 613-546-4291, ext. 3116. Or call Communications at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.