Friday, January 13, 2017

New Brunswick and Confederation

by Nathan Gavin, BA
Project Executive,
Heritage Branch

New Brunswick’s role in Confederation held a significant amount of weight in the formation of Canada. New Brunswick was both the epicenter for the beginning of serious talks of Confederation, as well as the province that was given a chance to vote on the subject.

In the mid-1800s New Brunswick was experiencing a period of economic prosperity. The recently signed Reciprocity Treaty provided incentives for cross-border trade, and the lumbering and shipbuilding industries were also flourishing.

Security, however, was an issue for New Brunswick at the time. British North America did not have its own military, and whenever conflict would arise British Regulars would need to be brought in. This not only mean that response times were slow, but it also meant that Britain was funding virtually all military operations in what was a self-governing British territory. Events like the Trent Affair and the Chesapeake Incident would amplify these concerns.[1]

Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon
(Provincial Archives of New Brunswick,

Maritime Union seemed like a logical solution to the issue. The unification of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island into a single province, was favoured by many of the local politicians as well as the young Lieutenant Governor Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon.

 A month before the first Confederation conference in Charlottetown (PEI), a delegation of politicians and journalists from the United Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec) landed in Fredericton for an informal visit. Extravagant speeches were given, lavish balls were thrown, and upon their departure the Canadians were given an informal invite to sit in on the Charlottetown Conference.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Brunswick Heritage Week - Celebrating 150 Years!

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the theme for Heritage Week 2017 in New Brunswick is Celebrating 150 years – Célébrons 150 ans. This topic provides an opportunity to recognise New Brunswick’s role in Confederation, as well as to reflect upon the many past contributions made by the people of New Brunswick to our nation of Canada.

Dusan Kadlec, Province House Ball, 1864
(Source: Parks Canada)
The 2017 New Brunswick Heritage Week poster features a "crazy quilt" from the collection of the Kings County Museum in Hampton. It was made by dressmaker Fannie Parlee between 1864 and 1895, from fabric taken from the dresses worn by those who attended the Charlotte Conference ball of 1864. This historic conference, where Confederation was first discussed, was noted for its extravagant ball held in the name of union on September 8, 1864.

Also within the 2017 Heritage Week poster can be found the faces of the many individuals who witnessed New Brunswick’s transition into Confederation. Notably, Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon who was Lieutenant-Governor at the time, as well as Chief Gabriel Acquin, Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, Amand Landry, Lady Alice Tilley, and The Paris Crew (only to name a few).

This Heritage Week, join with us in celebrating 150 years of making history in our province. On National Flag of Canada Day (February 15) take time to consider how our past has shaped our sense of identity as Canadians, and on National Heritage Day (February 20) reflect upon how heritage provides us with a legacy for the future.

Now is the time to do your part in planning your Heritage Week event. Let your imagination be your guide! The scope is endless --- you may choose to host, compose, perform, explore, research, record or organise --- the possibilities go on and on! We invite you to join in, plan an event, and share your information with us through our online registration.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Canadian Flag: a Brief History

By Katlin Davey,
UNB Arts 3000 
Public History Intern

The story of the birth of the Canadian flag is a unique one. As we approach the 50th anniversary, it is important to reflect upon the events of 1965, since a national flag contributes to the making of a national identity. For Canadians without a memory of the Red Ensign, it is hard to imagine a Canada that was not shaped by the Maple Leaf. Adopting a new Canadian flag, however, was no easy mission. Many Canadians supported moving forward with a new flag, while many did not. The process to develop a new national flag began in early 1964, and on February 15th 1965 a new Canada was born.

Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson was a strong supporter of the development of a new national flag. While the Red Ensign had served the purpose of a national flag for many years, he believed that Canada had matured as a country and so needed to be redefined as well as reunited. Prime Minister Pearson understood that the creation of a new flag should be a bipartisan effort, so a bipartisan committee was created. As a result, a call for open submissions was issued, and people from all over Canada submitted their ideas about what the new national flag should look like. Over 3000 designs were submitted, and of these over 2000 contained a maple leaf. Eventually the committee narrowed down the selection to just three.

Friday, November 28, 2014

New Brunswick Heritage Fairs 2015

As in past years, a Regional Heritage Fair will be taking place within your school district during April-May.

If your school would like to participate in New Brunswick’s Heritage Fair program, please complete the attached response sheet and return it to this email address:  By December 2.

More information concerning Heritage Fairs can also be found on our website.

Thank you - and best wishes for another successful school year!

Hope Restored Announced as Theme for Heritage Week 2015

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The theme for Heritage Week 2015 will be Hope Restored in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Canada’s national flag, as well as the 50th anniversary of New Brunswick’s provincial flag.

Hope Restored is the English translation of New Brunswick’s motto, Spem Reduxit.

New Brunswickers are encouraged to reflect upon the stories that have shaped the province and its collective heritage during Heritage Week 2015, Feb. 9 – 16.

The provincial flag was designed by Robert Pichette and Lt.-Cmdr. Alan J. Beddoe and adopted by proclamation on Feb. 24, 1965. The symbols depicted on the flag are taken from the Coat of Arms assigned by Royal Warrant of Queen Victoria on May 26, 1868.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Two New Brunswick students selected to attend National Youth History Forum

FREDERICTON (GNB) – Two New Brunswick students have been selected by Canada’s National History Society to attend the National Youth History Forum taking place in Ottawa from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.

They were selected from among a national group of competitors who each developed a short video documentary for the Young Citizens program following their participation in their school districts’ Regional Heritage Fairs. They are:
“New Brunswick is home to a multitude of stories that contribute to our provincial identity,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Bill Fraser. “These stories deserve to be told and our youth can play a tremendous role in sharing them with New Brunswickers and other Canadians. I congratulate these two students on their achievement, which is a reflection of the commitment they have shown to preserving our shared past.”

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mark Your Calendars! Heritage Week and Heritage Fairs 2015

New Brunswick Heritage Week 2015, February 9 – 16:
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag, as well as our Provincial flag,
New Brunswick has adopted the theme of Hope Restored – Spem Reduxit – L’espoir renaît for Heritage Week 2015.

The dates for Heritage Week 2015 in New Brunswick are February 9 -16; which also includes Black History month, National Flag of Canada Day (February 15) and National Heritage Day (February 16).

The goal for Heritage Week is to provide New Brunswickers with opportunities to celebrate their past at local levels. This year, in recognition of our national and provincial flags, all interested community organizations, individuals, schools, museums, libraries, archives, seniors centres, and historic sites, are invited to reflect upon these two important symbols in our collective past. Now is the time to begin planning for Heritage Week 2015!

To assist with these activities, Heritage Week 2015 promotion kits will be available mid-December. Individuals and groups wishing to order a kit may contact Heritage Branch, in the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, by telephone, 506-453-2324, or by e-mail,

More information will also be available (very soon) on the Heritage Week 2015 web site.

New Brunswick Heritage Fairs 2015:
As in past years, a Regional Heritage Fair will be taking place within your school district during late April-May.

If your school would like to participate in New Brunswick’s Heritage Fair program, please complete the attached response sheet and return it to this email address:  

More information concerning Heritage Fairs (and events from 2014) can also be found on our website.

Thank you - and best wishes for another successful school year!