Wednesday, 28 December 2011


NOTL's New Year’s Day levee to kick start 1812-related events

Starting off 2012 with a bang. The New Year’s Day Levee in Niagara-on-the-Lake has been moved from Navy Hall to the grounds of Fort George. This year the levee also marks the start to War of 1812 Bicentennial commemorations. Lieutenant Governor David C. Onley will be receiving visitors in the Fort’s officer quarters. Above, organizers Lyle Williams (left) from the NOTL 1812 Bicentennial Committee, Dan Laroche from Parks Canada, Jim Alexander also from the committee and Erika Alexander from the Friends of Fort George gather in front of the quarters.

Niagara-on-the-Lake knows how to start a new year off right. 
Each year, on Jan. 1, residents and local dignitaries gather at Navy Hall for a New Year’s Day Levee. It’s a time to reflect on the year that has past and toast the year ahead of them. It’s a chance for politicians to send greetings to the people they are charged with representiing and above all, it gives one lucky cannoneer the chance to make a big “bang” during the artillery demonstration. 

The annual event, organized by the Friends of Fort George along with Parks Canada and some help from the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, has become a tradition for many families in town. This year, however, the event is about to get much bigger. It has been named a War of 1812 Bicentennial Signature Event and will mark the official start to bicentennial-related events. 

“This really kicks off the Bicentennial of 1812 commemorations that are set to take place around the region, and the country, in the coming years,” said Dan Laroche from Parks Canada. “This is it. This is the first event.” 
In addition to the change in location, there will be a few other things different at the event. For starters, it’s called the Lieutenant Governor’s New Year’s Day Levee and David C. Onley will be on hand, receiving visitors in the officers quarters as well as acting as commandor during a battery guns demonstration. 

Jim Alexander, a volunteer with the Niagara-on-the-Lake War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, said things will be a lot more formal this year. “This really kicks off the Bicentennial of 1812 commemorations that are set to take place around the region, and the country, in the coming years,” 

Fort George will be open to the public, for free, during the event and people are invited to check out some of the displays in addition to the events related to the levee. 

Fort George is located at 51 Queens Parade in Niagara-on-the-Lake. There will be free parking on site. 
For more information related to 1812 Bicentennial events, visit or  For  more information call 905-980-0346.


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