OUR NATION'S CAPITAL AS YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.
Hosted by Sir Guy Carleton Branch, the 2019 Conference will take place from Thursday, 30 May to Sunday, 02 June in the National Capital Region, comprising Ottawa, Gatineau in Quebec, and surrounding communities. With a total population of 1.4 million, the National Capital Region is noted for its historic architecture and a plethora of attractions including outstanding museums.
The headquarters for Conference 2019 is the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Gatineau-Ottawa. Located in the Ottawa suburb of Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, this hotel, with an adjacent golf course, is near major Ottawa attractions. Further details are available on the conference website at UELAC.org.
Conference 2019 will also feature organized tours of the region, interesting workshops and a musical presentation of traditional songs familiar to the country's early settlers.
Three bus tours are planned at Conference 2019, with all excursions starting from the conference hotel at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, 01 June. Depending on which tour they select, conference participants can travel along the historic Rideau Canal, visit museums or do research at the Ottawa City Archives.
Tour A--Rideau Valley Tour: Long before the Rideau Canal System was constructed, some enterprising Loyalists settled along the Rideau River and established communities still in existence. This full-day tour will be conducted by retired high school teacher and professional genealogist, Brian Tackaberry UE, of Almonte. The tour traces the route of the Rideau River and Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built between 1826 and 1832 by Colonel John By, that ultimately opened the Rideau Valley and Ottawa to settlement.
Beginning in downtown Ottawa, the tour will proceed on Colonel By Drive along the Canal, past Hogs Back Falls, and continue to Manotick on the Long Island Locks, including a tour of historic Watson's Mill constructed in 1860. It then continues along the Rideau, past settlements by Loyalists: Roger Stevens, Stephen Burritt and Robert Nicholson.
The next stop, including lunch, is at picturesque Merrickville, established by William Merrick in the 1790s, with a tour of the shops in town and museum located in the largest blockhouse along the Rideau Canal system. Finally, the tour proceeds to the Goulbourn Museum in Stittsville, that tells the story of the Richmond Military Settlement of 1818 by disbanded soldiers following the Napoleonic Wars.
Tour B--Ottawa Tour to War Museum, Rideau Hall, and Museum of History: This tour will first visit the Canadian War Museum, Canada's national museum of military history and one of the world's most respected museums for the study and understanding of armed conflict.
The War Museum traces its origins back to 1880 when it consisted primarily of a collection of militia artefacts. The museum opened at its new location on the LeBreton Flats site in downtown Ottawa on 08 May 2005. Since its opening, the museum has welcomed approximately 500,000 visitors every year. The museum's total collection features rare vehicles, artillery, uniforms, medals and memoirs.
Following the visit to the war museum, the tour bus will proceed through Ottawa's downtown core where it will pass the Parliament Buildings, now under reconstruction, Canada's Supreme Court and the National War Memorial before arriving at Rideau Hall.
The official residence and workplace of every Governor General since 1867, Rideau Hall is a national historic site on 79 acres that includes trees specially planted by a visiting head of State, a member of the Royal family or other dignitaries to mark an important event or anniversary. Among the highlights of this tour are viewing of the State rooms where the Governor General fulfills official duties.
Tour B will finish at Canada's National Museum of History in Gatineau. The museum explores this country's rich cultural heritage.
Tour C--Ottawa City Archives: Those participating in this tour will have the morning for research at the City of Ottawa Archives followed by lunch. The archives has church records, information about individuals, families, businesses, organizations, British Isles records and historical information on Canadian railroads. The collection includes over three million photographs, along with many maps.
Several noteworthy presenters will be featured at Conference 2019.
Presentation: Loyalist Land Grants along the Grand (Ottawa) River in 1788--To be presented by George Neville UE on Thursday afternoon, 30 May, at the conference hotel. A descendant of the Loyalist, Daniel Shipman UE, George will describe how his ancestors came to the St. Lawrence River front in 1784. This presentation, including the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, will complement the conference's Rideau Valley Tour A to Merrickville.
Presentation: Capital City Treasures--A second presentation, on the afternoon of Thursday, 30 May, will be an armchair guided historical and cultural tour of the streets of downtown Ottawa to be presented by Marilyn Schwartz. Through her slide presentation, Marilyn will describe statues and memorials in downtown Ottawa.
Keynote speaker: Albert Dumont --Welcome to the Land of the Anishnabeg--Algonquin Elder and spiritual advisor, Albert Dumont, will be the keynote speaker at the conferences opening ceremonies on Thursday evening, 30 May. Elder Dumont, a poet and storyteller, has dedicated his life to promoting Aboriginal spirituality and healing.
Presentation--Jonathan Sewell: Chief Justice of Lower Canada, Hotel Frontenac Room, Friday, 31 May by Valerie Knowles--Montreal-born, Valerie Knowles, is an Ottawa writer and direct descendant of Chief Justice Sewell. She will speak about her ancestor, Jonathan Sewell, a multi-talented judge and political figure in Lower Canada.
Banquet followed by A Traditional Musical Retrospective will highlight a medley of songs popular with early settlers. To take place on the evening of Friday, 31 May, in the hotel's Chaudiere Room, the evening will feature performances by singer, Carolynne Davy, accompanied by Edith Troup. Miss Davy has had a distinguished music career, including performing at Carnegie Hall, and Miss Troup has accompanied choirs, singers, instrumentalists and dancers in concerts and festivals.
Workshop: Writing Loyalist Family History, Saturday afternoon 01 June--Retired teacher, Jean Rae Baxter's workshop will help those attending to write a narrative that people will want to read. Participants will learn how to organize their writing project and use the tools of fiction to make the true story come alive.
Presentation: Traitors, Spies and Heroes: Loyalist Espionage during the American Revolution, Saturday afternoon, 01 June--Jennifer DeBruin UE is an author of three, fact-based historical fiction novels. She also writes historical articles that have appeared in various publications.
Presentation: Researching Your Loyalist Roots on Ancestry--Also on the afternoon of Saturday, 01 June, there will be a presentation by Lesley Anderson who has worked for Ancestry.ca for more than ten years as their Canadian spokesperson. She has done numerous presentations for genealogical societies and conferences across Canada about the endless research possibilities on Ancestry.ca.
Gala Banquet Keynote Speaker: Glenn Wright--Controversy and Compromise: The Origins of Canada's National Flag--Many UELAC members are old enough to remember the controversy surrounding the proposal by the federal government to introduce a new Canadian flag during the country's Centennial Year in 1967. The thorny issues surrounding the development of the flag we have today will be the focus of keynote speaker, Glenn Wright, historical researcher, archivist and author. Hear him at Conference 2019 Gala Banquet on Saturday evening in the Chaudiere Room.
Conference 2019 will also feature a vendors' room, silent auction and a hospitality suite. A Sunday service will be held in Christ Church, near the hotel, in Aylmer.
Those attending the conference may wish to extend their stay in Ottawa and visit other attractions in the region. In particular, the city has many fine museums including Bytown Museum, the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, the Canadian Agriculture and Foods Museum, the Bank of Canada Museum, and the Diefenbunker Cold War Museum. World class art is displayed in the region's art galleries including the National Gallery and Ottawa Art Gallery. Among other attractions are the Royal Canadian Mint and Library and Archives Canada.
BY ROY LEWIS UE