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Marking 175 years of being Canada's First Capital

June 7, 2016

On June 15, Kingston marks the 175th anniversary of being the First Capital of a united Canada with a day of free history-themed activities at City Park, the return of the a stained glass window from the first parliament building – and the launch of Stories of Kingston,  a new website celebrating Kingstonians .

"This First Capital Day we celebrate Kingston's rich history and its role, 175 years ago, in the birth of Canada," says Mayor Bryan Paterson.  "In Kingston, we cherish and respect our history because we know how much it has to teach us."

Mayor Paterson will be joined by Chief Jim Bob Marsden of Alderville First Nation and town crier Chris Whyman to open the day at 9:45 a.m. in City Park at Bagot and Barrie streets.

Come join school children as they enjoy fun and activities.  See the full schedule and activity details at www.CityofKingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/canadas-first-capital  (see details and highlights below).

Window From Canada's First Parliament Returns To Kingston

A stained glass window featuring maple leaves – believed to have been installed in the Kingston General Hospital building, which housed the first parliament of a united Canada in 1841 – will be on display at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 36 University, from June 15 to Aug. 28. The window is on loan to the City from the Canadian Museum of History. Find out more about the Agnes at agnes.queensu.ca.

What's Your Story?  Introducing: Stories Of Kingston

The City of Kingston will launch StoriesofKingston.com on First Capital Day. This new community website features snapshots and stories about the people, places and experiences that make Kingston the best little city in the world.

Have a Kingston story to share? Everyone is invited to send in stories and pictures to be posted on StoriesofKingston.com starting  June 15. 

City Park First Capital Day Festivities

Here's what's going on and around City Park between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15:

  • Be there for the opening ceremonies with Mayor Paterson, Chief Marsden and the Town Crier at 9:45 a.m.
  • Watch The Paddling Puppeteer: Honest Frankie's Shoreline Review at 10 a.m.
  • Take a First Capital Walking Tour (leaves from the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.)
  • Meet a voyageur, an 1812 travelling clothes merchant, a 19th-century surgeon, a blacksmith, rope-makers, spinners, weavers, a strolling minstrel, Chief Sam Shaw (Kingston's first police chief) and Sutler Cyrus Wakefield.
  • Do a muster with the Fort Henry Guard
  • Train  with a broadsword with Broadsword Academy Kingston
  • Paint with watercolour with the Martello Alley Artists
  • Alderville Turning Bear Big Drum Group and Dancers and Traditional Anishnawbe and Objibway storytelling
  • Visit displays by the Historic Costume Club, the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum, the Museum of Health Care and the Pump House Steam Museum.

Residents are also encouraged to visit one or more of these Kingston historic sites and museums during the day: City Hall (pick up a scavenger-hunt colouring book!); The Murney Tower Museum; St. Georges Cathedral; Canadian Penitentiary Museum; Bellevue House; Miller Museum of Geology; and The Museum of Health Care. Please note: some museums have entrance fees.

Go to www.KingstonMuseums.ca  to find links to many of these museums.

About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 125,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. Kingston is focusing on being smart and livable as it pursues its vision to become Canada's most sustainable city. We focus on environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality –ensuring that today's decisions don't compromise our future.  Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

Twitter: @CityofKingston
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCityofKingston
Plan your bus trip with Google Transit: www.kingstontransit.ca/tripplanner

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Media contact: For more information call the communications department at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.